City Surveillance Keeps Cities and People Safe

City Surveillance Keeps Cities and People Safe

Keeping a Safe Eye on Melbourne's Entertainment Precinct
Streets Ahead Promotions worked with the City of Stonnington, Victoria Police and Axis Communications' partner EYEfi, to install an effective network camera surveillance solution to monitor the entertainment precinct.

Night and Day Operation for Public Safety
EYEfi installed a system featuring five PTZ network cameras to monitor Chapel Street and its tributary roads, which was linked to a virtual private network from the Prahran police station. As an entertainment venue with many evening and night events, the project required cameras that would perform well in low-light conditions and provide excellent color and black-and-white images.

The system is connected to the broader network that delivers other location-based spatial features to the system and enables remote support and constant management of the system. Police officers view and operate the camera network from a multiscreen, map-based workstation, which enables the police to track objects of interest with fast and high precision. The 18-times optical motorized lens with auto-focus makes it possible to zoom in on distant or small objects with clarity. Also, built-in motion detection detects and tracks objects that enter the field of vision without operator instructions.

There has been a significant increase in the confidence in the area's safety. The system has improved the allocation and deployment of local police officers as well. Camera recordings were also effective investigation tools and retrieved content has been used in courts of law.

Public Safety Agencies Help Ensure Safe, Orderly Event During US Presidential Inauguration
On Jan. 20, 2009, an estimated 1.8 million people attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama. To ensure the safety of all attendees, multiple Washington D.C. public safety agencies needed to monitor crowds and traffic patterns to identify potential problems and respond quickly to prevent harm or disruption. The district's various public safety agencies already operated 299 traffic- and pedestrianmonitoring cameras deployed throughout the parade area. These cameras included some of the hundreds of cameras that the D.C. Department of Transportation uses to monitor intersections, as well as other cameras owned by the Metro Police Department and Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency.

Most were older analog cameras from a variety of vendors. Although the existing cameras provided adequate coverage, they could not be centrally monitored. Therefore, each agency could only see fragments of the scene instead of the holistic view needed to detect and respond to problem situations. The goal was to increase situational awareness for all agencies by making all feeds available on large plasma screens in the Washington D.C. Unified Communications Center, Department of Transportation, and Metro Police headquarters. Video feeds were remotely accessible on PCs and laptops in other locations. Complex integration work can take months, but the Washington D.C. public safety agencies needed the solution in just a few weeks.

Networked Solution
The agencies were able to integrate their separate video traffic- and pedestrian-monitoring networks by deploying a Cisco video surveillance server in all three agencies. The server also connected the agencies' existing analog cameras to the DCNet fiber-optic IP network. Configurations were set to archive 10 days of video streams on the servers' integrated storage. If an incident were to occur, personnel would only need to know the location and approximate time to quickly find the relevant images, no matter which agency's camera captured the video.

On Inauguration Day, personnel from the various agencies were able to view feeds from any camera anywhere, and potentially dangerous situations were quickly alleviated.

Mexico's Biggest State Deploys Multicity Surveillance
Chihuahua State in Northern Mexico has deployed a wide-area distributed surveillance system covering nearly 100,000 square miles The distributed nature of the system allows an operator in the state capital to view video from any other city in the region from a PTZ camera.

More than 270 cameras have been installed across the region. The systems in each city are deployed using wireless networks, and evidential quality video can be streamed across standard IP networks over enormous distances with minimal bandwidth requirements. This allows wireless networks to be easily deployed and latency kept to a minimum, enabling operators to smoothly control PTZ cameras in one city from another city across the state. Many of the cameras used in the original stand-alone analog and digital IP systems have been reused.

“Traditional analog technology is not suited for the large distances involved in wide-area monitoring applications, such the Chihuahua State project. IP-based systems are ideal for extending existing surveillance installations and creating a hybrid solution, which utilizes existing investment and creates a foundation for migration to full IP video in the future,” said José López Martin, IndigoVision's VP Sales for Latin America.

Whether it is to monitor criminal activity or traffic, remote wide-area monitoring creates a challenging environment for surveillance systems — even more so with the high crime rates found in many inner city areas. It is therefore important for different agencies and authorities to access live and recorded video from the cameras relevant to their operation, no matter where they are located. This can only be achieved with a decentralized distributed system.

Another key benefit for the Chihuahua State authorities was the implementation of multicast network technology. IP multicasting allows video from the same camera to be efficiently viewed and recorded by multiple operators at the same time, while still using the same network bandwidth as a single operator. This coupled with advanced compression technology ensures available bandwidth is maximized, which is particularly important for areas with less developed communication infrastructures.

Colombia Monitors 12 Cities with IP Video Surveillance Solution
The National Security city surveillance project undertaken by the Colombia Ministerio del Interior, which covers 12 cities, is one of the biggest municipal security projects ever deployed. More than 450 Samsung dome cameras were deployed through a full wireless network, plus an additional 50 for maintenance and upgrade purposes.

From start to finish, the project took three years. Besides the integrator, the police IT department specified and qualified the requirements of the system. Specifications for the camera were stringent. The cameras were required to have high resolution, IP66 outdoor housing, full continuous autofocus, wide dynamic range and wireless networking capabilities.

To block viewing of specific areas within a picture, especially important in these urban public venues, eight different privacy zones may be set. Areas can also be monitored on a time and day schedule.

The system uses weather- and vandal-resistant cameras, and the housing features an optical grade, polycarbonate transparent bubble combining optimum optical capabilities with strength and durability. The housing also features a revolutionary fan design optimized not only for cooling, but for even airflow and ventilation throughout the entire PTZ assembly as well.

The moving filter of the camera system offers true day/night function and dwell time can be set respectively from day to night and from night to day. With a low power consumption of only 2.5 amps with heater and fan, the new camera system provides economical operation.

The multiprotocol feature of the cameras allows for integration with virtually every VMS solution available in the market, enabling an open architecture deployment ready for easy and smooth upgrades.

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