Red Hen Systems' RouteScout is a plug-in that extends the functionality of the popular FalconView mission planning and mapping software used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Allied countries around the world - enabling new mission planning methods and techniques that exploit geotagged multimedia collected from a variety of sources. MediaGeotagger is a new stand-alone, companion application that allows for intuitive data collection, with an automated process for geotagging of video, photos and audio data. Users then create "projects" that can be shared with other FalconView/TalonView users.
The objective of RouteScout is to facilitate the communication of detailed, relevant, audio-visual information about a specific route or place from war fighters that are familiar with the location, to those that are not, mitigating risks and increasing survivability. The RouteScout plugin allows FalconView to accept traditional Red Hen and certain industry-standard geotagged media files, as well as the new project-based file format called Red Hen Project (.rhproj) that is created by MediaGeoTagger.
Typical defense uses of RouteScout might include: convoy operations, intelligence collection, Combat Camera, ground truth activities, air cargo/personnel drop zones, humanitarian/disaster response efforts, and critical infrastructure patrols.
By leveraging geotagged media in the context of a map, RouteScout provides war fighters with knowledge of the immediate surroundings or upcoming points-of-interest (POI) along a route. For example, there is a feature called Look-Ahead Video Awareness, or LAVA, where previously-collected video and media is displayed in-route to war fighters, on a moving map. The media "plays and pauses" based on a preselected distance from the user's current GPS location. This allows for dramatically increased situational and threat awareness before arriving at a location.
Another notable benefit of the RouteScout package is the ability for war fighters to disconnect themselves from proprietary, obvious-looking and expensive hardware/software solutions. With MediaGeotagger, users can quickly geotag video, photos and audio data using commercial off-the-self (COTS) cameras, voice recorders and GPS units, while RouteScout allows for the exporting of photos, audio and text as GPX data to personal navigation devices (PNDs), including Garmin Nuvis, Colorados and Oregons.
RouteScout is the result of a Defense Acquisition Challenge (DAC) Program awarded in order to rapidly deploy Red Hen's multimedia geotagging capability in the ubiquitous FalconView environment. It is currently supported for FalconView v4.0.1 and TalonView v4.1.1. While initially designed for DoD-related efforts, RouteScout is expected to find use in the civilian market as GTRI begins releasing their Open Source version of FalconView to the public.