"Dowling reached his gloved hand down into the side pocket of his fatigue pants and pulled out his snap map; two black polymer tension keepers with a rolled up semi-liquid optics impregnated smart cloth stretched between them. He tapped the snap map once on his leg then pulled it open where it locked rigid, becoming a 30cm by 30cm tablet. He tapped the rigid snap map again and it glowed to dull illuminated life."
- Scavenger Hunt by Christopher T. Shields
The Map Sheet was a recon and tactical reference device used by the Resistance from 2012 AD until the end of The War. Constructed from a dedicated microprocessor, graphics display array, data cache and a variable amount of semi-liquid optic impregnated smart cloth, the Map Sheet was a variable display unit capable not only of displaying stored images and data onto a flat visual surface but of also displaying real time data feed and updating the projected visual display. Later units built with third and fourth generation smart cloth could actually reconfigure their surfaces into 3D topographical representations. Early versions were large and difficult to move but later versions became so light and compact that they could be carried in the pockets of combat fatigues.
Processors - Early versions of the Map Sheet were large, most were 3 meters wide by 2 meters or 3 meters in height and were relegated to static displays in command points, bunkers and fire control / operation coordination centers. A series 4 processor, utilizing a sophisticated floating graphic bus capable of macro-pipline oriented SMS switching mode specific or "spastic" rendering formed the backbone of the first series of processors and allowed only for static displays of pre-stored data. Second generation processors, based around the Series 5 tri-core CPUs, were able to render real-time renderings based on data feeds taken from a variety of networked resources. Fourth and Fifth generation processors, which included the Series 9 quad-core-quad CPUs, were able to render data overlays measured in the multi-terrabyte ranges. The Sixth generation processors, based on primitive quantum honeycomb layered architecture introduced in late 2025 AD, were able to render multi-terrabyte definition maps in the smallest details and with real time sliding transmorphing topography generation on demand.
Power Sources - Early versions of the Map Sheet used either dedicated input power (corded) taken from a local power source or an integral / removable rechargeable cadion battery. Later models used increasingly sophisticated crystal layer structured batteries with corresponding advances in endurance. Large versions included both static (corded to local) as well as dynamic (battery / power cell) power sources.
Portability- Early versions of the Map Sheet were emplaced, the first generation of semi-liquid optic impregnated memory cloth (SLOIMC) was not prone to being moved quickly or easily and was usually mounted in a protective framework / display. Later generations of the SLOIMC were malleable enough that they could be taken down and set up easily and quickly. By 2015, backpack sized units with fold out static displays were available at the command level and could be carried by a single soldier (with some difficulty). Two years later, by late 2017, the design was portable and dynamic enough to be rolled up into a tube and carried by hand. By 2018, a hand-held version was available at the command level but it had to be linked (direct / wireless) to a larger unit. A true hand-held version appeared in late 2020 in a static frame and in 2022 in the snap roll variant. The final version was a pair of polymer tension keepers, one of which served as the anchor for the SLOIMC and housed the processor, memory, storage cache and power source and the other polymer tension keeper which served as the storage roll itself for the SLOIMC material (usually in a 20cm x 10cm). By that time, the integral power source was good for 24 hours of constant use and could be recharged in 3 minutes from any standard dedicated power source.
Topographical Rendering Capability- Late in 2019, the SLOIMC was able to be manipulated into varying thickness and tension meaning that a 2cm thick flat cloth could adjust its thickness on demand to represent physical deformities in terrain that were stable to the touch. TRC became a standard feature of Map Sheets in 2022 and continued to grow in sophistication with each passing model and generation of processor and SLOIMC.
Wide Spread Non-Tactical Use- It didn't take long for the other elements of the Resistance to utilize the Map Sheet in their work; medical response units were able to display live feed from fiber optic cameras inserted into wounds on their Map Sheets or to represent in true 3D computer tomography and other non-invasive scans. Engineers and technicians could render graphically parts, designs, or other aspects of technology. Large sheets of SLOIMC were often found framed out and tensioned around established bunkers or command points. Map Sheets, in one form or another, often replaced monitors for computers. Later battlefield oriented computer systems were barebones systems usually consisting of nothing but a basic frame (housing the CPU, motherboard, power supply, data storage cache, etc.) and a hard roll containing a sheet of SLOIMC in a quick assemble tension keeping framework. Tech-Com and other technology / science / engineering groups made heavy use of customized Map Sheets to display their data and to work with their tasks especially in the roles of reverse engineering and counter-engineering.