Support: August 18, 2005

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: Despite the billions of dollars a year the U.S. Department of Defense spends each year on making maps, the troops in combat often dont have anything they can use. The U.S. Marine Corps, in a rush to get decent maps for its troops in Iraq, is buying a commercial system to fill in the gaps. The firm HST got the order, because their portable electronic map systems not only street maps of Iraq, but work with the Garmin GPS gear used by the marines. In these units, the major road network for all of Iraq is shown as well as the street maps for Amarah, Baghdad, Basra, Diwaniyahr, Hilla, Irbil, Kerbala, Kirkut, Kut, Mosul, Najaf, Sulaymaniyah and Tikrit. For the major roads, the scale is 1:100,000 (common for most military maps), while the scale for city streets is 1:10,000. For about $300, you can get a similar mapping system that will run on a laptop computer. There is a growing commercial market for these Iraqi maps as well, not only by Iraqis, but also by foreigners working in Iraq. No doubt the terrorists use this gear as well.

 


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