Urban GeospatialAnalysis (UGA)

thumbsshoesSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 11, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)


In an environment where getting information to
the warfighter is critical for mission success,
Northrop Grumman’s
UGAteam has developed
and integrated a custom suite of geographic
information sytems (GIS) tools to be used with a
popular commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)
software package. This unique set of GIS tools
provides the UGAteam with the capability to
respond rapidly, and with increased levels of
accuracy, to the requirements of the U.S. Army
Topographic Engineering Center’s Urban
Tactical Planner (UTP) program. In providing
situational data to the battlefield, the UTP
program has proven itself a vital resource in
support of combat operations by preparing
warfighters and enhancing planning for tactical
What is a UTP?
The UTP is a software planning tool designed to
support Military Operations on Urban Terrain
(MOUT). AUTP provides the warfighter with a
digital representation of a specific urban
environment allowing the user to visualize and
interpret key elements that effect the planning of
military operations. The geospatial dataset
within a UTP is a collection of urban features
that provides critical military planning
information created by Northrop Grumman
analysts using satellite imagery and other
geospatial data. Collected features may include
transportation networks, buildings of signifi-
cance, vertical obstructions, military installa-
tions, areas of occupancy, hydrological features,
forests and ground vegetation, land use,
industrial sites, or other features of special
operational interest. Each feature contains
several attribute fields that provide the military
planner with the greatest amount of detail.
Extracting feature data using common COTS
GIS software tools requires Northrop Grumman’s
analysts to scroll through countless dropdown
menu selections and manually enter data into the
attribute fields for each feature. This method is
extremely time consuming and can contribute to
errors and omissions.
Customized GIS Solutions
Intelligence group (TASC) is a business group of Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology sector. TASC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman
The Urban Geospatial Dataset Solution
The Northrop Grumman UGATeam has developed a
suite of GIS tools created specifically to speed the UTP
development and increase data accuracy. These tools
allow the analyst to select the target feature layer to edit
and enter the attributes for the most commonly used
features in just a few clicks of a mouse. The tools
eliminate the time spent scrolling through multiple
menus and manually entering data into attribute fields.
Using these tools, dataset generation time and errors are
dramatically reduced, which is critical when submitting a
geospatial dataset to military planners. In addition, these
tools can automatically calculate heights above sea level
for vertical obstructions such as towers and skyscrapers,
and create a key feature point inside a polygon to signify
the importance of a building, built-up zone or specific
land use.
Additional tools in development include a Quality
Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) tool and a Feature
Line Intersection tool. The QA/QC tool scans attribute
fields for missing, incorrect or inconsistent information
and suggests possible solutions. The Feature Line
Intersection tool locates points that may require a
feature, for example, where roads and water line features
meet and a culvert or bridge is necessary.
The full suite of UGAin-house tools is written in Visual
Basic for Applications (VBA) and is customizable to the
unique and individual project. The tools can also be
tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual
Production speed, efficiency, accuracy, and quality were
the compelling forces behind the development of the
unique GIS extraction tools mentioned above. The
resulting tools have eliminated the time-consuming tasks
of manually searching for and selecting target layers as
well as errors that result from manually entering attribute
data. These improvements reduce overall production
time, product costs, and analyst fatigue, while increasing
the total features extracted, attribute consistency and
value to the customer. The tools have enabled the UGA
team to efficiently produce complete and accurate
datasets that support strategic military planning
operations on urban terrain.
4801 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, VA 20151-3822 703-818-7400
Northrop Grumman Information Technology, 7575 Colshire Drive, McLean, VA 22102 703-556-1000
© 2006 Northrop Grumman Corporation
D-00372 11-07-06
UGA: Providing a fully customizable geospatial toolset
Key UGAtool suite capabilities:
• Selects target layer to edit
• Enters attribute information
• Creates key feature points from polygons
• Calculates height above sea level
• Customizable for any geospatial project or analyst