The NATO Geospatial Policy envisages the capability to "Operate off the same map to ensure mission success" recognizing that Geospatial Information is the foundation for any operational picture, as exemplified by the traditional situation map Consequently, the ability to digitally combine geospatial with additional geo-located information is fundamental to modern systems.
Currently the main processes of Geospatial Information (GI) do not work in an optimal way as the NATO GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Architecture and Implementation Plan states; achieving the required sharing is a difficult and laborious process that could put NATO readiness at risk. One of the main challenges to be addressed is to determine how to exchange GI in a timely and efficiently manner. Main goals are to make the "operate off the same map" in a timely and efficient manner happen, and to ensure that the NATO stakeholders embedded in an operation, from the strategic to the tactical level, get the right data at the right moment.
Deficiencies spotted include:
To this end, it is recommended to promote an open, modular and flexible SDI to enable re-use, agile development and interoperability, and allow the integration of current and future capabilities. Goal is to accelerate the designation, dissemination, and exchange process, significantly reduce the delay between the designation and the moment in which data is effective and available, thus improving readiness and responsiveness.The SDI report recommends to NATO to enhance Geospatial readiness, responsiveness, interoperability, and service efficiency. As the means for achieving those it is proposed in particular to improve Geospatial Data Management; increase standards use; enhance technology; and improve governance. Further, all services are mandated to be Web-based, including both Geospatial information and analytics services.
Notably, both the SDI report and the International Federated Mission Network report stress the importance of offering spatio-temporally enabled, analytics-supported, decentralized datacubes with hybrid data fusion capabilities.
In detail, the following needs are stated, based on the principles of control - protect - share:
Cube4EnvSec will advance the state of the art on each of these capability needs by demonstrating feasibility and usability of decentralized Big Earth Datacube services.