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Refining topographic line maps for use with ground based night vision systems

Sapparth, David James (2002) Refining topographic line maps for use with ground based night vision systems. .

Abstract

This study aims to refine the current cartographic standards and specifications used by the Australian Defence Force to produce the 1:50 000 scale Topographic Line Map (TLM) so that TLMs can be read with both normal chromatic vision and with achromatic NVG vision.

The proliferation and integration of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) into the Australian Army has increased the operating capacity of forces at night. The Australian Army has incorporated NVG into standard operating procedures and training to the effect that Australian military personnel do not operate, at night, without NVG. The increased use of NVG in the Australian Army has required existing systems to be modified or redesigned to be effective within the limitations of NVG. The inability to read TLMs effectively with NVG is an identified problem within the Australian Army. This research has investigated the problems associated with using NVG and the information, which cannot be read on TLMs with NVG. This information was compared to a survey of features on a TLM that are critical for successful military operations. The combined information determined which features on a TLM were to be refined to enable effective reading with NVG.

The scope of this research limited refinements to current or previous cartographic standards and specifications used by the Australian Army to produce TLMs. Refinements were limited to symbology, size, and colour and three critical information features of contours, watercourses and vegetation. The problems of cartographic design for a dual vision system (chromatic/achromatic) were investigated and it was determined that the common factor of value contrast exhibits the greatest effect on the refinement process.

Prototype TLMs were produced and tested with normal and NVG vision to determine the best cartographic portrayal of the critical information features, without compromising the Figure/ground relationship, balance and cognitive meanings of the TLM. A final product was produced from the prototype experiment results providing a TLM for use with both normal and NVG vision. The refined TLM has changed contours from brown to black without changes to symbology or size and watercourses from 0.1mm width to 0.2mm width without changing colour or symbology. Vegetation was retained at the current standard and specification.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15877
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Hayes, John, Jones, Kevin, & Thompson, Bill
Keywords: Night Vision Goggles, NVG, Topographic Line Map, TLM, military operations, cartography, visual perception, contrast, map design
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright David James Sapparth
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:52
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:40

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