Rising Stars

2012 Rising Star Kevin Rosapep: On to new geo-challenges

Rising Star 2013

Kevin Rosapep, an analyst at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, was one of FCW's Rising Stars in 2012. He earned the recognition for developing a way to deliver situational awareness products that help ensure the safety of Foreign Service officers, who often work in austere and remote environments.

His detail to the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security ended in January, but he is continuing to work on providing geospatial intelligence to underserved customers and those in remote locations. "We have finally deployed our dynamic geospatial PDF solution that will greatly aid in this endeavor," Rosapep said.

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In the past few months, Rosapep has been helping the Drug Enforcement Administration use geospatial intelligence. "I've begun working very closely with elements of DEA's tactical deployment teams to augment their mission planning with customized [geospatial intelligence] delivered in geospatial PDF and Google Earth formats," he said. "Their tactical teams are providing the perfect group to deploy and scrutinize ideas to provide disconnected support."

Rosapep said some of the biggest advances being made in geospatial intelligence technology center on data and its manipulation geospatially. "Big data, it's being discovered, has almost universal geospatial components, especially in the hands of the right analysts," he said.

However, Rosapep would like to see more validation of geospatial data before it is incorporated into products or services. "Just because you have terabytes of data for one point on Earth doesn't tell a complete story of that point and very likely can tell a confusing one if those terabytes of data don't all agree," he said.

One of his goals in delivering geospatial intelligence to remote areas is to figure out how customers in those areas can provide data themselves.

"If we can harness some of the data they can provide, it can prove invaluable to some of the problems plaguing our use of big data," Rosapep said. "For instance, if a tactical team is using products I have made for them and take a point of a hospital and the details surrounding it, we then have an up-to-date and ground-truth view of that hospital. I'm working on making this type of collection fit easily into our agency's big-picture plans but also see the value of this unique type of crowdsourced data."

About the Author

Natalie Lauri is an editorial fellow at FCW. Connect with her on Twitter: @Nat_Lauri.

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