Alternative Visualization Methods in Urban Operations: In-Building 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 study compares 2D and 3D representations of in-building environments for visualization and mission rehearsal. Twelve infantry soldiers were assigned to use a floor plan to learn a mission within the buildings and twelve were assigned to learn the same mission using the 3D virtual environment. Another twelve soldiers received only a verbal description of the mission, with no visual representation of the buildings. After the learning period, soldiers completed their mission in the actual buildings. Each soldier completed the experiment, first at night and then again the following day, using a different route through the buildings. Qualitative data was gathered in the form of pre-mission and post-mission questionnaires, comments and focus groups. Mission performance measures, including visualization time, route time, route distance, terrain reconstruction drawings and bearing estimation errors to critical mission features, were also gathered. Overall, qualitative results indicated that the floor plan and virtual environment were both better than no aid at all. Quantitative results showed that performance for the floor plan group was better than the virtual environment group for many mission performance measures. There were no measures, qualitative or quantitative, where performance using the virtual environment was significantly better than performance with the floor plan. Several information requirements were identified as vital to the development of a mental model, regard

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;navigation;3D;virtual environment;visualization;urban;mission planning;mission rehearsal
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2004-175 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2004
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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