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NGA Continues To Engage With Open Source Community Via GitHub


geoeventsWe previously wrote about NGA on GitHub here and have also provided a few tutorials on GitHub and what enterprise professionals should know about it here. With this post I would like to provide an update on what NGA is up to now in this area.

The main GitHub page for NGA is at: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  At the time of this writing there are four projects with repositories there. They are:


  • geoevents: The GeoEvents project is a dynamic and customizable open source web presence that provides a common operational picture to consolidate activities, manage content, and provides a single point of discovery. GeoEvents was used by deployers and first responders in over 100 real-world events.
  • Geoevents-chef-installer: A set of Chef recipes (think of them as macros to automatically build a running Virtual Machine) that will work to set the geoevents app up on either a local Virtualbox VM or onto an Amazon Web Service VM.
  • geoq: a Django web application to collect geospatial features and manage feature collection among groups of users
  • geoq-chef-installer: Chef recipes and configuration files to install the ‘geoq’ app onto a Virtual Machine


GitHub is more than just a repository of code. It enables smart change management and version control. It is also designed for social codeing, helping developers collaborate around projects. Based on the info from the page and the dialog in discussion forums it looks like NGA has started a very broad dialog in the geographic information community.  Developers, architects, engineers and computer scientists with ideas are exchanging them here with the result being better shared situational awareness for the development community. This will also result in better situational awareness for the many customers of NGA.

Here is more on Geo-Events:

Geographic Event tracking and data management system

Geo-Events is a geographic-oriented knowledge management platform that gives users a common operational picture for tracking events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc. The tasking elements of GeoQ work well with the organizational functionality of Geo-Events.

The Geo-Events software was developed at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as a joint effort between NGA and The MITRE Corporation. The government has “unlimited rights” and is releasing this software into the public domain to increase the impact of government investments by providing developers with the opportunity to take things in new directions. You can copy, modify, combine with other software, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. NGA assumes no responsibility for the use of the software by any parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about the software quality, reliability, or any other characteristic. We would appreciate acknowledgement if the software is used. However, the following suggested derivative or modified statement is optional: “Elements of this work contain Geo-Events: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and The MITRE Corporation jointly produced this work.”

Pull requests

If you’d like to contribute to this project, please make a pull request. We’ll review the pull request and discuss the changes. By submitting a pull request you are dedicating your work to the public domain. You are free to fork or download this project and add unique elements with other stipulations in another repository, platform, or private development space, but this living version shall remain free of restrictions within the public domain.

Software source code previously released under an open source license and then modified by NGA staff is considered a “joint work” (see 17 USC § 101); it is partially copyrighted, partially public domain, and as a whole is protected by the copyrights of the non-government authors and must be released according to the terms of the original open source license.

In the News

NGA Director Letitia Long talks about NGA’s GitHub initiative and our first offerings, GeoQ and Geo-Events, at the GEOINT Symposium. Her comments start at 40 minutes and 40 seconds in the video clip.


To see more about what is up, visit:



Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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