Penn State's GeoVISTA Center awarded NGA research grant

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) recently announced its grant awards for the 2007 NGA University Research Initiative (NURI) program. The objective of the NURI program is to enhance U.S. universities' ability to perform research in geospatial science, mathematics and engineering topics integral to geospatial intelligence and, in conjunction with that research, provide education in related science and engineering areas critical to U.S. national security.

The GeoVISTA Center's proposal, "Geographic Contextualization for Accounts of Movement (GeoCAM)," was awarded about $300,000 for two years, with the potential for three more years of funding. The winning research team includes GeoVISTA Center Director Alan MacEachren, Alexander Klippel of the Geography Department, and Prasenjit Mitra of the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

The GeoCAM project will focus on research in extracting geospatial data and accounts of movement from natural language (free text such as narratives and speech) and integrating the results with other data in geospatial data bases. Current information systems do not adequately support capture and manipulation of geospatial data that is available in free text, and this research will lead to tools that can isolate and extract such data from both writing and speech and translate it into a geographic information system (GIS).

For more information, contact Krista Kahler at

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