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MAPS, JETS, AND CHATS

MMA.jpg- From commerical satellite pictures, the Army is putting together 3D maps of Mosul and Fallujah.- Out of a 737 passenger jet, Boeing is making an anti-sub spyplane.- In online chat rooms, the CIA and the National Science Foundation are hoping to catch terrorists scheming.THERE'S MORE: With a program called FalconView, the Air Force has been cooking up satellite-generated 3-D maps since 1995 in Bosnia, notes Defense Tech pal CA.

"One of the best things about FV is not just that you can place items on imagery, but that you can 'drape' that imagery over 3-D Digital Terrain Elevation Data. This is what enables the hi-fidelity fly-throughs [of the area]. More cumbersome technology, using [government] imagery, has been around for years. But time and progress now allows it to get to the field...Hi-fidelity imagery is not only a boon to the troops, but also to the intelligence community. Now lower-priority, lower-fidelity requirements (like low-resolution maps, environmental studies) can be [handled by] commercial [satellites], and not take up valuable "national" resources as they have always done. The main drawback to commercial is lack of assets (though improving), and lack of timeliness. But the capability is great if you want to, say, get mid-res city graphics of major Iranian cities, or produce mid-res familiarization products of Iranian nuclear/missile facilities.
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