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Critique systems for Geographic information and GIS Åke Sivertun Swedish National Defence College. Box 278 05, 115 93 Stockholm, Sweden

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Critique systems for Geographic information and GIS

Åke Sivertun

Swedish National Defence College. Box 278 05, 115 93 Stockholm, Sweden


Many decisions, not only in the field of military actions and emergency management, require and gain from a large amount of spatial or geographical information.

  • If these data are handled in a Geographical Information System (GIS) we add possibilities to collect, index and analyse them into valuable information in a way that divert substantially from traditional handling of maps.
  • A GIS is an IS with the capabilities not only to handle traditional digital maps in raster and vector format but further analysed Remote Sensing data like LIDAR and data from other sources, GPS positioning and also real time intelligence reports to form a common picture.

Why Spatial and

Geographical Information?

why critiquing
Why Critiquing?
  • From a philosophical standpoint it is often stressed that it is impossible to obtain all probable and correct data and knowledge to make a decision (especially in case of an emergency or dangerous situation)
  • but further we can support the decision makers with IS that give criticism on the different suggestions they are producing – perhaps telling what are the weak parts in them.
  • This is certainly applicable in decisions that include several knowledge domains and areas of expertise.

WhyCritiquing in GIS?

If a GIS is combined with functions that can deliver critique to suggested decisions by pointing at impossible driving tracks or conflicting goals, the system can meet high expectations on civil as military C3 (Command, Control and Communication) systems.

Such approach can also meet the fear of overload of information in such systems.

The development in society with globalization and global dependencies, changing climate, changing demographic situation , more complex society and more complex systems also lead to a demand for more sophisticated information and information systems

combination of different data and sources
Combination of different data and sources
  • Remote sensing data
  • Geology, topographic maps
  • Hydrology , Vegetation
  • Digital terrain models
  • Population maps, Intelligence etc.
  • These map data sets could be dynamically updated and analyzed to show the present situation and be distributed to all involved participants, perhaps as a print on demand paper map but rather in an electronic device that allow the user to give feedback and update .

Test of hypothetical vehicle in the 3D environment

Go and No Go surface map

Compound Cost Surface map


Identification of Course of Action (CoA), that describes what information that shall be included.

a) general goal for the operation

b) the units and the material that are supposed to be used to reach the goal

c) the orders that have to be given by the units

d) requirements in time

e) a terrain description.

Into written plans and maps showing the present situation, the threats, the resources and the goals.

Plans in the US Armed forces are made by following formal procedure

the situation is seldom static
that is why a GIS showing both the dynamic geographical situation, the threats and the forces is a very useful tool for decision making.

The player that has the capability to forecast the development in all the involved space and time scales and have the ability to command and control his forces will be able to grasp the initiative and will possibly be able to solve his mission in the best way. However, this requires a thorough and common picture of the situation and with that as a base, a common understanding.

The situation is seldom static

Mobile platforms for GIS with GPS positioning and communication (as GSM) between the commanders and the troops /rescue workers and in between them

Facilitates a common picture and instant update of the situation

Hand top PC and Pin GIS

integration of remote sensed images and semantic based descriptors for hazards and risks management



Daniele Casciello1,2, Francisco Rivas2 ,

Åke Sivertun2


Building learning organisations with also space/time experiences from missions

  • Identify the obstacles and possibilities in different regions during a variety of geographic and climatologic conditions
  • Building models so such obstacles can be predicted and avoided.
  • Working towards systems for standardisation and harmonisation of different data and information sources so that they can be more easily integrated in the analysis
  • Validations of models and experiences so that demand on base maps new sensor data, processes and C3 capability is improved.
  • Building capability to exchange data and models between the military and civil societies, international organisations and other stakeholders

GIS as methods and tools to integrate, analyze and model information about complex phenomena like Military and other Conflicts, Emergencies and Catastrophes and giving the possibility to predict and take counter measures! Planning for safety !







Thank you for your attention!

Åke Sivertun