Combat stories map: a historical repository and after action tool for capturing, storing, and analyzing georeferenced individual combat narratives
Hayes, Jonathan L.
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Despite the proliferation of technology and near-global Internet accessibility, a web-based program incorporating interactive maps to record personal combat experiences does not exist. The Combat Stories Map addresses this deficiency. The Combat Stories Map is a web-based Geographic Information System specifically designed to collect and store U.S. service members' georeferenced combat stories. The stories are immediately available for after action analysis, and they are maintained in an easily searchable database for future research. The Combat Stories Map uses powerful, cloud-based mapping software to provide near-global access and almost infinite expansion while leveraging innate mental characteristics to provide an interface that facilitates easy input and analysis. Its analytical tools enable the comparison of individual narratives to official histories of battles. This project demonstrated the tool's use by collecting combat experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan for after action purposes. By validating Fallujah veterans' narratives with the official history of the Second Battle of Fallujah, this project illustrated the tool's worth in capturing and maintaining individual combat stories. With further development, the Combat Stories Map could become a valuable system for after action combat analysis, and for historical archiving and research purposes.
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