Investigation of Alternative Visualization Methods in Urban Operations: Urban Streets Terrain Environment


  1. Tack, D.W.
  2. Colbert, H.J.
  3. Kumagai, J.K.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This experiment investigated the effectiveness of different conventional and virtual pre-mission visualization capabilities for use in dismounted infantry missions in an urban streets environment. Three visualization methods were investigated: a 2D paper map, an aerial photograph and a 3D navigable computer-based virtual environment. A four-day field trial was undertaken at Ft. Benning, Georgia over the period of 8 to 12 March 2001. Thirty-two regular force infantry soldiers were required to navigate through an urban environment based solely on the mental map they developed through rehearsal with alternative visualization methods. Visualization conditions included in-service methods (i.e., 2D map or aerial photograph) and enhanced visualization methods (i.e., 3D static images and fly-through capabilities). Each participant used only one visualization method, during a night mission and a day mission. Qualitative data was gathered in the form of pre-mission and post-mission questionnaires, comments and focus groups. Mission performance measures included visualization time, route time, route distance, number of times the soldier crossed the sniper’s path, terrain reconstruction drawings and distance and bearing estimation errors to critical mission features. While subjective questionnaire and focus group results support the use of a virtual environment for pre-mission visualization, there were few significant differences in performance when mission rehearsal was conducted usin

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;navigation;3D;virtual environment;visualization;urban;mission planning
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2004-174 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2004
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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