The Iwo Jima web map was created using the Special Air and Gunnery Target Map of Iwo Jima. Every weapon position and trench has been meticulously collected. These are the known positions from aerial photography as of September 1944, and will not be able to account for weapons that were not seen, and that were added after September.
Description of map layers:
- Machine Guns, Foxholes, Anti-tank guns, Dual purpose and AA Guns, Pill boxes and Blockhouses and, Coastal Guns and Artillery: Each of these were mapped as individual points and represent the approximate known position of each weapon system.
- Trenches: Trenches were mapped as linear features and show the known positions of fire trenches for infantry as well as Anti-Tank ditches which were used to deny mobility to American tanks.
- Cover and Concealment: This layer was digitized from the vegetation of Iwo Jima. The lighter green represents areas of brush and medium cover and concealment, while the dark green areas represent heavy vegetation that provides maximum cover and concealment.
- Points of Observation: These positions represent areas of Iwo Jima that have good vantage points on the Eastern Landing beaches.
- Avenues of Approach: These arrows represent possible avenues of approach that platoon and company sized units could move through Iwo Jima. These avenues of approach take into account cover and concealment and slope analysis, and are best viewed with the Combined Obstacle Overlay.
- Key Terrain: These key pieces of terrain represent areas of vital importance for control of the island. They are broken down into four areas: Beaches, Airfields, High features that dominate the island, and the Neck of Iwo Jima which was vital for securing Mt Suribachi.
- Satellite Imagery: This is modern imagery of the island of Iwo Jima.
- Small Arms Fire Viewshed: The small arms fire viewshed was created using a Digital Elevation Model and calculating the views of all the machine gun, foxholes and fire trenches. The darker the red, the more weapons that are able to cover that piece of the island.
- Indirect Fire Viewshed: The indirect fire viewshed was created using a Digital Elevation Model and calculating the views of all coastal guns and artillery, factoring in that guns can not hit targets close to itself, and that artillery guns can shoot over moderate obstacles.
- Direct Fire weapons viewshed: The direct fire viewshed was created using a Digital Elevation Model and calculating the views of all pill boxes and blockhouses, dual purpose and AA guns, and anti-tank guns. Each weapon was assumed to be shooting in a flat trajectory.
- Combined Obstacle Overlay: The “COO” combines the vegetation layers of the Cover and Concealment, and a slope analysis using a Digital Elevation Model. This COO is designed to show mobility for soldiers, and not for armored vehicles. As such green areas are easier to move, yellow areas would slow soldiers down, and red areas would severely restrict movement.
- Hillshade: A hill shade uses a Digital Elevation Model to show changes in elevation by shading areas of elevation change.
- Special Targeting Map: This layer shows the Special Targeting Map used to create the Iwo Jima web map.
- Iwo Jima Map Hillshade: This layer shows the Special Targeting Map with an opacity to emphasize the hillshade underneath the map. This provides a “3d” effect.
This map is dedicated to the over 60,000 Marines and Sailors who fought at Iwo Jima.
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