The geospatial engineering discipline is one of three engineer disciplines. It plays a major role in supporting combat and general engineering disciplines. This discipline is essential to all lines of engineer support (assure mobility, enhance protection, enable force projection and logistics, and build partner capacity and develop infrastructure). Geospatial engineering is an art and a science that pertains to the generation, management, analysis, and dissemination of geospatial information that is accurately referenced to a precise earth location and is used in offense, defense, stability, or defense support of civil authorities tasks. These tasks provide mission-tailored data, tactical decision aids, and visualization products that enable the commander and staff to visualize the operational environment. Geospatial engineers aid in the analysis of physical and cultural terrain and other activities that significantly contribute to anticipating, estimating, and warning of possible future events. Providing geospatial information that is timely, accurate, and relevant is a critical enabler throughout the operations process for developing shared situational awareness, improving the understanding of capabilities and limitations for friendly forces and the adversary, and highlighting other conditions of the operational environment that are required for mission command. Today, geospatial engineering leverages finer temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions from additional sensors and platforms that allow increased volumes and more complex data. New methods and technologies provide additional utility and capability and the ability to work effectively and efficiently within a broad pool of partners and allies. In addition to mastering their respective areas of expertise, engineer staff officers and other staff members must possess a thorough understanding of geospatial engineering to tailor geospatial information to support the mission command warfighting function. Advancements in technology and access to an abundance of information can quickly lead to information overload. Planners must be able to analyze the situation through the mission and operational variables, grasp the military significance of the challenges and opportunities presented, and manage information to enable situational understanding to support decisionmaking. This manual describes the application of geospatial engineering in support of Army forces conducting unified land operations. It also acknowledges that Army doctrine remains dynamic—balancing current capabilities and situations with projected requirements for future operations. As geospatial engineer capabilities continue to improve through organizational changes, technological advancements, and emerging best practices, leaders and planners at all levels will be charged to leverage those improvements and adapt the processes and procedures that are described in this manual to meet the demands and provide the most effective geospatial support possible to the commander. Although there is a detailed discussion in this manual regarding the topographic company, it will become inactive in fiscal year 2016.
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