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NGA, SLU And The 21st-Century Geospatial Ecosystem

(April 10, 2019) David Berczeck (at left) and Ken Olliff discussed the future of the geospatial ecosystem in the St. Louis region on Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has plans to break ground on a $1.75 billion complex in north St. Louis this year. But this growing industry has implications for realms outside of national security, too – from satellites and GPS to food and water security.

David Berczek, chief of the NGA Office of Corporate Communications West, and Ken Olliff, vice president for research at Saint Louis University, joined Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss the future of the geospatial ecosystem in our region.

They started off the conversation by defining what they mean by the term "geospatial."

Berczek said it describes “activities or events that are occurring some place in space and time.” By using latitude and longitude coordinates, the NGA is able to create imagery-derived intelligence that’s then provided to soldiers, policymakers and first responders, “so that we can go ahead and further national security interest,” he added.

Olliff explained that SLU and the NGA have partnered in a collaborative research and development agreement where SLU’s scientists work with scientists at the NGA around topics of common interest.

“I think you can't underestimate the importance of the the geospatial community that has evolved here in St. Louis,” Olliff said.

Listen to the full discussion:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. “St. Louis on the Air” producers Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan andJon Lewis give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.