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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Pathfinder

The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) created Pathfinder analytical software as a user-friendly, developmental program. It provides analysts with automated tools and methods to process, analyze, and integrate information drawn from any U.S. Government, commercial, or public domain database. Pathfinder enables its users to drastically reduce the time spent on projects (in many cases, from months to days or days to hours) by exploiting significantly larger amounts of information than was possible before. Users are able to sort, arrange, compare, retrieve, and visualize the contents of thousands of documents at a time.

The program's UNIX-based environment provides multiuser, windowing, and graphics capabilities that allow simultaneous use of multiple tools. Its large disk space and high processing speed increase analyst efficiency. The Pathfinder software also provides administrative tools to manipulate, edit, delete, and share databases. This encourages analysts to work as a team, to share relevant data among team members, to rapidly assimilate new information, and to quickly identify data important to the analysis problem.

Before this technology was available, such analysis of thousands of disparate pieces of multisource information would have been done manually, unable to keep pace with rapidly changing situations, and would not have provided the desired results to decisionmakers in time. Moreover, the comparative analysis would have been next to impossible without this software innovation because of the serious limitations in the human brain's ability to assimilate large amounts of information at one time.

The NGIC PATHFINDER Program Management Office (PMO), located at Charlottesville, VA, is responsible for delivery and maintenance of the NGIC PATHFINDER migration system to the DoDIIS Community.

Sources and Methods



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http://www.fas.org/irp/program/process/pathfinder.htm
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Wednesday, January 26, 2000 3:37:29 PM