Pablo's Mission Planning Website
Greetings Mission Planners,
With the release of the CADRG TLM Update Disc (TUD) NGA has released all the TLM's available on ADRG.. TLM's that aren't available digitally need to be scanned from paper before CADRG can be produced. The only exception to this rule is new TLM sheets produced by NGA. New processes should ensure that a digital CADRG TLM will reach you at approximately the same time as the paper edition. If you need digital TLM's of an area (where paper TLM's are available) then submit your requirement through the Theater/MAJCOM/Service Geospatial POC. If you take the time to submit a prioritized list (with a valid rationale) then you have a good chance of getting what you want.
Do you still need the older Ground Combat Discs? A handful of discs still contain City Graphics that aren't available from any other source (mostly in countries that aren't of high interest) but if you don't care about these City Graphics then you can send these discs off for destruction.
Mission Planning Tip: VMap Overlay
Unlike Raster or DTED maps, Vector maps can act as a base map or as on overlay. The data and options remain the same, but instead of being the bottom layer the vector information is placed on top of another base map. Switch to a map other than VMap and go to the Overlay - Options menu
Go to the VMap options and configure the overlay. Remember the more feature groups you turn on and the more detailed the VMap data you use then the slower your performance will be.
You can overlay as many or as few of the VMap layers as you like. FalconView will switch between VMap Level 0 and 1 (and the VMap reference data) just as it does when you use VMap as a map. If you choose "Fill solid area symbols" FalconView will fill in the enclosed areas like cities or countries. Of course if you fill in a country's borders the VMap "overlay" will look just like a VMap "map". The image below shows the VMap1 layers on top of the JOG at San Nicholas (NSI/A). You can see how the VMap features track the JOG very closely - but not exactly.
The image below shows the same VMap features overlaid on imagery. You can see the key weakness of VMap - because the features are extracted from a cartographic chart instead of imagery they're prone to error. Although the image may not be georectified perfectly, the VMap (and the JOG) includes a point of land that just isn't there.
As you zoom into detailed imagery the amount of detail available from the VMap becomes more "out of sync" with the underlying imagery. The image below shows VMap on top of 10 Meter Imagery (1 Meter DOQ at 10% zoom). You can see how the JOG cartographer separated the river, the road and the town to make the JOG chart more legible but when you overlay the features on the imagery you can see how much the actual river location diverges from the real river's course through the city.
Of course if you overlay VMap on 1 Meter Imagery things get really out of proportion.
The VMap overlay will be included on printouts and in SkyView just like any other overlay:
There is more detailed vector VPF data available from NGA. VMap Level 2 corresponds to a TLM chart's detail and UVMap corresponds to the detail on a City Graphic. NGA's Feature Foundation Data (FFD) addresses the weaknesses of VMap and it's features are derived from imagery instead of from a paper chart. Unfortunately no funding has been offered to modify FalconView to support any of these products. (The addition of VMap and Digital Nautical Chart to FalconView was paid for by the then NIMA and built on the basic VPF functionality funded by the ANG)