The new technology–called the Tactical Ground Reporting System, or TIGR–is a map-centric application that junior officers can study before going on patrol and add to upon returning. By clicking on icons and lists, they can see the locations of key buildings, like mosques, schools, and hospitals, and retrieve information such as location data on past attacks, geotagged photos of houses and other buildings (taken with cameras equipped with Global Positioning System technology), and photos of suspected insurgents and neighborhood leaders. They can even listen to civilian interviews and watch videos of past maneuvers. It is just the kind of information that soldiers need to learn about Iraq and its perils.
The Mapping Revolution
By Dr. Todd Hughes
Information Exploitation Office Program Manager
We are at the beginning of a Mapping Revolution. Mapping technology has already radically changed how we all live: Google Maps directs us to any city in the country; NorthStar guides us through back roads around highway traffic; Garmin helps us locate nearby points of interest. For consumers, mapping technology is a tremendous convenience. For soldiers, it is a necessity that literally shows the path to mission success. Just ask the hundreds of soldiers in Iraq today who carry handheld GPS devices on every single patrol.
My name is Todd Hughes, and I envision maps of the future that are far more powerful. Imagine a map that represents not two spatial dimensions, but three. Imagine a map that details, at the highest levels of precision, location, shape, texture, temperature, elevation, color: all of the things your eyes can see and many of the things they can’t. Imagine that information for every object in a region: every building, window, door, roof, fire escape, dumpster, pothole, manhole cover . . . everything. Imagine that map with imagery from right now, not months or years ago, and with the ability to turn back the clock to see what’s changed. Imagine a map that not only shows the route but also highlights where the enemy may attack along the way. And imagine holding this exquisite microcosm of the Earth in the palm of your hand. This is the Mapping Revolution, and it promises to change forever the very idea of the map.
…continued on Ignorance Isn’t Bliss’ blog post [no longer available]