Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Report of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency
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Foreword
Executive Summary and Key Judgments
Introduction
NIMA from the Beginning
NIMA in Context
Two-and-a-Half Roles for NIMA
The Promise of NIMA
NIMA and Its Stakeholders
NIMA and Its "Customers"
Is There a "National vs Tactical" Problem
NIMA and Its Peers and Partners
NIMA and Its Suppliers
NIMA Management Challenges
NIMA's Information Systems
NIMA Research and Development
NIMA and Its Information Architecture
Recommendations
Appendix A
Appendix B
Glossary of Terms
 


18. Gossary of Terms

ACTD

Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration: a defense program whose projects are developed to engineer emerging technologies and move them to the field.

AOR

Area of responsibility: the responsibility of a regional CINC.

API

Application portability interface: a piece of software, usually embedded in an operating system, which translates software code into a request for service.

Application

The use of capabilities (services and facilities) provided by an information system specific to the satisfaction of a set of user requirements. [P1003.0/D15]

Application Platform

The collection of hardware and software components that provide the services used by support and mission-specific software applications.

Application Portability Profile (APP)

The structure that integrates federal, national, international, and other specifications to provide the functionality necessary to accommodate the broad range of federal information technology requirements. [APP]

Application Program Interface (API)

(1) The interface, or set of functions, between the application software and the application platform. [APP] (2) The means by which an application designer enters and retrieves information.

Architectural Structure

Provides the conceptual foundation of the basic architectural design concepts, the layers of the technical architecture, the services provided at each layer, the relationships between the layers, and the rules for how the layers are interconnected.

Architecture

Architecture has various meanings depending upon its contextual usage. (1) The structure of components, their interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. [IEEE STD 610.12] (2) Organizational structure of a system or component.[IEEE STD 610.12]

The Department of Defense, in its own wisdom, defines three levels of architecture, Operational Architecture, Technical Architecture, and Systems Architecture.

Architecture Target

Depicts the configuration of the target open information system. [DoD 8020.1-M]

Architecture, Database

The logical view of the data models, data standards, and data structure. It includes a definition of the physical databases for the information system, their performance requirements, and their geographical distribution. [DoD 8020.1-M, Appendix J]

Architecture, Infrastructure

Identifies the top-level design of communications, processing, and operating system software. It describes the performance characteristics needed to meet database and application requirements. It provides a geographic distribution of components to locations. The service provider for these capabilities defines the infrastructure architecture. It includes processors, operating systems, service software, and standards profiles that include network diagrams showing communication links with bandwidth, processor locations, and capacities to include hardware builds versus schedule and costs. [DoD 8020.1-M, Appendix J, specifically paragraph 5(14)(c), Table J-2]

Architecture:
Baseline and Target

Defined and are significant parts of the technical management planning information (previously the technical management plan [TMP]). [DoD 8020.1-M with Change 1]

Automated Information System (AIS)

Computer hardware, computer software, telecommunications, information technology, personnel, and other resources that collect, record, process, store, communicate, retrieve, and display information. An AIS can include computer software only, computer hardware only, or a combination of the above. [DoDD 8000.1]

Availability

The probability that system functional capabilities are ready for use by a user at any time, where all time is considered, including operations, repair, administration, and logistic time. Availability is further defined by system category for both routine and priority operations. [JOPES ROC]

Baseline

A specification or product that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for further development and that can be changed only through formal change control procedures or a type of procedure such as configuration management. [IEEE STD 610.12]

C4ISR

Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance: DoD's operational information systems considered together.

CAD

Computer-aided design.

CAT

Computer-aided topography: a medical imaging technique.

CIA

Central Intelligence Agency: the lead agency of the intelligence community responsible for analysis and HUMINT.

CIB

Controlled image base: NIMA's consolidated imagery of the world accurate to five meters.

CINC

Commander in Chief: a US general (or admiral) responsible for military operations over a specified area of operations.

CMO

Central MASINT Office: a DoD agency dealing with MASINT.

Communications Link

The cables, wires, or paths that the electrical, optical, or radio wave signals traverse. [TA]

Communications Network

A set of products, concepts, and services that enable the connection of computer systems for the purpose of transmitting data and other forms (e.g., voice and video) between the systems.

