Virginia: The U.S. Army Geospatial Center, is crafting the “new geospatial vision” under a broader effort called the Common Operating Environment (COE) initiative. The goal is to prevent mistakes and save money by finding out redundancies.
Today, an officer in a command post might be looking at a 1-to-50,000-scale map while his troops in the field are looking at 1-to-100,000-scale maps. One map could be populated with different information about the status of features, such as bridge or roads, than the maps the others are using. The COE is aimed at arranging the service’s disparate networks and communications systems together into a better-organised collection of systems that will be based on data standards and nonproprietary software. If the vision becomes reality, a general looking at his Command Post of the battlefield display could see the same terrain and features as an intelligence analyst seated at a Distributed Common Ground System-Army computer, or a soldier looking at friendly troop positions on a smartphone or vehicle display. The Army drafted a COE implementation plan in November 2011 and released it publicly in January 2012. The Army is working on Version 2 of the COE equipment and plans to test it at one of the Army’s twice-a-year Network Integration Evaluation in 2015 or 2016. The end state will be tested with COE Version 3 in 2017 or 2018. “My personal opinion — and I’ve been working here since 1986 — [is that] over the last years, this is probably the most recognition geospatial has ever gotten as a cross-cutting capability,” said Daniel Visone, director of the Army’s Geospatial Acquisition Support Directorate at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.