GEOG 885
Advanced Analytic Methods for the GEOINT Professional

Course Project


A few words about the project. The purpose of the project is to provide a compelling deep dive into geospatial intelligence analysis using a structured methodology. We will split into teams. Each team will take on a particular analytic question associated with the same problem. Through the exploration of the analytic question, we hope that each team gets a comprehensive understanding of a particular problem and in the use of a structured approach in the development of geospatial intelligence.

Course Project General Problem Area

The term project is to geospatially investigate the Jonathan Luna case.

Jonathan Luna was a Baltimore-based Assistant United States Attorney who was stabbed 36 times with his own penknife and found drowned in a creek in Pennsylvania. No suspects or motive for murder was determined. The federal authorities (FBI) lean towards calling it a (hypothesis 1) suicide but the local Lancaster County authorities, including two successive coroners, ruled it a (hypothesis 2) homicide. Your task is to (1) organize as a team to (2) assemble and (3) evaluate the geospatial evidence to determine if the evidence (including the geospatial aspects of the case) is consistent or inconsistent with the hypotheses. The following information is provided as a starting point for your geospatial analysis:

  • the general problem area
  • it must have strong geospatial aspects
  • the results can be shared among all in the course

The project will culminate in an end of course powerpoint briefing to your instructor; refer to the calendar for general briefing dates. Here is the hypothetical set up for the project. Your instructor has just been appointed as the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. Upon review of "cold cases", the Luna case concerns him after being told that the geospatial aspects of the case were never considered. As such, he is hiring consultants (student teams) to perform a geospatial assessment. Each team will investigate the case and present a geospatial argument to either 1) reopen the case, or 2) let it be.

We will start on the Project in Lesson 02.