Photos and interviews by Sam Campbell
“In reference to a flood, we actually have analysis that we can do (where) we can look at a prediction from the weather as to how much rain an area will get or how much is coming from upstream, and then fairly accurately predict those areas that need to be evacuated.
That’s the key thing about the geospatial capability — it’s a capability that saves lives, whether it’s a commander understanding where he can put his Soldiers to be safe or flood prediction.”
“The project I’m specifically working on is with installation management. (I’m) working with (them) and building a web service where they can all share their Geographic Information System data for the different ranges, training areas, and utilities for emergency services. Just streamline the process.”
“The Army is taking two considerable thrusts that are new to us. One is mapping of major cities; we call them dense urban environments. The other is the mapping of subterranean features, (like) mines, tunnels and subways.
We’re looking at two emerging technologies to try to help out with that. One is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to collect disparate data from open sources.
The other thing we’re looking at is placing a greater focus on the ability of drones to map ground, to pull that data in.”
“We’re going out to some of these conferences, seeing what type of new technology is out there to help us get a more precise look at the Earth’s surface.
As satellites get better and the resolution on imagery and elevation gets better, we get a little bit more detail on the Earth’s surface. So, you understand the nooks and crannies and as opposed to getting a broad view of it.
The devil’s in the details. A little bit of detail on the terrain on the surface actually changes your analysis on whether (troops’) equipment can move across an area.”