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NGA now on iTunes with release of anti-piracy app

Nov. 21, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Virginia. — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency released its first mobile application, the Anti-Shipping Activity Message, or ASAM, database to the public via Apple iTunes Nov. 20.

The ASAM mobile app includes the geographic location and reported accounts of hostile acts – piracy, robbery, hijacking and kidnapping – against maritime ships, crews and passengers. The app allows users to cache, or store, warning data pulled from the ASAM database when connected to the Internet. Once the data is cached, the app works without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection so users can view reports, even while disconnected. In addition to iTunes, the app will also be available on Google Play in the near future.

“We are providing a modern solution to an age-old issue – piracy,” said NGA Director Robert Cardillo. “By making ASAM available on commercial app stores, we’ve truly embraced the idea of getting our geospatial intelligence GEOINT into the hands of our customers. These reports are useful for all mariners – military, commercial and the general public – traveling through active piracy hot spots.”

As part of NGA’s maritime safety mission, the agency is providing the ASAM database to the general public. The data has been previously available via our website and the release of the app is the next step in increasing public access to data to enhance maritime safety.

The ASAM database is accessible to the general public here.

Earlier this year, NGA had released the ASAM software code for both Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s mobile operating system to its organizational account on GitHub, an open-source, collaborative software development environment. As stated on GitHub, the agency’s goal is to “increase the impact of government investments by providing developers with the opportunity to take things in new directions.”

NGA is also exploring enhanced features to help sailors identify risk in future versions of the app and is attempting to identify ways to keep pirates from accessing these advanced tools while providing registered sailors/vessels a full suite of tools to increase their situational awareness.

The ASAM app was developed at NGA in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, a management and technology consulting services provider and contributors at GitHub.

About NGA:

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency delivers world-class geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, that provides a decisive advantage to warfighters, policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. Both an intelligence agency and combat support agency, NGA fulfills the president’s national security priorities in partnership with the intelligence community and the Department of Defense.

NGA also is the lead federal agency for GEOINT and manages a global consortium of more than 400 commercial and government relationships. NGA is headquartered in Springfield, Va., and has two major locations in St. Louis and Arnold, Mo. Hundreds of NGA employees serve on support teams at U.S. military, diplomatic and allied locations around the world.

Approved for public release: 15-117