Friday, December 17, 2010

SAM Site Update: How It Works

Given that the SAM Site Overview update took a while to process this month, I thought I'd explain how it works.

During the course of a given month, I am always looking for new and interesting locations to include in the file. Many of the new locations are also provided by IMINT & Analysis readers, whose help is always appreciated! I file these new sites away in a folder, and generate any necessary range rings. They also get added to an Excel spreadsheet which compiles all of the inventory numbers you see when you click on the Continent or Country folders. When Google Earth updates its imagery, which typically happens twice a month these days, they also release a .kmz file which outlines the new imagery. The .kmz file usually follows the imagery update by two or three days. When I get these files, I go through and check existing locations to see what has changed. Things I look for include active sites becoming inactive, and a change in site equipment. For example, the current update features a Chinese S-300PMU-2 site, which was formerly occupied by an S-300PMU-1 battery.

All of this takes a little bit of time, but is relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. The problem this month was a delay in Google Earth releasing the .kmz file of the latest imagery update. I wanted to wait until it was available to get the most accurate product out, especially since I figure that they may not do another update this year due to the holidays.

So, now you know how it works! And hopefully you can see that the delay this time was really a technical issue, and not another example of my outstanding ability to procrastinate.

Speaking of which, yes, the Saudi Arabia feature will still be posted tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean,
Once again..kudos 2 u...KUDOS...IS an under-valued adjective vis-a-vis ur incisive analysis in IMINT DOMAIN...u don't have to justify ur efforts...n ..time..involved in such diligent works....I know n appreciate...the work do many of ur.... true...IMINT analyists...keep it up...well done....happy X-mas n New advance..lest...I forget..