Blue Force Tracking

An example of locative media used by the US Army: Blue Force Tracking (Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below System (FBCB2).)

Blue-force tracking — technologies that tell U.S. military units where friendly forces are — has come of age in Iraq operations. (...) it gives combat vehicles a dashboard-mounted laptop and a roof-mounted transponder/receiver to beam information via satellite to headquarters and other vehicles. The result is an all-weather, always-on, near-real time picture of the battlefield that answers the questions: Where am I — and where are my friends? This helps coordinate a force’s striking punch and reduce friendly fire. (...) Using lessons learned in Iraq, the Army and industry are working to improve blue-force tracking, adding bandwidth to transmit more data on friendly and enemy units, support three-dimensional imaging, and allow expanded text messaging. In development is a hand-held electronic version of blue-force tracking that will allow dismounted ground forces to maintain situational awareness.