USGIF to Host St. Louis Event Series

October’s Tech Showcase West to feature unclassified and classified agendas in addition to opportunities for young professionals and students


USGIF will host a unique series of events Oct. 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo., highlighting the region’s vibrant and growing geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) community.

In the past decade, the St. Louis area has evolved into a hub of geospatial innovation. With the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Next NGA West (N2W) campus in development and more industry partners making their mark in the city, GEOINT has catapulted forward, putting St. Louis on the map for geospatial innovation.

“St. Louis has organically become a hub of geospatial excellence, with many organizations laying down their roots here to advance the science behind geospatial technologies,” said Andy Dearing, CEO of Boundless and co-chair of USGIF’s St. Louis Area Working Group. “USGIF has been key in facilitating these discussions in and around the St. Louis community, and events such as these provide a medium for those conversations to take place and for new ideas and collaborations to be born.”

On Oct. 16, USGIF will host an unclassified Geospatial Gateway Forum at the T-REX technology incubator in downtown St. Louis, featuring a keynote address and Q&A with NGA Director Robert Cardillo as well as an N2W update and panel discussions on commercial GEOINT, smart cities, and St. Louis-based innovation.

St. Louis is an ideal backdrop for a discussion on smart cities because of its medium size and aging infrastructure, according to Martin McGreal, co-founder and director of Numina.

He added GEOINT is critical to understand how a city is used by its citizens and also how a city is being affected by forces of nature.

“The term ‘smart city’ can mean different things to different people,” McGreal said. “It can be new technologies, new services, and new processes that enable better communication between the city and its users. It can also refer to the renewal of existing services that are not performing well. Cities are now trying to become more responsive. While the world has seen a tremendous boom in technology, management, and communication advancements, governments have found it difficult to respond to the new needs of its citizens.”

The commercial GEOINT panel will highlight new ways GEOINT is advancing in non-defense and intelligence areas, according to Dearing.

“Each speaker [on the panel] is very diverse in how they advance GEOINT in each of their subject areas, ranging from deriving value from drones using AI and machine learning, to pioneering location intelligence in deriving value from images in the cities, utilities, and telecom spaces, to learning how large organizations are advancing and preparing for the future of GEOINT in establishing a modern, innovative platform to solving agricultural challenges,” Dearing said.

On Oct. 17, the Foundation will hold a classified NGA Tech Showcase at the agency’s western campus in St. Louis. The agenda will include remarks by NGA West Executive Brett Markham as well as technology demonstrations, tours of the NGA Operations Center and museum, and more. Complete agenda and registration information for the Geospatial Gateway Forum and NGA Tech Showcase may be found here.

For Students & Young Professionals

USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) and the GeoSTL Meetup group will co-host a Geospatial Tech Talk at T-REX the evening of Oct. 15. The talk will introduce attendees to the St. Louis GEOINT community and share information on how to get involved. USGIF Board Member Patty Mims of Esri and Patricia Hagen, president and executive director of T-REX, are slated to share insights at this free event.

“Our partners at USGIF have been incredibly supportive of our efforts to establish a strong hub of geospatial expertise and activity at T-REX to serve the St. Louis region,” Hagen said. “The partnership between T-REX and USGIF effectively advances regional efforts.”

USGIF will conclude the week’s events with STEMulate St. Louis, a free K-12 STEM event, the evening of Oct. 17 at Saint Louis University.

“We created this inaugural event with the goal to help local students, parents, and teachers be more aware of STEM topics, specifically those related to geospatial education,” said Lindsay Mitchell, USGIF’s lead educational manager. “Our hope is students will leave the event feeling inspired to nurture their STEM education and with an understanding of how important the geospatial profession is—not only to the St. Louis region but to the world.”

STEMulate will feature a giant map of North America supplied by USGIF, giant maps of Missouri and Illinois in addition to a thermal imaging camera provided by NGA, mapping tutorials by Esri, 3D puzzles from the St. Louis Science Center, 3D map demonstrations from BAE Systems, a panel discussion on STEM careers, and more.

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