With the growth of VMS-based solutions, management and control options have undergone a sea-change in terms of functionality and flexibility. Users can access enhanced data captured by their systems, combined with information from a variety of other sources, to realise ever increasing benefits. Live Earth offers an interactive management interface that helps make sense of data from multiple sources.
For the vast majority of businesses and organisations, analysing captured data and acting upon the information it delivers can lead to benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity. One of the biggest barriers to realising such results is that often the data is captured by disparate systems. Bringing it all together into a usable format is either too expensive or impossible to achieve.
With the development of advanced VMS solutions, manufacturers have taken significant steps towards not only accumulating real-time data from an increasing number of sources, but also allowing it to be used to make effective decisions. However, commonly an organisation’s various systems are controlled by different departments. This highlights the need for a single unified interface that makes sense for all stakeholders.
Live Earth is a software-based mapping platform that has the ability to visually present numerous real-time data streams from a variety of sources. For example, it can manage camera streams from VMS systems along with alarm and event information, tracking data from vehicles or objects, weather data, site status information, occupancy levels, etc.. The data sources are identified on an interactive map, and these can then be used to either interrogate the data sources for more information or to control the relevant devices or systems.
Because Live Earth maps the data sources in real-time, this allows users to quickly assess a wider range of information, leading to more accurate and efficient decision-making.
Live Earth can support a huge number of data sources, into the millions, which allows its deployment across a wide range of applications. However, to ensure the user is not overwhelmed, the data sources can be filtered based upon the requirements of any individual operator at any given time.
For example, if a local authority is making use of the system, it could – via on-screen icons – show the location of public space surveillance cameras, the location of traffic cameras, reports on car park occupancy, the location of public transport assets, etc.. While the security department might be solely interested in public space cameras, these would be of little interest to parking revenue collection officers. Each department can filter the data sources according to its needs.
However, if an incident or event occurs, it might be necessary to take an overview of the wider situation, and this is simply achieved by adding ‘layers’ to the map.
The maps also include an interactive timeline which makes control of the information a simple task.
Data can be managed using rewind, pause and playback features, thus helping to identify causes of incidents and allowing a better understanding of situations. This also allows additional data sources (which may not have been visible at the time of the incident) to be added during review if necessary.
The feeds from the data sources are recorded, thus enabling a user to review either specific layers or all captured data when assessing an incident or looking for trends.
User interaction has been kept as simple as possible. The software can be used with standard displays using a mouse and keyboard, or via touchscreens. Operational procedures mimic those of typical smart devices and allow the use of pinch and zoom, 3D pan and tilt, and control of review features such as pause and playback with the touch of a finger.
Live Earth can be used with a variety of data sources, and the security-specific options themselves offer a high degree of flexibility and scalability. Data sources can include VMS solutions (and the associated video streams, alarms and events and even system performance parameters), access control, perimeter protection and analytics including IVA and audio-based options.
Selecting a camera icon, for example, allows an authorised user to view the stream from that device in a pop-up window. The video can also be managed, allowing the footage to be paused or reviewed. Much of the associated functionality from the VMS platform can also be accessed, making Live Earth a unified interface for the system. This makes sense in situations where someone outside of the core security team needs access to video or other security data.
When reviewing incidents, the software includes a host of tools which allow the measurement of distances, as well as a prediction of how long it would take a target to reach specific assets. It is also possible to add notes to the recorded mapping sequences, and this can be exported to allow the creation of reports.
Live Earth is more than a viewing and management option for VMS-based systems. It allows real-time data from varied sources to be gathered, synchronised and visualised to enable efficient decision-making.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers of various systems to talk about ‘situational awareness’. However, such a concept relies upon the assessment of diverse data sources, and this is what Live Earth has been designed to deliver.