Relevance of using map annotations

Forbus, K., Usher, J., and Chapman, V. (2003). Sketching for military courses of action diagrams. In York, A. P. N., editor, Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Intelligent user interfaces, pages 61–68, Miami, Florida.

"A serious barrier to the digitalization of the US military is that commanders find traditional mouse/menu, CAD-style interfaces unnatural. Military commanders develop and communicate battle plans by sketching courses of action (COAs)."

"One task where sketching is used extensively is when military planners are formulating battle plans, called Courses of Action (COAs)"

"A COA consists of a sketch and a textual statement. The sketch conveys a number of crucial properties of the situation and the plan. First, it includes a depiction of what terrain features are considered important. (Sometimes COAs are drawn on acetate overlays on maps, sometimes the basic terrain description itself is simply sketched.) The results of analyzing terrain, such as possible paths for movement (mobility corridors, avenues of approach) and good locations for different kinds of operations are identified. The disposition of troops and equipment, both for friendly (Blue) forces and what is known about the enemy (Red) forces is shown by means of unit symbols, a vocabulary of graphical symbols defined as part of US military doctrine. This graphical vocabulary also includes symbols for tasks, such as destroy, defend, attack, and so on. The COA sketch indicates a commander's plan in terms of the tasks that their units are assigned to do."

"Today's speech systems have serious problems in noisy environments, especially when operators are under stress. "

Why do I blog this? I am gathering some usage of map annotation tools like the one we're using in CatchBob. It seems that military use of such systems are relevant. The system they present is for desktop computers. I am looking for ubicomp military applications (working od pda or tablet pcs).