Supporting Naturalistic Decision Making Through Location-Based Photography: A Study of Simulated Military Reconnaissance

Christopher Baber, C Fulthorpe, Robert Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
303 Downloads (Pure)


Close Target Reconnaissance (CTR) patrols can be characterized by activities that involve naturalistic decision making to develop situation awareness through processes of sense-making. Any technology that is introduced into such activity needs to be sufficiently oinvisibleo so as not to disrupt or otherwise interfere with the activities of search and interpretation. It is proposed that some technologies, such as imaging devices, can support recognition-primed decision making (RPDM). It is suggested that providing CTR patrols with cameras could supplement existing technologies, such as night vision goggles or binoculars, and provide an opportunity to capture useful intelligence. The concept of location-based photography (in which metadata are collected in parallel with images) provides a means of effectively producing patrol reports in real time. A prototype system is described and trialled comparing conventional practices surrounding note-taking and report writing with the use of location-based photography. The results show little difference in time spent patrolling under the two conditions but significant improvement in reporting under the location-based photography condition. One explanation of these differences relate to the manner in which note taking provides support for sense-making but could interfere with RPDM (through the need to analyze the situation in sufficient detail to make notes), whereas imaging can be performed as part of the RPDM activity. Tagged images change the nature in which the reports are written in that sense-making is performed largely post hoc, which allows flexibility in interpretation and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-172
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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