National Imagery and Mapping Agency | National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

National Imagery and Mapping Agency

National Imagery and Mapping Agency

On Oct. 1, 1996 the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, or NIMA, was formed to bring together our nation’s most capable imagery and geospatial assets into a single agency. Influenced by lessons learned from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, NIMA brought together the Defense Mapping Agency, Central Imagery Office, Defense Dissemination Program Office and National Photographic Interpretation Center, and also incorporated parts of the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Airborne  Reconnaissance Office, Defense Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office.

In the years following its formation, NIMA continued the work of its predecessors, influencing world events by creating animated renditions of imagery and geospatial data that allowed users to visualize inaccessible terrain and resolving international boundary disputes. NIMA also provided maps and visualizations that gave the Dayton Peace accord diplomats from the Balkans graphic views of the boundary locations they were debating. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 NIMA took on additional responsibilities – including contributing to homeland security, helping safeguard events in this country and overseas, and assisting the armed forces’ work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Nov. 24, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the 2004 Defense Authorization Bill, a provision of which changed NIMA’s name to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, reflecting both the new product NGA was developing – geospatial intelligence – as well as the growing unity of its parts.

Despite the name change, Oct.1, 1996 remains the date that is celebrated as the anniversary of NGA.

Download