Reference document

NATO Geospatial Policy

Geospatial information provides the fixed reference to land, sea and airspace (battlespace) essential for assessments, planning, situation awareness, manoeuvre, and coordinated action including strike. The Earth is typically represented through selected topographic, hydrographic, and aeronautical information, or suitable imagery. Such elements must be located within a positional framework. Products are normally delivered as maps and charts, feature or object databases, queries and analysis results, terrain models, and 3D / dynamic visualisations. They are supported by documents such as gazetteers, coordinate lists, and geographic studies. Geospatial information is the foundation for any operational picture, as exemplified by the traditional situation map. The ability to combine geospatial with additional information digitally is fundamental to modern systems, so that spatial situations can be visualised, analysed, and communicated in relation to the battlespace. NATO Core GIS is key to achieving this within the NATO Command Structure (NCS), providing digital geospatial services to C2, all Functional Services (FS), and general users. Geospatial support describes activities that ensure geospatial information is available and exploited when and where it is needed, including the associated staff effort to identify requirements and coordinate activity. Arrangements for geospatial support within NATO seek to identify and manage requirements efficiently, and ensure that co-operating forces ‘fight off the same map ‘ to prevent mistakes and confusion. This goal must be met in network-enabled conditions, providing a reliable spatial foundation for all levels, components and functions. Geospatial support delivers this foundation through NATO geospatial staff. Information, intelligence and data sharing with relevant I0, NGO, NNN and partner nations will be in accordance with the Agreed Guidance, on a case-by-case basis, subject to the approval of Allies.

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