Brian Lantz – Fast 50 2003


Location-based intelligence (LBI) has become a key tool in fighting terrorism. Lantz, a veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, works with FEMA and the NYPD, among other clients.


Brian Lantz
Vice president and adviser, MapInfo Corp.
Troy, New York

Additional Team Members:
Beth Meurs, Ben Hirsch, Darrell Nicholson, Nathan Lobban, Sabby Nayar, John McCarthy, Paul Culligan.


Tell us what you do (or what your team or organization does) and the specific challenge you faced.
By nature, government agencies have an inordinate amount of data, yet it’s typically not stored in one central location and departments may not have access to critical information in a crisis situation. Given this scenario, Brian Lantz, also known as MapInfo’s high-tech boy scout or Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible), is on a mission to help government agencies implement technology that leverages location to protect the nation’s security. The first step in creating a successful homeland security program is aggregating the data together in a common and open format. The next step is VITAL-adding location intelligence to this data. This enables government agencies to visualize, analyze and share information on a map to make at-a-glance decisions that could mean the difference between life and death. Formerly with the Secret Service, Brian’s number one concern has always been security, yet with shrinking IT budgets it’s a challenge to get agencies to implement ! new technologies.

What was your moment of truth?
More than 16 years ago, while working as a member of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Secret Service, Brian realized the significance of location-based intelligence (LBI). While in the Secret Service, he spearheaded the Cross Reference Index System (CRIS), the first-of-its-kind program that provided an automated emergency response application that used LBI to enhance the Secret Service’s mission. Since then, he has become a location-intelligence evangelist, tirelessly working with government agencies to explain the importance of using LBI when making decisions and implementing effective response plans. The events of the last year put the importance of MapInfo’s work in perspective and illustrated more than ever before that government agencies need to be able to share and access information across multiple information systems and devices. As a response to Sept. 11, Brian created MapInfo’s Homeland Security Program, designed to help government agencies leverage location intelligence to protect the nation’s security and assets. Additionally, realizing that many organizations such as government municipalities simply don’t have the resources to afford such technology, Brian initiated MapInfo’s Government Grant program, providing local municipalities with the means to develop homeland security and continuity initiatives. Through these programs, MapInfo is helping to protect the entire country, one county at a time.

What were the results?
MapInfo’s LBI is used by a wide range of agencies, including FEMA and NYPD. The NYPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau will use MapInfo technology to implement its homeland security plans. MapInfo technology is in Raytheon’s “First Responder” vehicle, a command and communications center for emergency situations. Brian and his team have met with the Department of Army, American Red Cross and FBI, to discuss the critical role location intelligence plays in homeland security. Brian made recommendations to the Office of Homeland Security and has been a speaker at a number of homeland security events, including The White House Homeland Security Tech Expo and Intergovernmental Policy Congress.


What’s your parting tip?
A picture is priceless in a crisis. Tying disparate data together and viewing that information on a map is critical for at-a-glance decision making. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.

Read more entries from the Fast 50 2003