02 May 2007

Using Open Source Software in a GIS setting

Just wanted to post a quick note about an application of Open Source software in a GIS setting. I often have to plan training simulations for my Army Reserve unit. One of the largest problems when designing these simulations is map information. The army provides rather large scale topographic maps that are more or less useless in the tight urban settings that military units so often find themselves in today.

In order to combat these problems when creating training simulations I have been using qGIS to create simple mockups from Orthographic photographs. Although qGIS doesn't yet offer the power of an ESRI product it does a pretty good job of creating a simple easy to interpret map that I can distribute to each soldier for use in a mock combat situation. This picture shows the first map I created for this context, and in the training I have coming up this weekend I hope to create a map with some sort of grid reference system. This map worked out great in giving the individual soldiers an easy to interpret reference that they could communicate about over a radio system. Also I have to throw in a shameless plug for OpenOffice, which I used to create the layout pictured.

No comments: