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Geospatial Firm Receives $3M In Contract Awards, Invests In Drone Program

By Johanna Cano, posted Feb 21, 2023
Nicholas Smith, founder of Geo Owl, said the firm has received contract awards totalling $3 million for geospatial production. (Photo courtesy of Geo Owl)
A Wilmington-based company providing geospatial technology solutions and services recently received contract awards totaling over $3 million, prompting a growth in hiring, according to founder Nicholas Smith.

These awards are from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s JANUS Geography program. Geo Owl will build digital cartographic products used by the NGA, which in turn supports other agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense.

This geospatial production will be operated from Geo Owl’s Wilmington headquarters.

“This is another book of business for the company to expand upon our other contracts in the Geospatial Intelligence and Technology arena supporting Special Operations Forces and the U.S. Army,” Smith said.  “The JANUS awards help bolster our complete package of geospatial offerings to national and state level clients.”
 
Smith said these new awards mean the company will be hiring 30 to 40 more people, expanding the company to 130 employees, and it “provides new opportunities for our existing team members to advance their careers with a diverse portfolio of project opportunities,” he said.
 
Geo Owl has about 30 employees in Wilmington with plans to expand. Other offices are in Fuquay-Varina and team members are spread between Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Fort Gordon, Fort Sam Houston, northern Virginia, California and South Carolina.
 
In addition, the company has announced a new investment in a drone program to provide engineering, mapping and utility solutions using sensors and aerial drone technology.
 
“Geo Owl originated from expertise in Military style long-range aerial intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance,” Smith said. “With the explosion of the commercial drone market, we were already in a good position to provide advanced offerings given the skills and tradecraft our staff already possess.”
 
As the business grows, Smith, a U.S. Army Veteran, has noticed many people asking questions about what Geo Owl does, which is why he has created “The NDS Show Podcast.”

“Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) is not exactly a household name; however, it does have major impacts into our everyday lives from the systems we use in our city governments to understanding the environmental impacts of climate change and natural disasters,” he said.
 
Smith said Wilmington is becoming a major hub for geospatial intelligence with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s GEOINT certificate program being one of a few in the country.
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