Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Data management Integration Toolkit (READ-IT)

Period of Performance: 09/27/2011 - 03/25/2012


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Charles River Analytics, Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Kentucky
109 Kinkead Hall
Lexington, KY 40506
Institution POC


Obtaining support from the local population is crucial for successful counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. US forces often fail to adequately understand the ethnographic characteristics of foreign populations warfighters need access to ethnographic methods which help them to rapidly capture and interpret cultural, social, and economic data. A warfighter in high-risk areas needs easy-to-use tools that integrate the functions of collecting, managing, analyzing, and visualizing ethnographic data. To address this need, Charles River Analytics proposes to design and demonstrate the Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Data management Integration Toolkit (READ-IT) using a four step process. First, we will leverage Cognitive System Engineering (CSE) techniques to identify the current workflows for warfighters and analysts. Second, we will identify the relevant data collection and analysis techniques in a popular ethnographic tool and augment them with the CSE results. Third, we will combine the analysis techniques with proven components and design a linked suite of tools for rich exploratory data visualization and analysis across geospatial, spatial, and temporal dimensions. Finally, we will design a flexible, plug-in-based system architecture that allows the independent evolution of system components (including handheld applications for warfighters and a workstation for analysts) by leveraging our established capability for developing service-oriented architectures.