Redefining “the last 18 inches of command” through collaboration and data visualization

The US Army spent billions of dollars developing command-and-control software, and it took new users at least two weeks on average to learn the system.

MAYA worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to redefine the “last 18 inches of command” with a collaborative information visualization tool now called Command Post of the Future (CPOF). CPOF was delivered an unheard-of five years ahead of schedule and has been in active use in theater since 2005. Plus, it takes less than one day to learn.

CPOF is built on research initially conducted by MAYA called Visage. MAYA Viz, a spin-off of MAYA Design, commercialized Visage into a product called CoMotion®. Viz is now a division of General Dynamics Mission Systems.


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A Soldier using Command Post of the Future

Visualizing the battle space

CPOF applies the practice of dynamic data visualization to real-time information in the battlefield. By interacting with tactical information visually, soldiers can quickly identify the trends, correlations, and outliers that give them a strategic advantage in operations. CPOF is also a tool for deep collaboration: by looking at another user’s view, you do more than share information, you understand their thinking and orientation. Different users can represent various aspects of the same facts—on a map, timeline view, or graph—and track changes across all of the visualizations generated by other users.

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