U.S. Army Common Map Background Program

Monday December 19, 2011

What is it?

The Army Geospatial Center's (AGC) Common Map Background (CMB) program was designed to provide the capability to assemble, host, maintain and disseminate a common geospatial map data library. The library includes the latest and best available National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency data as well as AGC products. Data and/or products from the CMB data library are provided as requested to Army customers.

What has the Army done?

CMB was developed as a reach-back as set for geospatial imagery and map services to the Soldier. Products, which may be requested through the AGC's website, by email or phone, range from map and image datasets of small areas of interest (AOIs) to large country or command datasets. CMB analysts deliver data to a multitude of agencies, ranging from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district offices and Army Topographic Units overseas to troops preparing for deployment.

The AGC also forward-deployed remote CMBs (rCMBs) to several GPCs to serve as 'geospatial filling stations' for customers that need data but are unable to access Continental United States assets. rCMBs contain a subset of AGC data holdings but use the same database structure and GIS tools to spatially provision the data for the Soldier. The launch of CMB Online, a web-based geospatial portal to AGC data holdings, allows the user to search and discover AGC data, place their order online and have it delivered via FTP or shipment on a DVD or hard drive, eliminating the guesswork when ordering data for an AOI.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

CMB will continue to explore and ingest new datasets to provide even more comprehensive data to the Soldier. Future plans include the refinement of the Afghanistan brick as new data becomes available. CMB is another example of geospatial information, services and capabilities that have been developed for the Army through its EMAP (Army Geospatial Support) MDEP.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Common Map Background program delivers a relevant, comprehensive and standardized dataset to Soldiers as well as a common operating picture of their AOI in a timely manner. This 'one-stop' source of current geospatial data dramatically reduces the time and expense required for field users to acquire, manage and load/import CD-ROMs of geospatial data pertinent to their operations.


Common Map Background Program

Document: Common Map Background Fact Sheet (PDF)







A Culture of Engagement

Social Media


Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's Blog

Women in the U.S. Army

2010 Year in Photos

U.S. Army Interactive Features

Battle of the Bulge

Army Senior Leaders All Points Tour

Ten Years of Strength

Professional Development Toolkit


Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.


150 Years: The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War


Dec. 16- Jan. 25: Battle of the Bulge

Dec. 23 & 26: NO STAND-TO!

Senior Leaders are Saying

"Our Guard and Reserve Soldiers sacrifice so much for our country and they are an indispensable part of the Army team ... I know that after a long deployment these Soldiers just want to get home as soon as possible. However, it must be balanced with a complete and thorough demobilization process."

- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's instructions concerning reserve-component Soldiers who will be demobilizing at installations in the United States over the holidays.

Demobilizing Reserve Soldiers to get holiday passes

What They're Saying

"The Soldiers are well balanced and versatile as they constantly multi-task. They go above and beyond their normal duties."

- Staff Sgt. Alvin Roane, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade's supply, support and activity, credits his Soldiers for successful logistical support of handling in excess of 2,500 daily transactions that involve everything from office supplies to highly expensive aircraft parts.

1st Cav. logisticians provide 'supplies for the skies' in Afghanistan


STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.