Communications Node

A node that is either internal to the communications network (e.g., routers, bridges, or repeaters) or located between the end device and the communications network to operate as a gateway. [TA]

Communications Services

A service of the Support Application entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that provides the capability to compose, edit, send, receive, forward, and manage electronic and voice messages and real-time information exchange services in support of interpersonal conferencing. [TA]

Communications System

A set of assets (transmission media, switching nodes, interfaces, and control devices) that will establish linkage between users and devices.

Configuration Management

A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to (a) identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item, (b) control changes to those characteristics and (c) record and report changes to processing and implementation status. [MIL-STD 973]

Connectivity Service

A service area of the External Environment entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides end-to-end connectivity for communications through three transport levels (global, regional, and local). It provides general and applications-specific services to platform end devices. [TA]

COP

Common Operational Picture: a software application that shows where military units are stationed or military activity is taking place

pCOTS

Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS)-Refers to an item of hardware or software produced by a commercial enterprise, available for general purchase, and sold in the marketplace to a variety of customers. Such items are at the unit level or higher. Such items must have been sold and delivered to government or commercial customers must have passed customer's acceptance testing, be operating under customer's control, and within the user environment. Further, such items must have meaningful reliability, maintainability, and logistics historical data. COTS has also been defined as "products that ship in volume."

DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: a two billion dollar defense agency in charge of high-risk R&D.

Data Dictionary

A specialized type of database containing metadata, which is managed by a data dictionary system; a repository of information describing the characteristics of data used to design, monitor, document, protect, and control data in information systems and databases; an application of data dictionary systems. [DoDD 8320.1]

Data Element

A basic unit of information having a meaning and that may have subcategories (data items) of distinct units and values. [DoDD 8320.1]

Data Interchange Service

A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides specialized support for the interchange of data between applications on the same or different platforms. [TA]

Data Management Service

A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides support for the management, storage, access, and manipulation of data in a database. [TA]

Database Utility Service

A Service of the Support Application Entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides the capability to retrieve, organize, and manipulate data extracted from a database. [TA]

DIA

Defense Intelligence Agency: a defense agency in charge of assessing foreign militaries.

Directory Service

A service of the External Environment entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides locator services that are restricted to finding the location of a service, location of data, or translation of a common name into a network specific address. It is analogous to telephone books and supports distributed directory implementations. [TA]

Distributed Database

(1) A database that is not stored in a central location but is dispersed over a network of interconnected computers. (2) A database under the overall control of a central database management system but whose storage devices are not all attached to the same processor. (3) A database that is physically located in two or more distinct locations. [FIPS PUB 11-3]

EIS

Enhanced Imagery System: a future but interim constellation of imaging satellites expected to precede FIA.

Enterprise

The highest level in an organization--includes all missions and functions. [TA]

Enterprise Model

A high level model of an organization's mission, function, and information architecture. The model consists of a function model and a data model.

EO

electro-optical: a family of imaging sensors that collect imagery in or just beyond the visible spectrum.

EPO

Extraordinary Program Office: a procurement office that enjoys great flexibility in manpower, budgeting, and reporting practices.

External Environment Interface (EEI)

The interface that supports information transfer between the application platform and the external environment. [APP]

FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency: a US agency responsible for disaster relief.

FFD

Feature Foundation Data: NIMA's 1:250000 series base maps

FIA

Future Imagery Architecture: the next complete constellation of imaging satellites distinguished by their greater numbers and larger pictures.

Function

Appropriate or assigned duties, responsibilities, missions, tasks, powers, or duties of an individual, office, or organization. A functional area is generally the responsibility of a PSA (e.g., personnel) and can be composed of one or more functional activities (e.g., recruiting), each of which consists of one or more functional processes (e.g., interviews). [Joint Pub 1-02, DoDD 8000.1, and DoD 8020-1M]

Functional Activity Program Manager (FAPM)

FAPMs are designated by PSAs and are accountable for executing the functional management process. Supported by functional representatives from the DoD Components, FAPMs develop functional architectures and strategic plans, and establish the process, data, and information system baselines to support functional activities within the functional area. [DoD 8020.1-M Ch 1 B(2)]

Functional Architecture

The framework for developing applications and defining their interrelationships in support of an organization's information architecture. It identifies the major functions or processes an organization performs and their operational interrelationships. [DoD 5000.11-M]

Functional Area

A range of subject matter grouped under a single heading because of its similarity in use or genesis. [DoDD 8320.1]

Functional Data Administrator (FDA)

Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) PSAs exercise or designate functional data administrators to perform data administrator responsibilities to support execution of the functional management process, and to function within the scope of their overall assigned responsibilities. [DoDD 8320.1 and DoD 8020.1-M, Appendix A]

Functional Economic Analysis (FEA)

A structured proposal that serves as the principal part of a decision package for enterprise (individual, office, organization -see function) leadership. It includes an analysis of functional process needs or problems; proposed solutions, assumptions, and constraints; alternatives; life-cycle costs; benefits and/or cost analysis; and investment risk analysis. It is consistent with, and amplifies, existing DoD economic analysis policy. [DoDI 7041.3, DoDD 8000.1, and DoD 8020.1-M, Appendix H]

GA

Geospatial analyst: a professional capable of extracting meaning from geospatial data.

