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Indoor mapping for campus safety and security

The need to strengthen campus security capabilities has become increasingly apparent as security breaches and the depth of impacts have increased. Providing accessible, standardized situational awareness and response tools that equip campus security, students and other employees with the ability to capture and report information on a suspected activity that may pose a threat to occupants is essential to prevention and quick response.

A student has reportedly collapsed and is unconscious in a classroom. Campus security officers greet medical first responders with a digital map showing the fastest route to the closest elevator to the classroom, along with the closest AED device should it be needed.

Explosions are heard and a student, trapped in the chemistry lab, alerts security to the event via an app on their phone. Aware of their exact location, officers secure the scene and instruct the student when it is safe.

These are two examples of how a geographic information system (GIS) and indoor positioning system can help keep campuses safe.

A GIS has traditionally been defined as a system that creates, manages, analyzes and maps all types of geographic data. This provides a foundation for mapping and analysis used to understand patterns and relationships and provide context with location. Benefits include improved communication and efficiency as well as better management and decision making. 

GIS can support campus security workflows by displaying reported information to key personnel throughout the control centre and allowing them to assess and take appropriate actions. Locally captured information is immediately represented on dashboards for awareness and rapid planning of any additional support.

An indoor GIS maps campus buildings, floors and rooms all within a single view, and offers interoperability with other business systems. This foundational indoor mapping system delivers enhanced situational awareness and improves communication by integrating the real-time location of security officers with incident locations and relevant life safety and security assets. 

Situational awareness using the ArcGIS Indoors Web Viewer

By having building floorplans mapped out in the ArcGIS Indoors Web Viewer application, managers and planners can quickly take inventory of critical assets inside their facilities.

Once facility floorplans, assets and space attributes are organized and mapped, smart workplace apps can be delivered to all building occupants. With indoor maps used for everyday workflows by campus security, it is easy to enable fast crowdsourcing and reporting of incidents and threats.

Examples include broken or missing life safety assets or suspicious packages that can be georeferenced at the time of submission. The location of the asset is shown on a map so you know exactly where it is and the fastest route to get there. This could prove useful during campus-wide events such as Frosh Week.

Building the foundation

It starts with smart digital maps of your floorplans. Indoor maps serve as the backbone of a virtual security operations centre because all the data about your buildings can be layered onto floor-aware maps and represented in a dashboard to provide decision makers a live look at the safety status of each floor within a building.

Different maps can provide access to different layers of data that can be delivered to security staff with credentialed access. Desktop and mobile apps for staff in the field can provide routing with turn-by-turn directions through any building to quickly find an asset or reported incident.

These routes can also be used for pre-incident and evacuation route planning, helping all building occupants feel prepared and equipped in the event of an emergency. A mobile application allows building occupants to report security related issues in their facilities and allows officers and technicians to use the app to locate and navigate to the problem.

A dashboard helps visualize in real time the impact of having a spatially-aware floorplan. As live security reports come in, the dashboard is updated. It is equipped with security camera feeds, CCTV feeds, and 3D building models to monitor assets, people and facilities. The dashboard also allows managers to locate and track officers who are responding to security reports.

An indoor positioning system such as Indoors IPS provides a blue-dot experience for mobile end users through a collection of Wi-Fi access points or Bluetooth beacons. Having real-time locations of all available officers can significantly speed up response time.

With an indoor GIS, organizations can better understand, maintain, secure and operate workplace environments indoors and outdoors.

Looking to explore further? If your campus has a GIS, geography or spatial analysis department, you may already have access to our technology! They can provide more information on how an indoor GIS works.

You can also check out other blog posts or contact us directly.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.