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First Intelligence Agency to Host App in Amazon Cloud

Lockheed Martin

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has become the first intelligence agency to host a large-scale operational capability in Amazon's cloud.

That move comes just months after the Amazon Web Services-built cloud for the intelligence community officially came online

NGA's migration of its Map of the World application – often called the backbone of the agency’s geospatial efforts – to the C2S environment signals the IC’s intent to revolutionize how it manages information technology.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin announced the development. The company deployed the interactive map underpinning NGA’s Map of the World to the C2S environment through its Geospatial-Intelligence Visualization Services program.

"Deploying geospatial mission applications and software to a commercial cloud environment allows the Map of the World to operate with more agility and efficiency," Jason O'Connor, vice president of analysis and mission solutions with Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, said in a statement. 

Conceptually, Map of the World serves as a visual platform for intelligence operations of almost anything – including people – on Earth. Its significance is difficult to understate given NGA’s push away from static maps and into immersive geospatial intelligence.

Map of the World is NGA’s platform application for all geo-intelligence, multisource content and knowledge, according to former Director Letitia Long. Geospatial intelligence is far from just a phase: NGA’s budget doubled to $5 billion over the last decade.

That such a complex application is now running in the cloud and reaping efficiency increases and increased scalability is a win for the agency as it implements its part of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise strategy.

"This accomplishment demonstrates the power of what can be done by leveraging cloud technologies with mission-driven software,” O’Connor said. “It shows how we can further enhance geospatial capabilities in the intelligence and [Defense Department] community.”

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