There are three types of overlays you may be called upon to create: overlays for camera-ready
mechanicals (CRMs), overlays for viewgraph transparencies (VGTs), and map overlays. This subcourse
covers the procedures you use to prepare map overlays and VGT overlays.
You use overlays to aid in presenting plans, ideas, battlefield representations, and proposals to the
commander. The quality of your product enhances or deters the decision-making process. Make your
overlays a reliable illustrative tool, capable of communicating the necessary ideas and messages needed
for your unit's mission accomplishment.
This lesson introduces you to the methods and components of preparing map overlays. We identify the
symbols used to make the process more clear and concise. We then discuss the techniques you use to
prepare your map overlay. Lesson 2 of this subcourse covers the procedures used for preparing overlays
PART A - IDENTIFY METHODS AND COMPONENTS OF MAP OVERLAYS
As a graphics documentation specialist operating in a field/combat environment, you face many
challenges. You must meet the graphic needs of your unit despite often not having the correct
equipment, operating in adverse weather conditions, and most always with little time available.
As your unit's graphics specialist, you must create accurate map overlays showing routes of traffic and
overlays that support decision making and briefings. When deployed, you create situation overlays that
show troop movements and locations, both friendly and enemy. Your accuracy in preparing this
information is critical to your unit's survival.
An overlay is a transparent or translucent medium upon which you plot special information
superimposed on a map, photograph, or other graphic used as a base of reference. When using map
over-lays, the overlay must use the same scale as that used on the map. This allows the details on the
overlay to appear in their true position with respect to the base.
2. Preparing a Map Overlay.
There are three basic steps in the preparation of a map overlay. The three steps are orientation of the
overlay material, plotting and symbolization of details, and the addition of any required marginal