VISTA Tracking Services teaches Visual Sensing which is a combination of visual tracking as a core observational technique. The VISTA Tracking Services course does not just stop at identifying tracks and sign. The tracking course also teaches students basic and advanced observational skills. A person may observe an individual, activity, and track or disturbance; but without proper training in understanding what it is they are seeing or how to look, they may not be consciously or even subconsciously aware of its true significance to them in the environment or on the battlefield. VISTA Tracking Services considers Observational skills an extension of visual tracking techniques and training, which we have combined together and developed into Visual Sensing Training. Visual Tracking and Observational Techniques allows for Change Detection. Change Detection not in the manner of current thought with high tech sensor platforms and imaging software which require before and after imagery. Change detection derived from Visual Sensing is the detection of environmental anomalies in an area that deviate from the baseline normal for an area prior to exposure to typical human or environmental activities.

Visual Sensing training comprising visual tracking and advanced observation techniques allows personnel to ascertain environmental change. Visual sensing training is advantageous in that it is low/no-tech, does not require before and after imagery and its analysis and concomitant change detection technology, devices, and software. Visual sensing detects environmental change by the practitioner’s knowledge of how environments are affected by activity.

The advantage of Visual Sensing training is less reliance on costly and fallible technologies at the tactical level. While current change detection based on high-tech devices and computer modeling is pertinent it is not always available where the fight is-the soldier standing on the ground. This change detection time and distance gap of technology and information is bridged by visual sensing training of the individual soldiers.  The advanced observation techniques are not separate from visual tracking. Advanced observation is an integrated component of the modern visual tracking process.
Visual Sensing training as taught by VISTA Tracking Services is a systematic process of methods and techniques employed in an operational environment to observe persons within an area and determine their activities and motivation behind their actions. The core element to understanding any environment is to be able to examine the area for signs of activities through the disturbance of the ground and vegetation created by the passage and activities of people, vehicles, and animals both domestic and wild. This base skill is known as visual tracking.
Vista Courses
Visual Sensing: Enhanced Awareness and Change Detection
Visual tracking allows a person trained in observational techniques to often determine the number, direction, time, and activity of a person at a given place and to anticipate or predict possible future activity. Visual tracking applied in a military context has historically been referred to as Combat Tracking which was used simplistically to relocate the enemy by just following their tracks and sign. Visual Sensing is a more complex form of combat tracking merging enhanced visual tracking skills and observation as a non-intrusive method of shoe and footprint, tire tracks, and gait analysis to identify individuals and insurgent networks involved in IED and other attacks. Visual Sensing training makes an individual more aware of surroundings and actual and potential threats by increased ability to identify various threat indicators in an environment.

Course Schedule:

March 16th and 17th 2013; Phase One: Track Identification and Interpretation

April 27th and 28th 2013; Phase Two: Trailing Basics and Analysis

May 18th and 19th 2013; Phase Three: Tracking Pursuit and Reporting

July 8th - 19th Special Operations: Tracking Recon and Pursuit Operations Course

April 17th - 19th Law Enforcement: Visual Tracking for Counter-Drug Operations and Surveillance



One, two, and three day courses

The Trackers Way (Introduction, Intermediate, and advanced)

Visual Tracking for Search and Rescue


One Day classes

Visual Tracking: Sign Awareness

Three and five day courses

Visual Tracking: Sign Awareness and Change Detection

Visual Tracking for Reconnaissance Surveillance

Visual Tracking: Enhanced Awareness and Change Detection

Counter and Evasive Tracking Techniques

Visual Tracking for IED/Explosive Hazards


One and three Day classes

Visual Tracking: Sign Awareness and Change Detection

Visual Tracking: Shoeprint Interpretation and Suspect Recovery Course

Urban Tracking for Patrol Officers

Five day courses

Visual Tracking: Enhanced Awareness and Change Detection

Visual Tracking for Counter Narcotics Operations

Visual Tracking for Reconnaissance and Surveillance