It looks like soldiers could one day have their own tab key of sorts to call up detailed, 3D maps at will, at least if the folks at General Dynamics UK have their way. As Physorg reports, they've developed a "near real-time" 3D map system that makes use of an array of different technologies including LIDAR, thermal imaging and x-ray backscatter techniques to not only display buildings and streets, but objects and people inside buildings as well. The use of LIDAR also promises to provide measurements of doors, windows, and alleys with "millimeter accuracy." All that obviously makes the system, dubbed Masthead, slightly less than portable, however, although General Dynamics says it'd be able to be carried in the back of a military vehicle or civilian 4x4, or in a plane for that matter. Of course, like most such projects, General Dynamics isn't just setting its sights to military applications, with it also touting Masthead's potential benefits for police forces in planning security measures for large events, to name one example.

[Via Physorg]