How the British Army use OS NGD API - Features for battlefield training
High fidelity mapping, creates immersive battlefield simulations, which are key to army training.
Soldiers in 47 Regiment are innovative, adaptable, and work in a highly skilled aviation environment. They are trained in roles including as pilots of the Watchkeeper Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), to provide intelligence for commanders across the British Army.
During exercises, operators enter a virtual battlespace in 3D. This immersive training environment is created using data from the OS National Geospatial Database (OS NGD), which contains the most detailed information of Britain’s landscape.
The simulation platform includes the buildings, roads, surface and elevation data via an API providing an automated basemap for the training area
The training team have found the Ordnance Survey maps visually pleasing and engaging compared to other mapping providers, which has helped their teams get absorbed into the tactical environment. Using accurate location data in the simulation helps achieve a lot of army training objectives.
These objectives are enabled by the work at Defence Geographic Centre (DGC), part of the National Centre for Geospatial Intelligence (NCGI). DGC’s mission is to deliver geographical information, to support Defence objectives. The NCGI facilitate the data supply from Ordnance Survey to where it’s needed.
The OS NGD API Features is a core infrastructure for developing location-based applications, including turn-by-turn navigation. It enables anyone to explore their geodata, as well as providing rich mapping and visualisation capabilities.
It is a flexible solution that allows clients to tailor the information in their simulations to meet their needs and can be used with third-party applications and games.
The Ministry of Defence is able to use OS data and expert help under the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) license, which includes expert technical consultancy and support.
Watchkeeper is an uncrewed aircraft system with a range of intelligence and reconnaissance cameras and sensors, including a state-of-the-art surveillance radar. It lets the Army see things up to 200km away and helps keep troops safe.
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