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DigitalGlobe: Thumbs-up for GeoEye Analytics

DigitalGlobe plans to retain GeoEye’s special-operations oriented predictive analytics unit, should regulators approve the merger of the commercial satellite firms, said Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe’s founder and chief technology officer.

“We think (GeoEye Analytics) is highly complementary,” Scott told Deep Dive in an interview at the GEOINT symposium.

Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe's founder and CTO. Credit: DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe, which would lead the merged imaging company, has its own analytics group, but Scott said there would be room for both DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center and GeoEye Analytics.

DigitalGlobe provides unclassified expertise whereas experts from GeoEye Analytics are “embedded in the customer footprint” to work on classified projects, Scott said.

“We think that there’s a high degree of synergy there,” he added.

GeoEye Analytics, formerly known as SPADAC, combines satellite imagery with intelligence data to try to anticipate where IED planters, domestic criminals or fugitives like Uganda’s Joseph Kony might go next. GeoEye bought SPADAC in 2010.

One of the company’s human terrain analysts, Kevin Stofan, received the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence at the 2010 GEOINT symposium.

GeoEye CEO Matt O’Connell talked up GeoEye Analytics last month in an address to the Washington Space Business Roundtable group.

“We helped apprehend a rapist in Philadelphia, by okay, ‘Where has he struck in the past?’,” he said. “We just got a commendation from a British special forces unit because we helped find a bunch of raw materials that people had built into a cache. It was obviously for IEDs.”

After the talk, O’Connell told Deep Dive that demand is growing for the unit’s services, especially in the special operations world. “We’ve expanded the Tampa office because there’s so much work,” he said.

3 Comments

  1. The name of the company was SPADAC, not SPADEC. It originally stood for Spatial Data Analytics Corporation.

  2. I’m confused. It appears, from the opening sentence in this article, that Digital Globe owns GeoEye’s predictive analytics unit, yet certain business news outlets are reporting that GeoEye has been making bids to buy out Digital Globe at $17 a share. I thought that the two had already merged with D.G. buying out GeoEye.
    Which is the truth?

    • The merger/acquisition dance began in 2012 with GeoEye attempting to buy DigitalGlobe. You’re probably looking at stories from May 2012. In the end, DigitalGlobe bought GeoEye.

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