Geospatial Intelligence Blog

I am Todd S. Bacastow, a Professor of Practice for Geospatial Intelligence in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. My primary focus is teaching analysts serving with the U.S. Intelligence Community. I maintain an active research program aimed at improving the training and education of the geospatial analyst. Before joining Penn State in 1994, I retired from the United States Army after serving in a variety of infantry, engineer, and geospatial intelligence assignments and positions. I  previously was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Computer Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the US Military Academy. I hold a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy (1974), and a MS (1983) and PhD in Geography (1992) from Penn State University.

This blog addresses Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) and the broad types of problems it can help you solve. I will use the term GEOINT as an abbreviation of geospatial intelligence. GEOINT can be defined by the intersection of the intelligence tradecraft, Geographic Science (GIScience), and Geographic Information Technology (GIT). As a discipline, GEOINT provides decision makers with insights about the ways in which people organize and arrange their activities on Earth’s surface. These insights can prevent surprises, leverage emerging opportunities, counteract threats, or provide time to adapt to a changing situation. GEOINT is not just about defense applications. GEOINT provides decision makers with actionable knowledge in business, humanitarian efforts, and law enforcement. GEOINT is here to stay and, moreover, is exploding largely unnoticed in the business community.