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Plan and Display Unit Routes and Communication Networks for Tactical Scenarios TacMap

Major James Neushul, USMC, created TacMap to simulate tactical unit reporting and display movement over time. The server page allows users to set unit locations, plan routes, save scenarios to browser local storage, export and import scenarios to and from the server, play and pause scenarios, and record unit position reports. The unit page allows observation of unit movements with selective visualization of communication networks. Code and links to demonstration pages are posted on GitHub.

The project leverages Cesium capabilities for geodesy visualization, polygon display, polylines, entities, billboards, infoBox, selectionIndicator, and baseLayerPicker. Web services are provided using node.js and the AngualarJS JavaScript framework. An HTML indexed database is used to cache data locally, and is used to achieve browser-to-browser communications. This is a prototype effort, which is intended to motivate development to support real world reporting between actual units using web-enabled handheld devices.

Cesium represents an accessible and configurable framework for both rapid prototyping and production-level code. It provides capabilities that are largely taken for granted in the mainstream but that are lamentably lacking in the military environment, where effective and accurate tactical reporting remains unfeasible. This project is published to encourage broad collaborative development using open standards and open source resources in order to improve situational awareness and reporting capabilities at the tactical level.