General Stanley McCrystal, US Army, former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, highlighted the importance of understanding people in their environment (the ‘Human Domain’). To achieving a deep understanding and to enable insight and an ability to influence, the following specific areas of difficulty are considered to be:
• The creation of location-specific, geo-social models which reflect spatio-temporal social, cultural, economic, political, religious, ethnic and other dynamic factors.
• Modelling human behaviour to assess local norms and detect deviations. • Understanding and capturing the effects of scale (nation, province, city, neighbourhood, sect, tribe, individual) and time.
• Visualising motives, intentions, reactions, interactions.
The project benefited from the Geo expertise and the in depth MOD domain knowledge of Helyx, and Human Factors expertise provided by the University of Nottingham. The approach involved engagement with key stakeholders and participation in a major overseas Defence exercise that experimented with future Army structures and concepts for providing stability to failing or failed states. Helyx provided a critical reachback geospatial analysis and web service capability, documenting first-hand how Human Domain data and information flows within and between a deployed operation and home base.
This project developed a methodology for understanding and exploiting the Human Domain that spans the macro to micro level. Specific outputs from the project included an understanding of the Human Domain environment within UK Defence, a taxonomy of terms and definitions as well as an Information Enterprise that brings greater coherence to the collection and exploitation of data, enabling novel techniques for visualising subjective information.