SAN ANTONIO, Texas — After years of relatively flat budgets, the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump administration might support increased spending for federal defense, intelligence and civil agency programs focused on geospatial intelligence, said Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

“There is an opportunity in this environment for us to propose and defend and compete for additional resources,” Cardillo said June 6 at the annual GEOINT Symposium, hosted by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. “It is within the realm of possibility. No guarantees. It’s not going to be handed to us like in the good old days, but I think the opening is there.”

As NGA director and head of the National System for Geospatial Intelligence, Cardillo said he has gotten the sense from Capitol Hill and from the new administration that funding could rise. “Again, I don’t want to give expectations out of alignment here, but I’m in a different mental place than I was just a year ago.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...