Intelligence

NGA makes disaster-response app public

Ben Tuttle NGA 

NGA's mobile apps team lead Ben Tuttle. 

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has put out a mobile application that helps with natural-disaster relief.   Publicly available on iTunes and Google Play, the app is NGA's latest move to contribute to an open-source geospatial community shaped by the private sector. The agency has previously made public an app that tracks threats to ships and one that allows offline access to content.

The Mobile Awareness GEOINT Environment (MAGE) app lets users create geo-located, multimedia field reports and share them with others, according to NGA. The app stores geospatial data layers on mobile devices, so that those layers are available offline. The app helped security personnel at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the agency said.

"MAGE allows teams across multiple agencies that normally can't communicate in real time during security events to quickly and easily start sharing geospatial information," Ben Tuttle, NGA's mobile apps team lead, said in a statement.

"NGA is releasing this application to the general public to increase the impact of government investments in unclassified mobile initiatives," the agency said in a news release.

NGA has put its tech to use in responding to natural disasters in recent years. After Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, the agency set up a working unit that used data from commercial satellites and airborne platforms to aid in the international response.

The source code for MAGE is on GitHub

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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