|Image from the Imperial War Museum|
Spatial awareness has always been key to strategic and operational planning. What I think has been lost to a certain extent is the artistic element in military cartography. The artistic side of military maps has been sacrificed to computer-based spartan efficiency. In Iraq and Afghanistan most of the maps I used were on the computer and the few that I printed out were simple GIS/Google Maps marked up with my pen. The last day of my Iraq deployment I took all my map printouts and burned them in a bonfire in a little no-named wahdi. I did not feel an emotional/artistic attachment to the maps, something that is extremely rare to me. In fact cannot think of any War on Terrorism-examples of a field map which matches the beauty of military maps from World War II, the Civil War, or the Revolutionary War.