Advancing the Army's Geospatial Capability

Article excerpt

OACSIM Installation Geospatial Information and Services

By The OACSIM IGI&S Headquarters Support Team

The Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management's (OACSIM) Installation Geospatial Information & Services (IGI&S) program is leading the effort to streamline geospatial business processes to help the Army stay ready and relevant to meet challenges in a time of persistent conflict, and to provide a quality of life for soldiers and families commensurate with their service.

OACSIM established the IGI&S program as a liaison for geospatial activities in the Army's Installations and Environments domain. IGI&S represents the Department of Defense's capability to capture, display and analyze geographically referenced information in support of installation management. Geospatial information systems (GIS) and geospatial technologies, which are increasingly becoming a part of life by solving daily problems in ways that are quickly understood and easily shared, are a core component of IGI&S. With popular and accessible commercial mapping tools like MapQuest and Google Maps, web portals for geospatial data such as geodata.gov, and tools for mapping real estate such as Red Fin and Zillow, soldiers and civilians are accustomed to using GIS to provide answers to both routine and complex questions wherever they have access to the Internet. The stated mission of the Army's IGI&S program is to "strengthen the Army geospatial infrastructure and globalize assets by providing IGI&S support and capabilities" in support of the Army's overall mission to protect and defend.

In addition to OACSIM, other Army staff help ensure that the Army's IGI&S mission is executed. While OACSIM provides IGI&S policy, guidance and standards, other agencies and commands - including Installation Management Command (IMCOM), the National Guard Bureau, the Army Reserve, U.S. Army Medical Command and Army Materiel Command - provide execution and support across the enterprise from headquarters to garrison offices.

To create more equity and efficiency in the Army's geospatial efforts, IGI&S is working to increase the sharing of GIS data between installations with the intention of reducing redundancy and unnecessary work for those who need GIS data to support installation workflow. The IGI&S program is also tasked with reducing the variance in the quality and quantity of geospatial information across the Army's Installations and Environments domain.

To consolidate and create a common set of geospatial functions throughout the Army, the IGI&S program implemented the Army Mapper system. Located behind Army Knowledge Online (AKO) at https://mapper.army.mil, Army Mapper is the IGI&S program's enterprise geospatial system. The IMCOM Systems Implementation and Fielding Division is leading Army Mapper's technical development, and IGI&S is identifying the system's functional and technical requirements.

Army Mapper provides the infrastructure foundation for secure sharing of geospatial capabilities and data in accordance with Army and Department of Defense enterprise architecture standards. Army Mapper also integrates the commercial Google Earth Enterprise application with Army Headquarters business systems such as the Army installation status report program, the Army stationing and installation plan, the real property planning and analysis system, the headquarters installation information system and the real estate management information system for a visual representation of previously tabular data.

With Army Mapper, commanders, civilians or any person with Common Access Card (CAC) or AKO access can view installation GIS data, answer questions and solve practical problems. For example, Army Mapper can support critical installation management functions such as emergency services, disaster support planning, facilities management, military exercise planning, and family, morale, welfare and recreation event planning in addition to providing directions from one location on the installation to another. …