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D-Link Provides Network Cameras for Grand Canyon Skywalk

One of America's most celebrated national landmarks, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, needed a surveillance system to monitor the beautiful new facility that would provide visitor and premise security, sharp video images and remote access.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a vista destination on the western edge of Arizona's Grand Canyon — a glass bridge shaped like a horseshoe that is suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River and a popular tourist attraction. Constructed from more than 1 million pounds of steel, the bridge can withstand the weight of 71 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes, or more than 71 million pounds. Opened in March 2007, more than 250,000 people visit the Skywalk each year.

A video surveillance solution was needed to monitor visitors, retail shops, ticket facilities and a photo department on the premises, and it had to be done remotely from an operations center in Las Vegas, Nevada, approximately 260 miles away, where new cameras were required to monitor the data center.

The Skywalk team looked at several Internet-based digital cameras, but most of them lacked Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities that would allow cameras to be placed in any location with access to Ethernet wiring, thus eliminating the need for power outlets near the cameras.

Then the team found DBN One Computer Consultants, a D-Link value-added reseller (VAR) that recommended D-Link network cameras for the special Grand Canyon application and had previous experience successfully installing D-Link's Network Cameras at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport.

"We had an analog closed circuit television system in place previously at the Las Vegas site," said Lano Mann, IT consultant to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. "But we needed more cameras, better coverage and better picture quality for both the tourist location and our operations center. We could get by with the analog cameras, but their capabilities were limited, and it would have been very expensive to put in new cameras."

Mann initially ordered eight D-Link Network Cameras with PoE for a trial at the Las Vegas location. The trial went well, so they ordered another 18 cameras for the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas sites.

"PoE made it really easy to mount the cameras exactly where we needed them," said Mann. "It's much more practical. The cameras are so lightweight, they can be installed anywhere. The image quality is excellent and the digital storage capability works out great for us. They capture 22 days of video then re-use the storage space. It's also easy to drop in another camera quickly as our needs change."

The D-Link IP surveillance solution helps the Grand Canyon Skywalk monitor and review incidents with ease, clarity and accuracy. “We can go back and review the recordings to clear up claims," Mann said. Additional benefits of the new digital monitoring system from D-Link are the fact that the cameras are in plain sight and serve to prevent unwanted incidents, and they are used to count visitors coming through the facility.

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