The Digital Map of the Future: Will It Satisfy Our Information Needs?
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Emerging digital technology is changing the tools commanders have available to see the battlespace. As part of this move to leverage technologies, the United States Army is moving to a digital map. This move should enhance all leaders ability to visualize the battlespace. However, digital information is susceptible to distortion. This study reviews the Department of Defense architecture for the production, storage and dissemination of digital terrain products. Using the criteria for quality information as outlined in Field Manual 100-6, Information Operations, the digital terrain architecture is evaluated. In general, the architecture meets the criteria for information quality. There are two areas of concern. The first is precision of the data. Over the next ten years, the digital terrain data will be available at a level of precision previously unheard of. However, the level of resolution may not be sufficient to detect obstacles to maneuver. The second area of concern is usability. Not all Coalition partners will have the systems to process digital terrain data. In addition, there may be a cultural problem. Training the Army to move from the paper map to digital displays will require the full attention of all leaders for the next decade.
- Cartography and Aerial Photography
- Computer Hardware