Doing Business With National Imagery and Mapping Agency

General info on NIMA<@VM>The CIO file: Scott Cragg

Contracts to watch

NIMA Global Geospatial Intelligence

Value: $750 million over 10 years.

Winners: Awarded in January to BAE Systems plc, Autometric Inc, Harris Corp., Science Applications International Corp., Techni Graphic Systems Inc., and 3001 Inc.

Purpose: The agency is using this contract to acquire geospatial and imagery intelligence services and/or supplies including support of national security and national emergency production operations.

Novel Intelligence from Massive Data R&D Program

Value: $64 million over three and a half years

Winners: Awarded in September 2002 to Altarum Institute, BiosGroup Inc, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Carnegie Mellon University, Cycorp Inc., Global Infotek Inc., Language Computer Corp., Least Squares Software LLC, Oculus Info Inc., Palo Alto Research Center Inc., Stanford University, University of Massachusetts, and Veridian Inc.

Purpose: Conduct research and development for gathering intelligence from massive data.

Source: Input

Things to note

Doing business with NIMA begins with the "Business Opportunities" link listed on the homepage (,2272,3104_11953,00.html). Information is listed here about forthcoming contacts. Dig a little deeper by clicking on "Related Links," and you will find information for small businesses and a link to AcqNet (, a source for acquisition information.

The agency does a good job organizing a lot of information. For instance, the GEOnet Names Server ( is a database of the names of foreign places and geographic features as decided by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. There are links to all kinds of imagery, maps, information and more that is clear and put together well.

Maps, publications and digital products are for sale to the public through the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Information Services in Denver. Declassified satellite imagery is available through the USGS EROS Data Center or the National Archives. Aeronautical charts and publications and nautical charts are for sale through the Federal Aviation Administration Distribution Division in Riverdale, Md. Contact information for all of these is at,2311,3104_11959_114346,00.html.

4600 Sangamore Road

Bethesda, MD 20816-5003

(301) 227-7300

Founded: Oct. 1, 1996

Director: James Clapper

What it does: NIMA is in the business of what is called geospatial intelligence: the analysis of cartography, imagery and geodetic information to assess and depict physical features and geographic activities on Earth. The agency provides maps and imagery as well as analytic services and solutions for national security, combat support and the needs of federal policymakers and agencies. NIMA is the combination of the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Office and the Defense Dissemination Program Office, as well as the functions of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center. NIMA also includes the imagery exploitation, dissemination and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

Number crunching: The budget is classified. The fiscal 2004 budget request for the Defense Department, under the heading "Intelligence and Space," calls for NIMA to expand its use of commercial space-based imagery for, among other things, improving "military planning, damage assessment, public diplomacy and humanitarian assistance" to meet the demand for unclassified imagery. It cites as an example that in October 2002, the United States used commercially obtained satellite photos to show Iraq's efforts to hide evidence of weapons of mass destruction. "By using commercial imagery, DoD could disseminate this evidence widely without security concerns," it said.Full title:
Chief information officer

Took the job: April 2001

Hometown: Born in Hawaii, essentially grew up in the northeast. Considers Massachusetts home.

Home now Fairfax County, Va.

Family: Wife, two children

Hobbies Avid golfer, tends to find himself "fixing everything." Very involved with kids youth sports; coaches football and lacrosse, and referees lacrosse at youth and high school level in Fairfax County.

Currently reading: "Leadership Lessons from the Civil War: Winning Strategies for Today's Managers" by Tom Wheeler

Alma mater: Bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Boston University, master's in engineering administration from George Washington University. Also has been through defense acquisition curriculums and is a Defense Department-certified program manager and business engineer.

WT: What are the main technology needs of your agency? How are they unique?

Cragg: By and large our technology needs are no different. Our mission is peculiar, but technology is essentially technology. We make use of the full gamut of services across the spectrum. We operate a desktop environment.

The technologies that we're looking at very seriously engage us in our efforts to collaborate across our community and with other partners. We share a tremendous amount of data and information, and we're trying at all times to optimize how effectively we can do that.

Some people consider this loosely in the area of knowledge management. I see it as much more than that, because we are trying to grow and increase understanding of our mission environment, so any technology that can assist us in the collaborative respects is very helpful.

Certainly there is a mission side, and that really is part of the intelligence end of our business, and that's a whole other realm. You understand that there are security issues there. But aside from that, that is the only peculiar piece. Technology for us is the same technology that everyone is looking for, we do buy a lot of things off the shelf. Yes, we do adapt them, but the collaborative technologies are very important to us.

WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?

Cragg: White House mandates and our internal drive to transform the way we do business pushes us to be very, very innovative. So we're looking for companies that are seeking the same thing. We talk about collaboration and knowledge expansion, sure. But groundbreaking efforts that can bring ideas on how to tackle challenges are important to us; the tried-and-true technologies that are out there today, such as what we operate in the desktop environment. Transformation is what we do, and it's a drive that each one of us have taken on at NIMA, to transform and improve the way we do things. We're also extremely interested in innovative technologies and ideas to which NIMA has organized itself to put emphasis in those areas. We have an office here called the Innovations Directorate that aggressively seeks those types of innovative and groundbreaking technologies. It's working very hard to push the edges.

For more with Scott Cragg go to and type 111 into the Quickfind box.

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