I figured I'd pull together a few links about this JCTD and related efforts.
In 2006, the DSB summer study on 21st Century Strategic Technology Vectors cited "human terrain preparation" as the first of four critical capabilities to be acquired. An excerpt:
In the Cold War, significant intellectual effort was directed at understanding and developing strategies to counter the Soviet Union. The nation now faces a much more complex set of adversaries, both state and non-state actors, about whom a comparable understanding has not been developed. The terrorist threat, in particular, with its amorphous, loosely networked characteristics makes this an especially challenging problem. Since much of the action against both terrorists and insurgents will be conducted by small units, either special or conventional forces in situations other than major combat operations, decisions made at lower levels of command will have the potential for broad-reaching, even strategic consequences. Consequently, preparing the human terrain—both ours and theirs—is rapidly becoming a critical capability. The operational capabilities relevant to this critical capability affecting most of the five missions include: cultural and language understanding; modeling societal dynamics, stability, and influencers; strategic communication; and strategic shaping. While traditional technologies will contribute to many of these capabilities, there is also a significant opportunity to better leverage the social and neurosciences, particularly those analytic elements that create models to assist in understanding individual and collective group behavior.
The Human Terrain System: A CORDS for the 21st Century
[The Army] is overseeing the creation of the human terrain system (HTS). This system is being specifically designed to address cultural awareness shortcomings at the operational and tactical levels by giving brigade commanders an organic capability to help understand and deal with "human terrain"-the social, ethnographic, cultural, economic, and political elements of the people among whom a force is operating. So that U.S. forces can operate more effectively in the human terrain in which insurgents live and function, HTS will provide deployed brigade commanders and their staffs direct social-science support in the form of ethnographic and social research, cultural information research, and social data analysis that can be employed as part of the military decisionmaking process.
The core building block of the system will be a five-person Human Terrain Team (HTT) that will be embedded in each forward-deployed brigade or regimental staff. The HTT will provide the commander with experienced officers, NCOs, and civilian social scientists trained and skilled in cultural data research and analysis. The specific roles and functions of HTT members and supporting organizations are discussed below.
A PDF version is also available.
See also Networks: Terra Incognita and the the Case for Ethnographic Intelligence.
In OSD's FY08 budget draft submitted in February, you'll find the following entry for MAP-HT:
FY 2007: $0.5M
FY 2008: $2.7M
FY 2009: $1.3M
The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated the capability need of MAP-HT JCTD as an FY-07 new start. The outcome of MAP-HT is to develop an integrated, open source, spatially/relationally/temporally referenced human terrain data collection and visualization toolkit to support BCT/RCTs in understanding human terrain. The objective is to deploy MAP-HT toolkit to Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIMM) elements (e.g. USAID, DEA, Coalition Partners). MAP-HT will provide a joint common relevant picture of the human terrain for use by tactical elements, operational commanders, theater planners, interagency organizations, and coalition partners. The fundamental problem addressed by the MAP-HT JCTD is to provide an integrated capability (organization, methods, tools) to the Joint, Service, or Inter-agencies that will effectively collect/consolidate, visualize, and understand open source socio-cultural ("green data") information that will assist Commanders in understanding the "human terrain" in which they operate. This basic understanding will help to reduced IED incidents via improved situational awareness of the human terrain by using "green layer data/unclassified" information to understand key population points to win the "will and legitimacy" fights and surface the insurgent IED networks. This will also increase the socio-cultural knowledge base for operational units and will increase the dissemination of current information to trainers and the intelligence community. The overall project context for MAP-HT is development and deployment "by, through, and with" deployed units in contact. MAP-HT will directly support joint and combined operations. In addition to Army support, the US Marine Corps sees substantial merit in an institutionalized human terrain capability. The key to success in this endeavor is to stop the loss of human terrain data during unit rotations. To do so, a capability (people, process, and tools) must be further developed to provide a means for commanders and their supporting operations sections to collect data on human terrain, create, store, and disseminate information from this data, and use the resulting understanding as an element of combat power. While information and SME support are the primary MAP-HT thrusts, development and integration work will also be performed to allow commanders to visualize cultural information in geospatial and social network contexts. Compliant with the Joint Force Generation cycle, MAP-HT will also support training commands that prepare warfighters for deployment. USEUCOM has included this in their Roadmap, and is also included in the DOD Irregular Warfare Roadmap.
