Army’s First Interactive iPad Book Lets You Finger-Swipe Through Afghanistan

by SPENCER ACKERMAN, Wired  |  published on March 10, 2013

Army iPad Book
The Army has no shortage of battlefield maps. But until Friday, it didn’t have many that animate troop movements or enemy positions at the touch of a fingertip. Now, explains Command Sgt. Major Joe B. Parson, Jr., “if I flick a finger, you don’t change the page, you change the picture.”

That’s the added value of Vanguard of Valor, a platoon-level recent history of the Afghanistan war published by the Army’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, part of the ground force’s brain trust. There’s a musty paper edition. But the Army’s more excited about the iPad edition that debuted on Friday in the iTunes store.

Vanguard of Valor is primarily a teaching tool, meant to instruct the mid-career officers who pass through the Center about the lessons learned from years of grueling war in Afghanistan. The enhanced iPad edition is a step up from previous Army digitized books: It’s the first immersive, interactive Army e-book, replacing the simple PDF-style scans with dynamic animations of the warzone. Maps shift, videos load, audio plays and pictures scroll to complement the text.

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