What are the Current Uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the British Army?


The British Army has a number of uses for Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

What Software is Used?

The relevant Army unit uses ArcGIS and ERDAS Imagine software.

What Services Are Offered?

  • The majority of the support provided by this unit to other units is simple points and lines to enhance base mapping, completed in quick time.
  • Other hasty uses of Arc software is to prepare intervisibility traces, dead ground studies and slope analysis.
  • When more deliberate Army operations are conducted and more time is available to prepare information, analysts create 3D models in ARC Scene so that infantry soldiers can visualise the built-up area they are going into (e.g.Town or Village).
  • More in depth analysis using GIS Systems is normally conducted prior to operational deployment where studies of census data help set the scene as to the human element of an operational area to which soldiers will deploy.

Are There Other Uses for GIS Services?

The British Army has conducted an increasing number of humanitarian type missions (including the likes of support to flood relief in the UK).

The Army ties in to other Government agencies, charities, and the Police to provide them with situational awareness using imagery and intelligence feeds to help coordinate relief effort.

This has included bespoke products such as showing imagery on maps to highlight worst hit areas or verifying information on maps that have been created by mapping charities in support of disaster relief.


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