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Street Patrols in Iraq

Location: Regency Ballroom Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)

When the war in Iraq started, there was an enormous information gap for the young officers leading the fight. Whereas the traditional military systems focused on feeding information up the chain of command, the new counterinsurgency war required information to be available and shared at the lowest ranks. The information consumers and creators were the sergeants and lieutenants who were building in-depth knowledge of the people and the terrain through daily interactions. DARPA – a Pentagon research agency – launched a crash development program and built TIGR (Tactical Ground Reporting System – pronounced “tiger”) – a map-centric application for sharing media-rich information on people, places and events. Since the introduction of the system to the first brigade in 2007, the use and content have grown exponentially, and the system has become a ‘must-have’ tool for all units in Iraq as well as those training for re-deployment in the US. This talk describes how TIGR is being used, technical challenges overcome while building the system, and the unique characteristics that differentiates TIGR from commercial map-based applications.

Mari Maeda


Program Manager responsible for tactical information management and communication efforts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Responsible for developing TIGR system. Also manages efforts developing two-way speech translation systems. Holds PhD in physics from MIT.

Samuel Earp

Multisensor Sciences

Sam Earp received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Duke University. He was an assistant professor of electrical engineering at George Mason University, teaching courses in stochastic processing and communications. He has held a wide variety of technical and managerial positions in the defense industry over the last 30 years. For the last decade, Dr. Earp has been a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research projects Agency.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Samuel Earp
05/21/2009 12:30pm PDT

Frank has it right, there is a lot of good to be done with the technology. I was pleased with all the applications – helping farmers in Africa, understanding and helping people in New Orleans post-Katrina, helping native people in the Amazon and yes indeed helping our troops.

Frank Williams
05/21/2009 11:37am PDT

I thought this was a great brief. It shows LBSish resources being used where they matter the very most; keeping our troops safer and finding bad people. I think WHERE2 should actively reach out to first responders, medical types, etc. to see where they’re going with the technology.