Monday, February 1, 2016

Mapping Human Terrain in the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study of Korea

Mapping Human Terrain

What is human terrain? In the 1970's US Military groups such as the Army and Navy sought information on Korea and Vietnam during the Vietnam war. The main focus for finding information on the two waring countries was to, first, know the people living in those countries, and secondly, to know the geography on where to place US troops.

That brings us back to defining what human terrain is. The National Geospatial-Intelligence College (NGC) states that, "[human terrain] augments... traditional approaches with the addition of data and models that describe the behavior, attitudes, perceptions, and relationships of people in the context of their environment." In 1945, the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Study (JANIS) was created to be a all-in-one report of a geographical region.

JANIS 75 was of Korea and provided high quality and accurate data from each subsection of the country. This gave Military officials a great resource and knowledge-base to determine where to put their troops.

Lee, S. O., Barnes, T., & Wainwright, J. (2015). Mapping Human Terrain in the Joint Army–Navy Intelligence Study of Korea (1945). The Professional Geographer, 67(4), 663-675.


  1. It appears that there are endless ways to use GIS. As an environmental studies, I'm happy to have my perspective broadened by other fields. How do they gather their data? Furthermore, how do they use GIS to make the map?

  2. It is interesting how they use GIS for their research. Where do they get their information? It could be bias and potentially be dangerous for both ends (the native people and the Americans).

  3. It is interesting to learn how else GIS is being used. Could we use this same style of GIS data mining to improve our maps and knowledge of our own country to help with urban planning?

  4. This seems a lot like what the Cooper Map is - with the colored dots representing different people across America. I think the next step would be to determine what can then be done with these kinds of maps.

  5. Did the article offer what the data was and how the results influenced where the army decided to station themselves? In regards to the collection of the data, how was the relationship and behavior of people and the land quantified?