In the days since the first images from the U.S. Navy SEALs’ helicopter operation in Yemen were released, a few questions have arisen about whether they depict accurate representations of the actual combat operations.
For instance, some critics of the images have pointed out that they lack the details of what actually took place in the operation.
This is a point that a recent study by the U-M’s Graduate School of Design in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, is making clear.
The paper, published this week in the Journal of Visual Arts and Digital Media, analyzed the images of the operation in which the SEALs were operating and found that while they were able to capture a lot of information about the operation, the results were not all that accurate.
The researchers compared the imagery of the SEAL’s operations in Yemen with that of the U.-M’s own visual studies of the same scene, and found “that there was little information about what was happening in the area and the overall scene that the images depicted.”
The researchers were particularly interested in the “ground truth” of the scene, which is the actual terrain, as opposed to a digital model that the SEAL team was working from.
In the end, they concluded that the image was “simply a depiction of a real situation,” and that there was no “true ground truth.”
More than a decade after the SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, the Umak team says the image of the helicopter operation is one of the most accurate depictions of what took place.
This article originally appeared on the National Review website.