List of intelligence gathering disciplines

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This is a list of intelligence gathering disciplines.


Human intelligence—gathered from a person on the ground.


Geospatial intelligence—gathered from satellite, aerial photography, mapping/terrain data

  • IMINT—Imagery intelligence: gathered from satellite and aerial photography


Measurement and signature intelligence:


Open-source intelligence—gathered from open sources.

Can be further segmented by source type; Internet/General, Scientific/Technical and various HUMINT specialties (e.g. trade shows, association meetings, interviews, etc.)


Signals intelligence—gathered from interception of signals

  • COMINT—Communications Intelligence
  • ELINT—Electronic Intelligence: gathered from electronic signals that do not contain speech or text (which are considered COMINT).
    • FISINT—Foreign Instrumentation Signals Intelligence, was formerly known as TELINT or Telemetry Intelligence. TELINT, entails the collection and analysis of telemetry data from the target's missile or sometimes from aircraft tests.


Technical intelligence—gathered from analysis of weapons and equipment used by the armed forces of foreign nations, or environmental conditions.

  • MEDINT—Medical intelligence: gathered from analysis of medical records and/or actual physiological examinations to determine health and/or particular ailments/allergetic conditions for consideration.


Cyber Intelligence/Digital Network Intelligence—gathered from cyberspace


Financial intelligence—gathered from analysis of monetary transactions

See also[edit]