GEOG 885
Advanced Analytic Methods for the GEOINT Professional



Geospatial analysis can be very difficult to do well. Much of the difficulty is cognitive and not related to an individual's ability to use the technical tools, i.e., GIS. It takes far greater mental agility than gathering evidence supporting a single hypothesis that was pre-judged as the most likely answer. To develop and retain multiple spatial schemes in working memory and note how each item of information fits into each hypothesis is beyond the mental capabilities of most analysts. (Note: Working memory tasks include the active monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors.)

Moreover, truly good geospatial analysis requires monitoring your progress, making changes and adapting the ways you are thinking. It's about self-reflection, self-responsibility, and initiative to achieve the analytic results within the time allotted. This mental agility can be accomplished with the help of a few simple thinking tools discussed here.

Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Comprehend the role and purpose of Structured Analytic Techniques in geospatial analysis
  • Apply Structured Analytic Techniques in geospatial analysis

The Course Roadmap is intended to help you understand where we are in the overall learning process and to place our dual case study and project focus into context.

Figure 1: Course Roadmap
Click for accessible description

The Course Roadmap highlights where students are within the course. For Lesson 3, read the materials provided.  There are no deliverables at the end of this lesson.

Lesson 3 is one week in length. (See the Calendar in Canvas for specific due dates.) To finish this lesson, you must complete the activities listed below. You may find it useful to print this page out first so that you can follow along with the directions.

Steps to Completing Lesson 03
Step Activity Access/Directions
1 Read the Lesson Overview and Checklist. You are in the Lesson 03 Checklist now. Click on the Previous Page to read the lesson Overview.
2 Read the Lesson Content. You are in the Lesson 03 online content now. Click on the Next Page to read the lesson content.
3 Read A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis

Read or Listen to Richards Heuer's "The Evolution of Structured Analytic Techniques" (Presentation to the National Academy of Science, National Research Council Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security, Washington, DC, December 8, 2009.)
There are three different styles of reading that are referred to in the lessons:
  • Scan: Do not deal with all of the content, but search through the material for a specific purpose or a specific word (or its synonym). Scanning is used for such purposes as finding the answer to a particular question.
  • Skim: To skim, read a page by reading the headings and first sentences of each paragraph or section.
  • Read: The purpose of this style is to understand the concepts and arguments that the text contains, and it should be preceded by the Skim reading style.
4 Read Lesson Summary. You are in the Lesson 3 online content now.


If you have any questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them to the GEOG 885 - General Discussion Forum. (That forum can be accessed at any time in Canvas by clicking on the Modules tab. The General Discussion forum is listed under the Orientation Section.)