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AUVSI "Making the Most of Big Data" Panel


Last week I was fortunate to participate in the “Making the Most of Big Data” Panel, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Conference at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The panel consisted of industry experts on the technical execution, scientific, legal, and policy aspects of Geospatial Big Data, and was held before an audience of approximately 120 attendees.

I was able to speak about the future of Geospatial Big Data, including forward looking technological and cultural considerations. One topic of interest  to the audience was the “Passive Analytics” concept under research by Exelis VIS, and it’s applications to geospatial big data. The concept behind Passive Analytics is the idea that often times, geospatial data is collected with a specific purpose in mind, and that this purpose is reflected in the “telemetry” or “metadata” associated with the collect. By carefully examining the details and trends present in this metadata, it is possible to determine (to some reasonable degree of accuracy) the ways in which a user may want to exploit that data. 

For instance, consider a UAS platform carrying an FMV sensor and orbiting an areaof interest. The fact that the platform has performed an orbit, and kept the sensor steady on a specific area throughout the orbit, can be detected within the metadata. This can serve to identify to a system that this area is important, and queue the system to take some action, such as computing a 3D model from the source FMV. This 3D model may be a more effective product for exploitation by the end user.   

The monitoring of the incoming data, and the execution of processing when entry criteria are met, can be handled by the big data processing center without user input (passively, thus Passive Analytics). The result is a refined or enhanced product, available on-demand when the user searches the big data system.  The Passive Analytics frameworks, and related products, such as ENVI Services Engine (ESE), and Jagwire, are just some of the technologies Exelis VIS brings to the evolving world of geospatial big data.  

Speaking at the panel was a great experience; it’s exciting to see the new realm of possibilities opening up as Geospatial Big Data makes its way to the forefront of the Geospatial and Analytics communities.  My sincere thanks go to my fellow panelists, and the great team at AUVSI for the wonderful experience. I look forward to participating again next year, and seeing just how far Geospatial Big Data has grown.