• Lead Service: US Army
• User Sponsor and OM: USCENTCOM
• USSOCOM, USEUCOM, USJFCOM
• Technical Manager: US Army ERDC-TEC
• Technical Agents: US Army TRADOC-DCSINT, USMC TECOM, USSOCOM
• Transition Mgr: DCGS-A; DCGS-MC; DCGS-SOF;SOCOM SOAL PEO IIS
• Industry: MITRE, Aptima
• FY 2007 Planned Output: Spiral .5 and Spiral 1 - Develop baseline for MAP-HT Toolkit, Develop ID and MP. Focus on continued evolution of the prototype MAP-HT Tool, enhancement of relevant data collection and analysis/visualization tools, and development of doctrine and TTPs.
• FY08 Planned Output: Spiral 2 will refine the doctrinal implications of Spiral 1, advance the core knowledge management tools, add capabilities in knowledge discovery and advanced visualization and modeling, and test the integrated prototypes at Service labs, battle labs, and military exercises. Also, finalized prototypes and software, as well as developing Concept of Operations including Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). The Military Utility Assessment (MUA) will evaluate the effectiveness of prototypes, provide an operationally relevant scenario with red and blue forces, and compare existing pre-deployment cultural training tools/methods with proposed MAP-HT training tools.
• FY09 Planned Output: The transition phase will involve final demonstration & assessments of all MAP-HT products, CONOPS, & TTPs. Transition is planned to the following Program of Records (PORs): DCGS-A, DCGS-MC, DCGS-SOF, USSOCOM PEO IIS/SOJICC, as well as US Marine Corps Training and Education Command, and the US Army TRADOC - DCSINT. Complete the JCTD.
MAP-HT is mentioned in the context of something called "Visualizing Belief Systems (VIBES)" in a presentation by John Lockett, a chief within the Human Research and Engineering Directorate  of ARL. From the backup slides from an international symposium:
• Develop ‘low hanging fruit’ models to determine viability of
complex environment human aspects tool
• Select mature beliefs and perceptions models
• Integrate models into GIS ‘backbone’, IDC/MAP-HT ACTD
Description: Submit to MAP-HT ACTD for inclusion in CPE tool
• Complex Environment Belief-Perceptions Planning Tool
• Functional application in JIOC-I/MAP-HT (CPE)
That presentation is mainly about IMPRINT, or Improved Performance Research Integration Tool.
As recently as a week ago, BAE had an open listing for a Field Anthropologist at Fort Leavenworth, listed through the American Anthropological Association; it's gone now, so I've linked the Google cache.
HTS is a near-term, OIF/OEF focused, initiative of the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and is designed to dramatically improve the collection, interpretation, understanding, operational application, and sharing of local cultural knowledge. Focused on open-source material research, the Human Terrain System fills a large operational decision-making support gap. This knowledge provides a departure point for the entire staff’s planning and execution and enables more efficient use of intelligence collection manpower on classified support activities. The Human Terrain System is comprised of Human Terrain Teams, supported by CONUS-based, theater specific, Reach-back Research Cells, a Subject Matter Expert Network, and a Map-Human Terrain (Map-HT) Toolkit. The Map-HT toolkit is designed and developed specifically to support HTS operations. It facilitates the collection, analysis, archiving and application of cultural information relevant to the unit commander’s operational decision-making process.
This is a hazard pay job.
This Advanced Decision Architectures Collaborative Technology Alliance also looks interesting, as does New Developments in Artificial Intelligence and the Semantic Web, from late 2006.
The lead author on the HTS paper, Jacob Kipp, is an old Russia hand; editor of The Soviet Military and the Future from 1992; published in Foreign Affairs in 1994, The Zhirinovsky Threat; Russia's Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons, from 2001; The Fog and Friction of Technology, from late 2001; going way back, Academic Intelligence, from 1983, and a review of White Against Red: The Life of General Anton Denikin, from 1976; and numerous others.
Finally, of marginal general utility: (inaccessible) archives of two closed mailing lists, running July 2006 through February 2007.
MAP-HT-120: Broadcast list for the core team of the MAP-HT 120-day baseline effort (21 subscribers)
MAP-HT-JCTD: Broadcast list for the MAP-HT A/JCTD (15 subscribers)
The archives are limited to subscribers.