GIG

Global Information Grid: a DoD concept under which its information systems would be bound in a common network and have access to common information services.

GIS

Geospatial information system: a complete information system, which primarily holds cartographic, imagery, and related intelligence data.

GPS

Global Positioning System: a satellite constellation that permits receivers to locate themselves accurately to within a few meters

Hardware

(1) Physical equipment, as opposed to programs, procedures, rules, and associated documentation. (2) Contrast with software. [FIPS PUB 11-3]

HSI

Hyperspectral imaging: an imaging system that slices the visible (and nearby) spectrum into very small slices to bring out differences in reflectivity otherwise too subtle to see in a normal image.

HUMINT

Human intelligence (e.g., informants, attaches, spies).

IA

Image analyst: a professional capable of extracting information from images using photo interpretation and other skills.

IMINT

Image intelligence.

Information

Any communication or representation of knowledge such as facts, data, or opinions, in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audiovisual forms. [OMB CIRC A-130]

Information Domain

A set of commonly and unambiguously labeled information objects with a common security policy that defines the protections to be afforded the objects by authorized users and information management systems. [DISSP]

Information Management (IM)

The creation, use, sharing, and disposition of information as a resource critical to the effective and efficient operation of functional activities. The structuring of functional processes to produce and control the use of data and information within functional activities, information systems, and computing and communications infrastructures. [DoDD 8000.1]

Information Resources Management (IRM)

The planning, budgeting, organizing, directing, training, promoting, controlling, and management activities associated with the burden (cost), collection, creation, use, and dissemination of information by Agencies and includes the management of information and related resources, such as Federal information processing (FIP) resources. [PL No 99-591, DoDD 8000.1.]

Information Technology (IT)

The technology included in hardware and software used for Government information, regardless of the technology involved, whether computers, communications, micro graphics, or others. [OMB Circular A-130 and DoDD 8000.1.]

Infrastructure

Infrastructure is used with different contextual meanings. Infrastructure most generally relates to and has a hardware orientation but note that it is frequently more comprehensive and includes software and communications. Collectively, the structure must meet the performance requirements of and capacity for data and application requirements. Again note that just citing standards for designing an architecture or infrastructure does not include functional and mission area requirements for performance. Performance requirement metrics must be an inherent part of an overall infrastructure to provide performance interoperability and compatibility. It identifies the top-level design of communications, processing, and operating system software. It describes the performance characteristics needed to meet database and application requirements. It provides a geographic distribution of components to locations. The service provider for these capabilities defines the infrastructure architecture. It includes processors, operating systems, service software, and standards profiles that include network diagrams showing communication links with bandwidth, processor locations, and capacities to include hardware builds versus schedule and costs. [DoD 8020.1-M]

INT

Intelligence: all forms of information collected on an adversary or other operationally relevant target.

Integration

Integration is the result of an effort that joins two or more similar products such as individual system elements, components, modules, processes, databases, or other entities, and produces a new product that functions, as a replacement for the two or more similar but less capable entities (products), in a framework or architecture in a seamless manner. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standard (STD) 610.12 defines an "integration architecture" as a framework for combining software components, hardware components, or both into an overall system. [IEEE STD 610.12]

Interoperability

(1) The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange and use information. [IEEE STD 610.12]. (2) The ability of the systems, units, or forces to provide and receive services from other systems, units, or forces, and to use the services so interchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. The conditions achieved among communications-electronics systems or items of communications-electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users. [Joint Pub 1-02, DoD/NATO] [JOPES ROC]

IR

Infrared

Legacy Environments

Legacy environments could be called legacy architectures or infrastructures and as a minimum consist of a hardware platform and an operating system. Legacy environments are identified for phase-out, upgrade, or replacement. All data and applications software that operate in a legacy environment must be categorized for phase-out, upgrade, or replacement.

