Analytic Experience in Geospatial Intelligence


Just to review, this course is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you have achieved the goals for learning established by the program. It integrates learning from the courses in the Geospatial Intelligence program with the rest of your academic experience. It requires the application of that learning to a project which serves as an instrument of evaluation.

The purpose of the Capstone Project is for you to demonstrate your ability to identify and investigate a real-world problem using the analytic techniques and tools introduced during your past coursework.

The Lesson 4 deliverables are to:

  1. finalize and attach your presentation (PowerPoint format) for upload. Name the presentation Lesson_4 _(your name).pptx;
  2. report your analysis in a 3-page paper. Attach your report (Word document format) for upload. Name the document Lesson_4 _(your name).doc. You were introduced to a suggested report format during Lesson 1;
  3. prepare to explain your analysis in a 10-minute "live" presentation. Your slide-set needs to support this time limit. That is to say, the information in 45 slides cannot be effectively communicated in a 10-minute presentation.

Please submit your deliverables to the appropriate dropbox in Canvas.


Presentation and Report Format

(3 Single-spaced Pages, Excluding Bibliography and Figures)

1. Problem/Question. State your problem/question. Be certain your problem/question (1) speaks to a genuine dilemma with geographic implications, (2) yields a result that is not obvious, (3) suggests an answer complex enough to require research, and (4) must be answered using geospatial thinking, geospatial analysis, and maps or imagery.

2. Bottom Line Up Front: Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) is a style where you put your conclusion first. This is done because the longer a piece of writing is the less likely a reader is going to read to the end. Therefore, the first thing read should be the most important thing.

3. Methodology. Provide a brief explanation of how you arrived at your the research process. While methodology and method are often used as though they are synonyms, they are not. Methodology is the study of methods and deals with the philosophical considerations underlying the research process. A method is a specific technique for data collection or processing under those philosophical considerations. This is to say, methodology is how you came to select your method. The method describes the sequence of breaking down the problem into the elements necessary to make a judgment, how the elements are examined, and a conclusion rendered. The three broad categories of methods — qualitative, quantitative, or mixed. 

  • Qualitative descriptions are based on some quality or characteristic rather than on some measured value.
  • Quantitative refers to a type of information or data that is based on quantities obtained using a quantifiable measurement process.
  • Mixed includes research that involves the mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods.

4. Assumptions. List your assumptions. Assumptions are those things the analyst takes for granted in the work; these statements are understood to be true because of a reasonable belief and, therefore, do not need to be proven. While assumed, they must be explicitly stated at the beginning of the analysis.

5. Multiple Hypotheses. Hypotheses are explanations to the question that are suggested by knowledge or observation but have not, yet, been proved or disproved. Multiple hypotheses are used because geospatial intelligence is like the investigations of a detective, whereby a coherent picture must be built up from an array of small and varied clues.

6. Evaluation. Your evaluation is completed using Analysis of Competing Hypothesis to confirm or disprove the hypotheses. This evaluation may include the use of qualitative and/or quantitative data as evidence in the analysis. 

7. Findings. The principal outcomes of the analysis. Your findings are what the analysis suggested, revealed, or indicated.

Bibliographic References. This is a list of references at the end of a work, whether cited or not. This list should include references about the general nature of the problem, the data, and analytic problems using a similar method.

Questions or Comments?

Registered students are welcome to post comments or questions to The Conference Room discussion forum. (That forum can be accessed at any time in Canvas by clicking on the Discussions link.)