Evaluation of Geospatial Digital Support Products




Powell, Walter A.
Laskey, Kathryn Blackmond
Adelman, Leonard
Johnson, Ryan
Dorgan, Shiloh
Hieb, Micheal
Braswell, Kenneth
Powers, Michael

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Geospatial Reasoning has been an essential aspect of military planning since the invention of cartography. Geospatial Digital Support Products (GDSPs) are ubiquitous within current military forces as well as civil and humanitarian organizations. Nevertheless, there is too little empirical evidence to quantify the military value of geospatial products to the warfighter. We conducted a hypothesis-driven experiment to evaluate the military value of the Battlefield Terrain Reasoning and Awareness – Battle Command (BTRA-BC) GDSP. Realistic scenarios and appropriate measures to assess performance were developed in collaboration with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The measures included time to completion, objectively assessed solution quality, subjectively assessed solution quality, and terrain understanding. BTRA-BC was integrated into the Army’s Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS). A within-subjects design was employed, in which the participants completed scenarios using DTSS with and without BTRA-BC functionality. Statistical analysis of the data indicated that when the participants used BTRA-BC functionality, they created outputs faster and of higher quality without reducing their knowledge of the impact of the terrain on military decision-making. This paper discusses the scope of the current experiment, the hypotheses, the experimental design, and the results.



Geospatial, Decision support, Experiment