Legacy Systems

Systems that are candidates for phase-out, upgrade, or replacement. Generally legacy systems are in this category because they do not comply with data standards or other standards. Legacy system workloads must be converted, transitioned, or phased out (eliminated). Such systems may or may not operate in a legacy environment.

Life Cycle

The period of time that begins when a system is conceived and ends when the system is no longer available for use. [IEEE STD 610.12] AIS life cycle is defined within the context of life-cycle management in various DoD publications. It generally refers to the usable system life.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A data network, located on a user's premises, within a limited geographic region. Communication within a local area network is not subject to external regulation; however, communication across the network boundary may be subject to some form of regulation. [FIPS PUB 11-3]

MASINT

Measurement and signatures intelligence: a catchall term for all sensor information that does not resolve itself into a recognizable image.

Migration Systems

An existing or a planned and approved AIS officially designated to support common processes for a functional activity applicable to use DoD-wide or DoD Component-wide. Systems in this category, though fully deployed and operational, have been determined to accommodate a continuing and foreseeable future requirement and have been identified for transitioning to a new environment or infrastructure. A migration system may need to transition to the standard technical environment and standard data definitions being established through the Defense IM Program, and must "migrate" toward that standard. In that process it must become compliant with the Reference Model and the Standards Profile. A system in this category may require detailed analysis that involves a total redesign, reprogramming, testing, and implementation because of a new environment and how the "users" have changed their work methods and processes. A detailed analysis may identify the difference between the "as is" and the "to be" system. [DoD 8020.1-M.]

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging: a medical imaging technique.

MSI

Multi-spectral imaging: the color information in an EO image.

Multimedia Service

A service of the TRM that provides the capability to manipulate and manage information products consisting of text, graphics, images, video, and audio. [TA]

NIMA

National Imagery and Mapping Agency: a combat support and intelligence agency responsible for cartography as well as geospatial and image analysis.

NOAA

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: a civilian agency tasked with weather forecasting and conducting or supporting research on the air and oceans.

NRO

National Reconnaissance Office: a DoD agency responsible for designing and engineering reconnaissance and surveillance satellites.

NSA

National Security Agency: a DoD agency responsible for collecting signals intelligence.

NTM

Literally, "National technical means," a euphemism coined for treaty negotiations to avoid mentioning, inter alia, imagery reconnaissance satellites. It is often used, now, to distinguish imagery satellites flown by the USG from commercial imagery satellites.

OGC

Open GIS Consortium: a six hundred member consortium that develops and fosters geospatial information standards.

Open Specifications

Public specifications that are maintained by an open, public consensus process to accommodate new technologies over time and that are consistent with international standards. [P1003.0/D15]

Open System

A system that implements sufficient open specifications for interfaces, services, and supporting formats to enable properly engineered applications software: (a) to be ported with minimal changes across a wide range of systems, (b) to interoperate with other applications on local and remote systems, and (c) to interact with users in a style that facilitates user portability. [P1003.0/D15]

Open Systems Environment (OSE)

The comprehensive set of interfaces, services, and supporting formats, plus user aspects for interoperability or for portability of applications, data, or people, as specified by information technology standards and profiles. [P1003.0/D15]

Operating System Service

A core service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that is needed to operate and administer the application platform and provide an interface between the application software and the platform (e.g., file management, input/output, print spoolers). [TA]

Operational Architecture

The Operational Architecture embodies the concept of operations (CONOPS). It identifies the operational relationships and information needs.

Platform

The entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides common processing and communication services that are provided by a combination of hardware and software and are required by users, mission area applications, and support applications. [TA]

Portability

(1) The ease with which a system or component can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another. [IEEE STD 610.12] (2) A quality metric that can be used to measure the relative effort to transport the software for use in another environment or to convert software for use in another operating environment, hardware configuration, or software system environment. [IEEE TUTOR] (3) The ease with which a system, component, data, or user can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another. [TA]

Process Model

Provides a framework for identifying, defining, and organizing the functional strategies, functional rules, and processes needed to manage and support the way an organization does or wants to do business--provides a graphical and textual framework for organizing the data and processes into manageable groups to facilitate their shared use and control throughout the organization. [DoD 5000.11-M]

Profile

A set of one or more base standards, and, where applicable, the identification of those classes, subsets, options, and parameters of those base standards, necessary for accomplishing a particular function. [P1003.0/D15]

Profiling

Selecting standards for a particular application. [P1003.0/D15]

Response Time

The ability to react to requests within established time criteria. To be operationally effective, the system must product the desired output in a timely manner based on system category for routine or priority operations. [JOPES ROC]

RFC

Request for comment: an Internet standard.

