By Sgt. Kerensa Hardy
First published in
SFOR Informer#115, June 13, 2001
Camp Butmir Products such as the SFOR Route Map
are invaluable to the personnel who frequent the roads in BiH.
The map shows SFOR-approved routes throughout the theatre.
The section responsible for these types of products is CJ2 GEO.
But their mission may not be exactly what you might think.
We dont actually make maps per se. We dont have the capabilities
to make maps, we do not have the (equipment), said Canadian Maj.
Ed Batchelor, chief geographic officer. What we are making are
map products. Maps that we have access to are ones that we receive
through the NATO distribution chain.
The mission of CJ2 GEO is to provide mapping, charting and geodetic
products and services to all units of SFOR, according to Batchelor.
There are five different geographic functions; each of those provides
a particular capability. The functions are map supply and distribution,
terrain analysis and visualisation, reproduction (printing or
plotting), surveying and geographic data management. An unofficial
function is the ongoing requirement of providing advice to customers
and maintaining communication to ensure co-ordination is carried
out prior to updating or creating certain map products.
some functions are used more often than others in this case,
map supply and distribution are the areas in which CJ2 gets the
The Theatre Map Depot is located on Camp Butmir and has a stock
of about 1 million maps of various scales and series. When customers
come to CJ2 requesting what is referred to as a designated product,
they are sent to the map depot to get the item.
Designated products are those that were identified when the theatre
operation was initially established. They include various series
of maps that are considered as the standard in theatre to ensure
that everyone is using the same map. Customers can use these maps
to navigate, locate various features and identify high and low
points on the terrain, Batchelor explained.
I think one of the important things to note is although every
product we put out contains an identifying task number that indicates
that its been produced on behalf (of CJ2 GEO), were only providing
a graphical presentation of what the customer wants, he said.
So its really their information that were putting on paper.
Customers provide the specific information they want depicted
on the map.
as were in the business, we obviously have the expertise and
knowledge on how to best portray that information, Batchelor
They come with an idea or requirement, the staff asks questions
about what the customer wants and the process goes on from there.
The next level is when additional data is added to an existing
For the most part most of the designated products that we have
in hard copy, we have digital files of those on CD, and that allows
us to manipulate the information as opposed to just (making an
overlay), the CJ2 GEO chief said. Then there are products we
can actually create from scratch based on a base map layer and
layers of information, which is where our specialised software
comes into play. It allows you to build a product by layer. In
these instances, the base map is the background and each layer
shows specific information, roads, water, vegetation, etc.
An example of a map that has had information added is the recent
Glamoc Range map. The border-crossing maps are examples of those
products made essentially from scratch.
miscellaneous products are reproduced on a cyclic basis six
months to one year. Theyre produced in-house and are printed
by contract, such as the SFOR Route Map, helicopter landing sites,
medical facilities or unit disposition maps.
Just as with any job, there are challenges involved with this
mission. Batchelor said that every day is a challenge, but nothing
his team cant handle.
Theres no challenge that we cannot overcome. Ive come to learn
that the technicians who work on my staff are intelligent, educated
people who have a tremendous desire to meet the mission, he said.
They will come up with a workable solution to any problem we
encounter or any requirement that a customer asks of us.
He said the job the section does is rewarding because customers
come to them with an idea or request and CJ2 GEO makes it a reality.
Customers receive the result in a short time frame and for them
it is gratifying.
I think that what people like most about what we do is that it
meets the proverb, A picture is worth a thousand words, he
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