National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- NGA -


Emblem of the NGA
Lineup November 24, 2003
Country United States
Armed forces United States Armed Forces
Armed forces (comprehensive)
Subordinate troops

( see below )

Strength (secret) approx. 14,500
Insinuation United States Department of Defense (Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence)
Fort Belvoir Springfield , Fairfax County , Virginia , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
Robert Cardillo

The US-American National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency ( NGA ; German  National Agency for Geographical Reconnaissance ) with its headquarters in Bethesda , Maryland , is the central US authority for military , secret service and commercial cartographic evaluations and reconnaissance. Robert Cardillo has headed the agency since 2014.

The NGA headquarters is the third largest building in the Washington Metropolitan Area , larger than the CIA headquarters and the US Capitol .

Headquarters of the NGA in Springfield , Virginia


On November 24, 2003, the NGA got its current name and thus emerged from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency ( NIMA ) founded in 1996 . This was previously called the Defense Mapping Agency ( DMA ) and before that the Army Mapping Service ( AMS ).

On May 2, 2011, the NGA announced that the search for Osama bin Laden was also successful because GEOINT could determine his whereabouts.


The NGA provides reconnaissance knowledge in the areas of Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT, literally "spatial reconnaissance", i.e. merging of geographic information with object information from the military intelligence service), geographic information from maps and geodata to soil and climate analyzes, which are obtained by evaluating commercial, government and military sources , from local surveys to aerial and satellite images .

Free dates

US intelligence budget 2013

According to a Washington Post report , the combined budget of all US intelligence services is currently $ 52.6 billion. The following are the five largest agencies whose budgets the Washington Post has divided into four categories: maintenance , data collection , data processing and exploitation, and data analysis .

Name of the authority / program Budget
and maintenance
(Management and support)

data processing
and recycling
(Data processing and exploitation)


Total budget
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency, svg Central Intelligence Agency 01.8 11.500 0.387 1.100 14.787
Seal of the US National Security Agency, svg National Security Agency 05.2 02.500 1.600 1.500 10.800
NRO.svg National Reconnaissance Program 01.8 06.000 2.500 - 10.300
US-NationalGeospatialIntelligenceAgency-2008Seal.svg National Geospatial Intelligence Program 02.0 00.537 1.400 0.973 04.910
Seal of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, svg General Defense Intelligence Program 01.7 01.300 0.228 1.200 04,428
total 12.5 21,837 6.115 4,773 45.225

Figures in billions of US dollars

Comparable organizations

There is no agency in the German Bundeswehr that corresponds exactly to the tasks of the NGA . The tasks of geodesy , geography and cartography are the center of the Bundeswehr Geoinformation edited while for aeronautical data , the Authority for Air Navigation of the Bundeswehr is responsible.

The Bundeswehr Strategic Reconnaissance Command , which has only existed since 2002, can be described as the most suitable organization for the NGA in terms of geographic information acquisition and geo-referencing with intelligence .

Web links

Commons : National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ( Memento from October 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ NGA Leadership
  3. JAMES BAMFORD: The Multibillion-Dollar US Spy Agency You Haven't Heard of - Foreign Policy , March 20, 2017
  4. ^ NGA History. (PDF, 260 KB) Retrieved January 7, 2019 (English).
  5. Marc Ambinder: The Little-Known Agency That Helped Kill Bin Laden. The National Geospatial Agency mapped bin Laden's compound, analyzed drone data, and helped the SEALs simulate their mission. In: The Atlantic. May 5, 2011, accessed January 7, 2019 .
  6. ^ The Black Budget. Covert action. Surveillance. Counterintelligence. The US "black budget" spans over a dozen agencies that make up the National Intelligence Program. The Washington Post, August 30, 2013, accessed September 7, 2013 .