Tap In – Mapping US Army Europe Training Resources Online

Web mapping tool provides user-friendly means of locating and exploring training resources for US Army soldiers in Europe and Africa.


TAP IN: web based map application for the US Army Europe

Tap In: web based map application for the US Army Europe

Tap In is an online map application developed for the US Army Europe (USAREUR) 7th Army Training Command (7ATC). Hosted and administered by the USAREUR Sustainable Range Program (SRP) under the 7ATC Directorate Training Support Activity Europe (TSAE), Tap In is designed to be a one-stop-shop for training support resources. Using a map interface, soldiers and planners can find information on over 800 facilities and training areas across the European and African theatres. Powered by the Army-accredited Enterprise Information System known as the Army Range Mapper (ARM), the map-centric interface provides soldiers and planners rich content from numerous disparate data sources and document repositories. Overlays and location information are integrated with numerous other sources, including aerial imagery, scheduling information, a document repository, and public data services such as those offered by DigitalGlobe, NOAA, and Natura 2000. Partnering with USAREUR SRP, Tierra Plan has played a key role in developing and supporting Tap In since its emergence in 2012.

Through the map interface, users can search for training areas and facilities, view location-specific information, download related PDFs (such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), handbooks, topographic maps, access maps).  Users can also share lessons learned and “TTPs”: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures. Tap In provides training units the ability to view current and future schedules of US controlled training facilities thanks to integration with the Range Facility Management Support System (RFMSS). By requesting real-time data from RFMSS, planners can view scheduling information for any facility, installation or one of TSAE’s Training Support Centers (TSC) registered in the system.

Scheduling data from RFMSS

Calendar search for viewing facility scheduling data from RFMSS.

Sharing and Integration

A key feature of Tap In is that it can be shared and easily embedded in other applications such as SharePoint sites and web portals hosted on the Army’s network. Embedding Tap In in a SharePoint site is super easy: users simply copy a snippet of code from a Share Feature tool, much like embedding a YouTube video, and plug that into their SharePoint site. Feature can also be shared via email links or URL shortcuts. Tap In is engineered to be smart and detect a SharePoint implementation: when it is embedded in another application, some richer content and advanced tools are not loaded, ensuring that the map is fast and fits within a smaller window.

Share content feature
A Share Feature tool allows users to share features with other users or embed in other applications like SharePoint.

Resource Library

Additional training resources linked from the map are found in the Resource Library: a large document repository consisting of thousands of files within a folder hierarchy the user can easily navigate. Resource Library content is integrated with the map interface, eliminating the need to open other applications or search other websites for documents. Users can also share a Resource Library folder with other users, or save a folder for future reference.

Tap In Resource Library

Training resources integrated in the map interface include the TSAE Resource Library.

Design and Technology

Tap In is entirely web based and the interactive mapping interface is available to anyone on the US Army Europe network. It has a very clean and intuitive design, requiring minimal user inputs and a focus on the map. Built around the ESRI platform to run on Microsoft IIS and ASP.NET, Tierra Plan used the Esri JavaScript API and ArcGIS for Server platform, and jQuery for enhanced user experience. Data from an Oracle scheduling system (RFMSS) and the Resource Library document repository are provisioned through secure web services, and displayed in content windows on the map for a selected facility or installation.

An embedded, lightweight database contains configuration rules and data for all facilities, TSCs, and installations. The embedded database makes Tap In easy to deploy to other units and servers throughout USAREUR, and it simplifies deployment by eliminating the need for connecting to and external database platform on another server.

search map content

Easily search map content for training locations.

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