Alternative Visualization Methods for High Density Urban Operations


  1. Tack, D.W.
  2. Colbert, H.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This study investigated the utility of providing soldiers with alternative terrain visualization capabilities for navigation in high-density, complex urban terrain, evaluated the effectiveness and usability of alternative display modalities, and identified interface design aspects critical to optimizing visualization display designs. A five-day field trial was undertaken by twenty regular force infantry soldiers. Participants were required to navigate through a high-density urban environment (Old Quebec City) based on a mental map of the area and the mission that they developed during pre-mission rehearsal with alternative visualization tools, including 2D maps and aerial photographs, 3D virtual models at different levels of detail, and 3D photoviewers. Soldiers also participated in an investigation of two higher fidelity virtual models: a medium fidelity virtual model with photo textures added to some buildings and a high fidelity virtual model. The results of this study support the use of virtual 3D models for terrain visualization in mission planning and rehearsal for infantry missions in complex urban terrain. Using a medium fidelity virtual model, soldier participants were more likely to succeed in reaching their objective and remain on their prescribed route than when using the other visualization methods. In estimating the location of mission critical features, the medium fidelity virtual model was significantly better for bearing and distance estimations than the othe

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;Alternative Visualization Methods;Urban Operations;Navigation;Alternative Display Modalities;Visual Display;2D maps;3D virtual models;3D photoviewer;terrain visualization;complex terrain
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-013 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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