Scalability

The ability to use the same application software on many different classes of hardware/software platforms from personal computers to super computers (extends the portability concept). [USAICII] The capability to grow to accommodate increased work loads.

Seamless Interface

Ability of facilities to call one another or exchange data with one another in a direct manner. Integration of the user interface that allows a user to access one facility through another without any noticeable change in user interface conventions. [DSAC SYS IM]

SIPRNet

Secure Internet Protocol Router Network: DoD's Internet system for classified content.

SOAP

Simple Object Access Protocol: a proposed standard by which serialized XML-tagged material can be ingested into external programs.

SQL

Structured Query Language: a standard language used to formulate queries posed to databases.

SRTM

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission: a recent shuttle mission (November 1999), which measured global elevations to high levels of precision.

Stovepipe System

A system, often dedicated or proprietary, that operates independently of other systems. The stovepipe system often has unique, non-standard characteristics.

System

People, machines, and methods organized to accomplish a set of specific functions. [FIPS PUB 11-3]

System Management Service

A service of the Platform entity of the TRM that provides for the administration of the overall information system. These services include the management of information, processors, networks, configurations, accounting, and performance. [TA]

Systems Architecture

The Systems Architecture relates capabilities and characteristics to operational needs.

TCP/IP

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: the key transport and addressing protocol for the Internet.

Technical Architecture

The Technical Architecture specifies a set of performance-based, primarily commercial, information process, transfer, content, format, and security standards. These standards specify the logical interfaces in command, control, and intelligence systems and the communications and computers (C4I) that directly support them. The technical architecture is a practical document, that identifies standards where products are available today. It is entirely consistent with and supportive of DoD's Specification and Standards Reform.

Technical Reference Model
(TRM)

The document that identifies a target framework and profile of standards for the DoD computing and communications infrastructure. [TRM]

TEL

Truck, erector, and launcher: a vehicle from which missiles such as SCUDs are launched.

TIN

Triangulated irregular networks: a way to approximate an irregular surface by elevation points that are clustered in areas with inflection points or rough surfaces.

TPED

Tasking, processing, exploitation, and dissemination: a series of steps that, collectively, constitute NIMA's role in the process of imagery analysis (collection is outside NIMA's charter). TPED is made up of the functional allocation of ground segment tasks to support (imagery) collection/acquisition whether via satellite, aircraft, or commercial purchase.

UAV

Unmanned aerial vehicle: an airplane-like air breathing vehicle that is remotely flown and, to date, mostly used for taking pictures or video.

User

(1) Any person, organization, or functional unit that uses the services of an information processing system. (2) In a conceptual schema language, any person or any thing that may issue or receive commands and messages to or from the information system. [FIPS PUB 11-3]

User Interface Service

A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that supports direct human-machine interaction by controlling the environment in which users interact with applications. [TA]

USGS

US Geological Service: the US agency responsible for land cartography and conducting or supporting research on the US landmass.

USI

Ultraspectral imagery: a more concentrated form of HIS.

USIGS

US Imagery and Geospatial Service: a NIMA umbrella term for its overall information system.

VMAP

Vector Map: a designation for a certain class of NIMA maps. VMAP.0 is a globally complete series of 1:1000000 maps.

VPF

Vector Product Format: the format by which the digital information of VMAP is encoded.

VPN

Virtual Private Network.

WAP

Wireless access protocol: a proposed standard by which Web pages can be received by and displayed upon small screen devices such as cell phones.

WGS

World Geodetic System: the standard by which points on earth are measured in real space (the current standard is WGS-84).

XQL

XML (extensible hypertext markup language) query language: a proposed language by which queries can be made against material marked up by the tags specified in the XML standard.


Foreword | Executive Summary and Key Judgments | Introduction | NIMA from the Beginning
NIMA in Context | Two-and-a-Half Roles for NIMA | The Promise of NIMA
NIMA and Its Stakeholders | NIMA and Its "Customers" | Is There a "National vs Tactical" Problem?
NIMA and Its Peers and Partners | NIMA and Its Suppliers | NIMA Management Challenges
NIMA's Information Systems | NIMA Research and Development
NIMA and Its Information Architecture | Recommendations | Appendix A
Appendix B | Glossary of Terms

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