The idea of a map being covered in “fog of war” has been toyed around enough in video games, and I clearly remember how maps in Doom came in handy whenever one got stuck. RTS titles too, had maps that cleared up as you explored new areas, and in the movie Prometheus, tiny, ball-like robots were sent out to explore the cavernous alien hangar, sending back real-time feedback to the ship so that it can reconstruct a 3D map of the surroundings. Perhaps that is not too far fetched in the future with this new wearable sensor system which is said to be able to automatically create a digital map of the environment, literally opening up new (digital) ground wherever the wearer moves.
Computer scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claim that such a system would come in handy in assisting help emergency responders coordinate disaster response, although I am quite sure that the military, too, has a keen eye on how to use this particular wearable sensor system. A handheld pushbutton device will inform the central system to annotate the map, and future iterations might throw in voice or text tags for added meta data.
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