As Kenyans marked one year after the west gate attack, some months ago,I thought it would be wise to share with Kenyans on Geospatial intelligence and its relevance to the Kenyan situation. Geospatial intelligence commonly referred to as GSI (Geospatial Intelligence) or GeoIntel (Geospatial Intelligence), is a discipline which deals with the exploitation and analysis of geospatial data and information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features (both natural and constructed) and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.
A more enhanced definition is the intelligence about the human activity on earth derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses, and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. It's the process of 'obtaining information about an enemy with geographical location linked to the information.'
Some of the data sources of GEOINT include imagery and mapping data, collected by either aircraft (such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV], commercial satellite, government satellite or reconnaissance aircraft), or by other means such as maps and commercial databases, census information, GPS waypoints, utility schematics, or any discrete data that have location.
The situation in Kenya Since 2011 up to date there have been a significant number of terror attacks on Kenyan soil with the Westgate mall attack and Lamu Mpeketoni as one of the most recalled by majority of Kenyans. Most people would attribute this to the Al- Shabaab who had vowed to retaliate against the Kenyan authorities upon the implementation of the operation Linda nchi.
Very few people in the world know of the little-known agency that helped kill Bin Laden. The US National Geospatial Agency mapped Bin Laden's compound, analyzed drone data, and helped the SEALs simulate their mission. IN this day and age data has been referred as the new 'soil', therefore data collection is useless if the data is not processed to give the its true understanding and meaning. This facilitates the acting to the wisdom generated from the data in the right time to heavily impact on performance.
Kenya has been seen to lack accurate intelligence which has been fatal for security forces personnel especially those involved in anti-terrorist operations as seen in the past terror attacks. Security authorities in Kenya should realize that, "You can't fight tomorrow's war with yesterday's tools". Security authorities should heavily invest in infrastructure which uses geospatial information as a critical foundation in solving issues in areas such as defense and homeland security, emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, and border security operations.
Improving coordination and integration among stakeholder intelligence activities to promote a national, unified security intelligence approach while championing that approach to the larger intelligence and government communities is the most important factor.
In conclusion Geo intelligence is such a powerful tool in realizing a secure Kenya and further attacks on Kenyan soil can be predicted and avoided using GEOINT therefore its up to the Government of Kenya through the department of defense and in collaboration with Geospatial engineering and space technology professionals to implement and grow a sustainable GEOINT.
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