Web and Mobile GIS for Dismounted Soldier
Array Systems worked with DRDC-Toronto on the software development and testing of new NATO symbology and a solder’s ability to interpret and respond using mobile devices. The purpose of this research was to evaluate issues related to human factors evaluation of geospatial data visualization on mobile GIS technologies suitable for Canadian Forces operations.
After consulting with military scientists and industry, Array designed and developed the WebGIS software to create a software tool environment to allow human factors researchers to develop scenarios which would be 'played out' on COTS mobile devices. Specifically, these experiments addressed geospatial data cluttering and overlays in the handheld GIS environment, including but not limited to the following issues:
- Visualization principles related to overlay aggregation in operational environments.
- Methods that might enhance innovation and overlay implementation.
With WebGIS you’ll have a website where a user may login and author a new scenario or choose a saved scenario to play back. All interaction will be performed from within the web browser.
While authoring, the user will be able to pan around the world containing a single base map layer. The initial location and zoom level can be captured by pressing a save button. The save button will create a current snapshot of the state of the map, symbols, time, etc.
There exists a tree control for adding new layers. Layers come from a selection of Web Map Service (WMS) servers. We will have preset layers for Google Maps, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, Open Street Map, NASA Worldwind etc.
New vector layers can be added by uploading a KML/KMZ file (we’re also exploring the option of adding shape files). Vector layers can also be created by drawing polygons and lines and naming them as specific zones and routes.
User-defined symbols can be uploaded and accessed via a list control. A symbol can be selected from the list and then dropped on the map where it will be associated with the current time. Existing symbols on the map can be selected and moved to a new location. Movement from its last saved time and position will be interpolated from one waypoint to the next. This will give the symbol the appearance of movement as time is advanced though the scenario.
During playback the user has play controls to play, pause, reposition time, etc. The user may draw highlights on the map (coloured polygons, lines, labels) which will disappear once the scenario is played again.