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June 25, 2003

NIMA Uses Technology to Support the Conflict in Iraq

In-Q-Tel, a private nonprofit venture funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, today announced a strategic investment in Keyhole Corp., a pioneer of interactive 3D earth visualization.  The investment, made in February 2003, was In-Q-Tel’s first engagement with a company on behalf of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

Immediately demonstrating the value of Keyhole’s technology to the national security community, NIMA used the technology to support United States troops in Iraq.  “Within two weeks of In-Q-Tel’s engagement with Keyhole, we implemented the technology to support our mission within the Pentagon,” said Rob Zitz, Director of NIMA’s InnoVision directorate.  “Introducing technologies like Keyhole is part of NIMA’s effort to transform the intelligence business, and the way we serve our customers.” 

Keyhole’s EarthViewer 3-D client application uses videogame-like 3-D graphics and access to massive databases of network-hosted earth information, including satellite imagery and aerial photography, to produce an interactive digital model of the earth. Keyhole’s EarthSystem™ combines a tradition of 3-D graphics technology for flight simulators with innovative network-streaming technology to deliver enterprise software solutions for large business and government customers, as well as an Application Service Provider solution for professional and consumer users.  The result is a virtual flyover experience—so compelling that multiple TV media networks recently used EarthViewer 3-D to ‘fly’ over Iraqi cities and landscapes in news broadcasts using publicly available satellite images.  In addition to media customers, Keyhole solutions serve a broad range of markets including real estate, transportation, insurance, consumer and government.

“In-Q-Tel invested in Keyhole because it offers government and commercial users a new capability to radically enhance critical decision making.  Through its ability to stream very large geospatial datasets over the Internet and private networks, Keyhole has created an entirely new way to interact with earth imagery and feature data,” said Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel.  “With Keyhole’s technology, individuals can see and manipulate their world in 3-D, meeting their business and operational challenges in powerful geographic context.”

“Keyhole’s strategic relationship with In-Q-Tel means that the Intelligence Community can now benefit from the massive scalability and high performance of the Keyhole enterprise solution,” said John Hanke, CEO of Keyhole.  “By capitalizing on trends in commercial markets, In-Q-Tel is supporting an ever-higher standard of advanced technology adoption in government.  Keyhole is pleased to help set that standard for large-scale 3D geospatial visualization.”

NIMA’s success with Keyhole highlights the significant overlap between technology needs across the agencies of the Intelligence Community.  “By investing in Keyhole, In-Q-Tel is helping CIA and NIMA leverage limited resources and gain access to a technology of high potential value to both organizations,” said Louie. Working through CIA, NIMA became a limited partner with In-Q-Tel in the summer of 2002.  In addition to an equity investment, In-Q-Tel is partnering with Keyhole to further enhance Keyhole EarthSytem’s compatibility with a variety of government datasets through adoption of advanced GIS data standards.

About Keyhole Corporation
Based in Mountain View, CA, Keyhole, Inc., is the pioneer of interactive 3-D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping EarthViewer 3-D system that transforms the way users interact with geographic information and earth imagery. Keyhole’s EarthViewer 3-D accelerates and enhances decisions for business and government by enabling fast, fluid interaction with massive network-resident databases of earth imagery and geospatial information. Users can ‘fly’ from space to street level seamlessly while interactively exploring layers of information including roads, schools, businesses, and demographics. Further information about Keyhole is available at  

About NIMA
NIMA ( is a member of the National Intelligence Community and a DoD Combat Support Agency.  NIMA’s mission is to provide timely, relevant and accurate Geospatial Intelligence in support of national security.  Geospatial Intelligence is the analysis and visual representation of security-related activities on the Earth.  Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NIMA operates major facilities in the northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, Mo. areas.  NIMA Support Teams serve customers around the nation and the world.