Imagery modernization gets boost

Despite the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's $1 billion plan to develop

mapping and digital imagery products for the intelligence community, funding

for NIMA's long-term modernization plan remains "woefully inadequate," according

to a Senate report on the fiscal 2001 intelligence authorization bill.

Although the exact figure remains classified, the Senate Select Committee

on Intelligence recommended several budget increases to boost NIMA's efforts

to modernize the tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED)

of imagery intelligence products. The recommendations were made in a classified

annex to a report on the fiscal 2001 intelligence authorization bill, released

last week.

NIMA grew out of the merger of the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central

Imagery Office, the National Photographic Interpretation Center and imagery

support offices within the CIA, the Defense Information Agency and the National

Reconnaissance Office.

The Senate plan would increase funding for the first phase of NIMA's

multibillion-dollar modernization plan.

Phase 1 of TPED covers modernization efforts from fiscal 2001 through

2005, particularly the development of an enhanced imagery system, a future

imagery archive, airborne system upgrades and infrastructure "hooks" into

the world of commercial imagery.

The second and third phases, which cover imagery and architecture integration,

respectively, are scheduled for completion between 2007 and 2009.

The committee also said funding proposed by the Clinton administration

for Phase 1 of TPED modernization is 25 percent of what is required to fund

the most important modernization efforts alone.


"NIMA charts new course" [Federal Computer Week, May 1, 2000]

"NIMA plans massive outsourcing project" [, April 26, 2000]

"Ready to map the world" [, Feb. 14, 2000]

"Commercial imagery prompts NIMA doubts" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 18,1999]

National Imagery and Mapping Agency

BY Dan Verton
May 15, 2000

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