Building a Web Application and Land Navigation Course to Help Develop Military Relevant Informal GIS Education
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThroughout history, military officers have relied on maps to provide spatial information and make informed battlefield and other problem-solving decisions. Today’s officers can put even more spatial information at a soldier’s fingertips if they are made aware of the power of geographic information systems and software. This paper makes the argument that an informal education and introduction to the uses of geographic information systems (GIS) during their participation in reserve officer training corps (ROTC) can help provide future officers with a basic understanding on how GIS can impact their ability to solve military relevant problems with these technologies and can aid in their decision making. This project created a web application using python and based on military mapping manuals and defense tools that allow a user to create a model of how quickly the user could be able to move over a given terrain. This web application was given to military officers in ROTC training at the University of Arizona prior to participation in a land navigation exercise to help them plan and prepare their path through the event. Students using the app prior to the exercise were able to see how the information provided by GIS can help them make decisions and times were compared between those that used the tool and those that did not. This tool, and the subsequent exercise provided increased awareness in military applications of GIS for those future military officers and helps inspire them to pursue more information on the technology.