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Mobile Geospatial Information Systems for Land Force Operations: Analysis of Operational Needs and Research Opportunities

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Geospatial Data Visualization is an Applied Research Project ARP that investigates human factors issues associated with geospatial data visualization in a mobile Geographic Information System GIS environment. The work covered by this report represents a scoping phase of the project. It analyzes the Canadian Force operational needs and research for cost-effective opportunities for utilizing these technologies in land forces operations. The first milestone of this scoping study investigated the front-end usability of current mobile GIS systems. Human factors issues associated with geovisualization were analyzed with reference to findings that pertained to mapping requirements identified in the SIREQ TD. An extensive technology review was conducted with emphasis on the functionality associated with effective visualization and processing of large volumes of geospatial data on mobile devices. This review also included identifying relevant military tasks in which mobile GIS systems could be effectively used. A complete list of technical and operational requirements was created and mapped onto existing commercial and military mobile GIS systems in the second milestone. A workshop was conducted as the third milestone where SMEs and operational-level military officers discussed the operational tasks identified in the first two milestones. The workshop participants elaborated on some of the current needs and identified scenario-based operational requirements and gaps that hinder effective use of mobile GIS systems. Findings of the three milestones led to the development of a human factors research plan in the last milestone. The developed research plan introduced research challenges that might be further explored through future analyses and laboratory and field studies of the issues associated with the use of mobile GIS systems for land forces.

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  • Information Science
  • Geography
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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