NGA Tearline team was honored with the Intelligence Community Transparency Team
of the Year Award during the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s
Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency Summit Jan. 24 in Bethesda, Maryland,
for their work in enhancing public understanding and access to strategic
Through partnerships with non-profit
organizations and academia, the team delivered unclassified geospatial
intelligence directly to government users and the general public through the
mobile Tearline application, accompanying website and syndication to
intelligence.gov, a transparency effort from ODNI to more effectively explain
the IC mission to the general public.
“The goal was to grow authoritative,
open-source intelligence on a range of topics – from strategic to economic to
humanitarian – that tend to be underreported in the intelligence world,” said
Chris Rasmussen, Tearline product manager and data trading partnership lead.
“NGA lacks the time and resources to cover every topic, so we partner smartly
to achieve more global coverage with creative outsourcing.”
This open source content serves two purposes,
intelligence community product citation and growing public trust, according to
“What makes this program successful is the
mutual benefit for NGA and our partners. By increasing transparency around
shared public-private interest, we’re helping bridge the gap between the once
closed-off world of intelligence and the public,” said Rasmussen.
The NGA Tearline team’s most recent project
highlights North Korea’s railway connections with China and Russia and was
developed through a partnership with the Center for Strategic and International
Studies and a Georgetown University student.
For Tearline’s intelligence projects, NGA
functions as a partner, providing access to geospatial data and review of how
the content is created, but does not determine what specific content is
created, said Rasmussen. This allows content partners full editorial
application was released in April 2017, but was initially only available to the
intelligence community, Department of Defense and partners. In May 2018 the app
and all subsequent Tearline content became publicly available.
What’s next for the Tearline program? More
partnerships and intelligence projects, said Rasmussen.
NGA has partnered with Columbia University’s
School of International and Public Affairs to create content on China’s One
Belt, One Road investments in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The students benefit
by getting publication credit within a brand focused on public service,” said
Rasmussen. “It’s more important now than ever to be in the business of
producing authoritative content.”
Tearline content is accessible through the
application in the Apple App Store and Google Play, the Tearline website, or
the ODNI Intelligence.gov Public’s Daily Brief.
If your non-profit,
think tank, or university is interested in creating authoritative content,
please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.