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NGA Celebrates the History of Navigation

From a young Shoshone mother named Sacagawea, to online, on-demand digital mapping for first responders in the aftermath of a natural disaster, timely and accurate navigation has always played an important role in our country’s history. Although technology has expanded our capabilities considerably since Sacagawea guided Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, it remains the important job of those who know the earth to show the way and help others understand the world – no matter the tools at their disposal.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency delivers indispensable information about natural and manmade features above, on and below the Earth’s surface, enabling every airplane and ship to navigate the globe safely. Mariners and pilots depend on NGA to provide the geospatial information required to ensure safety of navigation, around the clock and around the world. NGA understands the important marriage of time and navigation – and how keeping accurate time is essential in knowing where you are and how to get to where you need to be.

NGA provided materials to add authenticity and character to the National Air and Space Museum's new exhibition, Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There. These components include an escape and evasion chart, a colored geoid graphic, and a layered visual representation of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), the highly evolved intelligence discipline that maps what is happening at any location on Earth. The exhibition was developed in partnership with the National Museum of American History.

As the lead federal agency for GEOINT, NGA strives to utilize lessons from the past to better serve the defense, intelligence and civilian communities of the present and future. Because of its mission, NGA would like to congratulate the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum on this extraordinary exhibition charting the history of precise timekeeping and navigation on land, at sea, in the air and in space.

CLICK HERE to visit the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Time and Navigation exhibit.


 Photo Gallery courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum