Publication Date


Committee Chair

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.


Searching for historical locations, most of the time, requires the search for related information in many documents. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) works to locate War World II (WWII) aircraft wreckage locations in order to find and bring home United States missing in action (MIA) soldiers’ remains. The DPAA has historical documents included tables and maps that provide information about WWII aircraft crash locations in Papua and New Guinea. Use of the documents is limited because they are in a portable document format (PDF) file, which does not allow users to interactively compare the data with other related datasets. Also, working with such documents require more resources and takes more time. Implementing a geographical information system (GIS) was the solution to bring the data into a reliable format that solved the addressed problems. A geodatabase within ArcGIS Desktop was built which allows users to query the data and view them in an interactive map. The new system allows the DPAA to add different datasets and compare them all together in one map. This project also provides analytical maps that may help the DPAA to plan for search and recovery missions as well as map series to be used in the field.

AljudibiAbdulelah_Poster.pdf (54694 kB)
Finding Missing American Airmen: Using GIS for Mapping World War II Aircraft Crash Locations in Papua and New Guinea (Poster)


Article Location