Military lays out mapping tool demands
- By Natasha Haubold
- Mar 07, 2000
Members of the armed services on Tuesday charted their requirements for
mapping tools of the future.
Vendors must produce a mapping system that's easy to use, scalable, interoperable
and portable, the panelists agreed during a conference sponsored by the
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
"If a system is not easy to use, it will not be used," said Army Col. Harry
Thigpen, chief of the Command System Operations Division of the Joint Staff
and one of the panelists at a conference session titled "Mapping Requirements:
The Warfighters' Perspective."
During a stressful situation, personnel cannot take the time to try to remember
how to use the system, panel members said. And because of the limited availability
of personnel, the armed forces cannot send someone to extensive training
to learn a complicated system.
Because military leaders must work collaboratively and visualize wartime
situations, the panelists also agreed that anyone from any division should
be able to access the mapping system and use it immediately. Currently,
each of the armed forces and the Joint Staff has a different system, and
they are not always able to communicate.
Portability also is a priority. "A pilot flying over a battle zone,
a soldier in the trenches and commanders in D.C. must all be able to download
3-D maps on demand," said Cmdr. Bruce Binney, deputy chief engineer for
Naval Global Information and Network Systems at the Space and Naval Warfare