Emerging industry delivers 'more than a trillion dollars' in economic impact
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN, Feb. 12, 2018 — With drone technology advancing into more and more industries, the aerospace department at Northland Community & Technical College is gearing up to take its Geospatial Intelligence Analysis program online this coming fall. The move to a distance learning format will allow the college to train students around the world for diverse careers in both the public and private sectors, ranging from military intelligence to retail marketing.
As an industry in and of itself, Geospatial Intelligence Analysis (GeoInt) is complex enough to defy simple categorization. Its widespread use across the greater aerospace spectrum has given rise to different meanings for different applications. In basic terms, GeoInt is the practice of interpreting images of planet Earth, geo-referencing them, and identifying objects, structures and patterns in order to make actionable recommendations. “We train our students to turn images into digital maps with pieces of information layered on top much like a flip book,” explained Steve Sorenson, one of Northland's program instructors. “Looking at the recent California fires, for example, we can map the fires and then look to see what extent the damage is, how it will impact towns and how to plan evacuations all based on these layered maps we produce.” (Part Gamer, Part Sherlock Holmes: Geospatial Intelligence Unlocks Career Paths for Problem Solvers)
The Northland aerospace programs, including those that train aviation maintenance and unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) technicians, have all earned reputations for excellence since the department was first created more than 50 years ago.
Northland Community and Technical College (Northland) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Northland also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and a satellite site in Roseau, Minnesota. Northland offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. Northland is a member of Minnesota State, the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit www.northlandcollege.edu or call 1.800.959.6282.
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