Release date:2023-08-21 Update date:2023-08-23 Editor:admin View counts:368



Military is a social activity centered on the preparation and implementation of war. All military operations are carried out in a certain geographical environment, which plays an extremely important role in military operations. With the rapid development of information technology in human society, the content of information confrontation in future high-tech warfare will be higher and higher, especially in local warfare under high-tech conditions. Because of the sudden outbreak of war, the quickening of the war process and the fleeting of fighter planes, the timeliness of combat command is required to be higher. Intelligent command and decision-making, automation of operational command and informationization of weapons and equipment become the key to victory in future wars. In this demand, digital battlefield has emerged, and digital geographic environment information has become one of the necessary conditions for command and decision-making. Therefore, military geographic information system, as a space military information support, has become an important part of modern military struggle。

Military Geographic Information System (MGIS) is the military application of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. It refers to the technical system that collects, stores, retrieves, analyses, displays and outputs spatial information such as military terrain, resources and environment with the support of computer software and hardware. It plays an important role in military geographic information support and command decision-making。

Military Geographic Information System (MGIS) is closely related to remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) and command automation system C3 I (Command, Control, Communication, Information) is closely linked to form a multi-functional unified system. It generally consists of six subsystems: information collection subsystem, information transmission subsystem, information processing subsystem, information display subsystem, decision monitoring subsystem and execution subsystem. Among them, intelligence is the basis of military decision-making. Information collection, processing and display are the core of the system. The communication and control are the guarantee of information transmission and decision-making process. The command makes military decision-making concrete. Geographic information system technology plays an important role in information collection, processing, display and command decision-making。

In addition, the construction of digital battlefield triggered by military technological revolution has become the mainstream of future battlefield development, and the construction of digital battlefield and digital army has become the major trend of military development in the 21st century, which has aroused widespread concern of all countries. Toffler, a famous American futurist, pointed out that the construction of digital battlefield is a more challenging system engineering than the “Manhattan Project” of developing atomic bombs. “Digital battlefield is the key to win information war”. As far as the content of battlefield digitalization is concerned, it mainly includes digitalization of battlefield geographical environment, digitalization of combat forces, digitalization of various weapons and digitalization of soldier equipment. In a sense, the digitization of battlefield geographic environment is the basis of other digitization. It provides the necessary battlefield background environment and spatial positioning basis for the digitization of combat forces and various weapons and equipment。

Current Situation of Foreign Military Geographic Information System (MGIS)

Military Geographic Information System (MGIS) played an important role in the Gulf War and the subsequent wars, and has been widely valued by the military of all countries. Most countries in the world have established military geographic information systems with different uses and sizes. Most of the reports are from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries. Its applications include:

  1. Basic Geographic Information includes topographic map, DEM, DTM and so on。

  2. Navigation and aviation management refers to Navigation charts, planned routes, obstacles, restricted areas, navigational aids, navigation management, air traffic control, etc。

  3. Terrain analysis includes battlefield simulation, marching route, emergency line analysis, cross-country maneuver, water-related analysis, through-view analysis, distance measurement, area measurement, weapon strike trajectory analysis, etc。

  4. Mission planning (strategic level) includes military base planning, military infrastructure management, strike effectiveness evaluation, cruise missile support, war zone planning, invasion emergency planning, target breakdown, orbit modeling, etc。

  5. War management (tactical level) includes battlefield monitoring, battlefield management, small battlefield planning, landing planning, tactical simulation, logistics support planning, traffic planning, etc。

  6. Basic Job Support includes interception applications, environmental applications, classification planning of military facilities, etc。

  7. Boundary Control includes border patrol and cross-analysis, drug embargo and immigration control。

  8. Intelligence includes anti-drug activities, anti-terrorism activities, weapons surveillance and tracking, intelligence collection and so on。

Examples of Foreign Military Application Systems

The Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) is the management department of military GIS in the United States. Since 1989, it has invested a lot of manpower and material resources to develop military GIS system. For example:

  1. Digital nautical charts Digital Navigation Chart (DNC) and GPS are combined for naval navigation to replace the 4500 paper charts previously used. These digital maps can support a wide range of spatial analysis and geographic queries. Digitized nautical charts generally contain 12 feature databases: toponym annotations, hydrological elements, boundaries, port facilities, underwater topography, waterways, navigation signs, rescue signs, marine environment, terrain and terrain, navigation obstacles, and data priority。

  2. Digital Map VMAP (Vector smart MAP) data are divided into two levels, corresponding to topographic maps of 1:250,000 scale and 1:50,000 scale, respectively. The system includes 10 data layers: transportation, network, boundary, hydrology, city, public facilities, vegetation, contour, industrial facilities。

  3. Hydrological Resources Assessment System is used for hydrological and bathymetric data collection。

In fact, due to the particularity of military secrecy, we know little about many powerful MGIS abroad. As a military intelligence facility, the United States is establishing and improving the Global Geospatial Information and Services (GGI&S) system for military applications. The data contained two levels, national and global, which met the standards of NOTA DIGEST, ISO TC/211 and OGIS。

In addition, the British National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) combined SPOT image of France with MGIS to simulate the enemy’s three-dimensional terrain, and conducted simulation training for military pilots, and achieved good results。

The practice of the Gulf War has proved that the combination of MGIS and remote sensing technology can provide real-time geographic information guarantee in wartime. The real-time service of the United States Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in the battlefield of the Gulf War mainly includes the use of automatic image matching and automatic target recognition technology to process the real-time digital images acquired by satellites and high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, providing 24-hour real-time service for military decision-making in time. For conflict areas, the most basic geographic information support is to provide combat maps for combat forces. Compared with the traditional cartographic technology, MGIS’s cartographic function is undoubtedly excellent. It can provide both digital maps and exquisite printed maps. Its production speed is much faster than the traditional cartographic method. Especially with the support of remote sensing technology, it can obtain cartographic data in real time. During the Gulf War, the U.S. Defense Cartography Agency entered a 24-hour production state, and developed 12,000 sets of new map products, including 600 sets of digital maps and 1,000,000 battlefield maps covering Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and other countries and regions, ranging in scale from 1:50,000. Due to the urgent need for these battlefield maps, the multinational force used C130 long-range transport aircraft to transport military maps to Saudi Arabia in this war, which took precedence over the transport of drugs and was second only to the transport of components of the Patriot missile launcher. Thus, it can be seen the wartime real-time geographic information support is very important 。

In addition to the above map products, the National Defense Mapping Office and the Engineering Terrain Laboratory also use digital terrain elevation data, raster graphics data, Toponymic codes and so on. In areas where there is no ready-made map data, MGIS is used to process SPOT and LANDSAT images and airborne radar images to obtain image maps that can be directly applied. Therefore, the combination of MGIS and RS can better fulfill the real-time geographic information support task in wartime。

Development Direction of MGIS

Generally speaking, military geographic information systems have the following development trends in order to better meet the requirements of modern warfare:

  1. Large-scale basic data and infrastructure。

  2. Specialization of application in various fields。

  3. Practical, simple, easy to learn and use。

  4. Miniaturization。

  5. Standardization。

  • 1. Geographical Cognition of the Real World
  • 2. The abstraction of the real world
  • 3. Bit world
  • 1. Data meaning and data type
  • 2. Measurement scale of data
  • 3. GIS data quality
  • 1. Map digitization
  • 2. Processing of spatial data entry
  • 1. Computer network technology
  • 2. Distributed geographic information system
  • 3. WebGIS - World Wide Web Geographic Information System
  • 1. Socialization of GIS
  • 2. Other problems of GIS socialization
  • 3. The impact of society on the development of GIS

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