Applying Geospatial Information and Services Capabilities Beyond the Battlespace

Applying Geospatial Information and Services Capabilities Beyond the Battlespace

Brian J. Cullis (United States Air Force (Retired), Colorado Springs, CO, USA) and David F. LaBranche (Defense Installations Spatial Data Infrastructure (DISDI) Program, Alexandria, VA, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2016100106
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Abstract

While geospatial information resources have traditionally imparted situational awareness in the battlespace, the past twenty years has witnessed broad adoption in other defense environments as well. This paper describes the major catalysts spurring broader investment and use of geospatial information and services (GI&S) beyond the battlespace and into a parallel defense installation mission area known as basingspace. Furthermore, the paper details how the benefits of GI&S for delivering shared situational awareness in both battlespace and basingspace has the National Guard poised to exploit geospatial technologies in a more strategic manner. This paper presents a concise history of how social and technical factors influenced the diffusion of applied geospatial technologies within the defense sector and the potential for greater unity of geospatial efforts for the Department of Defense and the nation.
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Background

The advertised merits of geospatial information resources encouraged widespread investments in GI&S in the early 1990s from local governments to federal agencies, where all envisioned cost-effective sharing of geospatial information to serve countless purposes. Ironically, GI&S adoption researchers found bureaucratic attributes such as functional specialization and a lack of cross-functional processes severely limited the ability of GI&S investors to achieve their desired goals (Cullis, 1995; Omran, Bregt, & Crompvoets, 2009).

In 2001, the USAF Civil Engineer launched the USAF GeoBase program in response to the discovery of very costly, redundant acquisitions of GIS technology by multiple organizations within their installations. All too frequently, these organizations acquired the commercial GIS solution before understanding either the mission requirements or designing an effective path to organizational adoption. Furthermore, the lack of any focal point to facilitate the sharing of geospatial information on the installation enabled disjointed, incompatible and redundant GIS acquisitions.

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