Baghdad - Before the Bombs - March 7, 2003 - Downtown (right) & Airport (left)
(Courtesy of ImageLinks & DigitalGlobe)
How invisible? Well, just don't peek too close inside the nose cone of a cruise missile for the GPS receiver, or the general's tent as he surveys the real-time battle taking shape on his laptop GIS.It's there...you'll just never hear about...yet.Oh, indeed, GIS in ruggedized laptops and workstations are there in full force.For battle management, weather, troop deployment, flight ops, and much more.
Yes, ubiquitous and yet some, at least by reading some of the Direction's Magazine Discussion Lists, you might think, would have you bemoaning the lack of the recognition afforded to "GIS" technology, or at least the mere mention of the acronym.OK, let's get over it.You'll never hear "GIS" mentioned by Peter Jennings or Wolf Blitzer, or Christiane Amanpour.That's fine...so long as its used.We see the maps, we see the satellite data.Unfortunately our "geocentric" view of the world would have us wanting some booming "Darth-Vaderish" voice proclaiming "THIS IS GIS."
I think we would all love some recognition of our profession, but let's not get hung up on it.We are doing our jobs, advancing the use and utility of a great tool.And whether on the front page or the web page no one sees, spatial information and technology has shown how invaluable a resource it has become, especially in wartime.And in this war, GIS is "embedded" with the troops.