Technology Enabled Multi-Agency Data Sharing and Real-Time Situational Awareness during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Enhancing Public Safety and Emergency Management
June 15, 2010 -- CALGARY - Canadian Geomatics Conference 2010 - June 15, 2010 - ESRI Canada today emphasized the value of leveraging geographic information systems (GIS) in enabling enterprise sharing of data to support collaborative and informed decision making that is essential to the successful management of large-scale events. ESRI GIS played a key role in supporting public safety and emergency management operations during the 21st Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games held in Vancouver in February and March 2010. ESRI technology powers the Emergency Event Map Viewer (E2MV) application used to facilitate information sharing among various public safety agencies in British Columbia. During the games, the application provided a real-time unified view of security and emergency situations, ensuring a coordinated response among police, military, security and emergency management forces.
"Effective information management is key to the success of large-scale events," said Alex Miller, President, ESRI Canada. "GIS delivers an efficient framework for managing vast operations by providing the ability to generate important information from numerous sources and communicating it to a large number of users. It provides rich visualization that enhances analysis, helping agencies to better plan, manage and carry out their operations. This was successfully demonstrated during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, and we are proud to have contributed in making it a safe and secure event."
E2MV was conceived and developed by E-Comm, which provides 9-1-1 emergency dispatch services to a number of police and fire agencies in southwest B.C. E2MV is a Web-based application that displays geographic information from disparate systems on a digital map accessed by users through a secure Web site. Built on ESRI's robust ArcGIS Server technology, E2MV processed more than 150,000 incidents in Greater Vancouver during the games.
"With E2MV, not only can we view all incidents occurring in our area, we can also see them as they relate to each other," said Robert Darts, GIS Coordinator, E-Comm. "This provides an important context of events and helps coordinate efforts among fire, police and ambulance agencies. It provides valuable information for quick and efficient deployment of resources and more effective delivery of emergency services."
The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (V2010 ISU), tasked to provide security during the games, used E2MV in its command centres to obtain a common operational picture of all resources at the venues it secured. The V2010 ISU, led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was a multi-agency force comprised of over 15,000 police, military and private security personnel from across Canada that provided security at competition and non-competition venues in Downtown Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond. They ensured the safe transport of athletes, residents and visitors, and provided air and marine security monitoring and support. To address the V2010 ISU's requirements, E-Comm developed an enhanced version of E2MV that integrated additional data including critical infrastructure, operational assets, available security units, marine and air restrictions, road closures and game venue operations.
"It's an excellent tool for improving collaboration and provides public safety professionals at all levels with the agility to respond to any incident despite its escalation, extent and impact," said Rob Marshall, File Coordinator, V2010 ISU. "The technology contributed greatly to ISU operations and was very well received by those who had a chance to see it first hand."
E-Comm's E2MV application continues to support 9-1-1 emergency services in B.C.'s lower mainland. The application integrates dispatch systems for fire, police and ambulance, and is used to improve emergency services delivery. E2MV also verifies addresses for 9-1-1 call-takers and serves as an effective back-up tool for locating incidents and available units when main dispatch systems are down. Since the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, E-Comm has integrated additional databases and new functionality, as well as connected other emergency agencies in B.C. into the system.
About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from ESRI, Telvent Miner and Miner, Azteca and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group. Information about ESRI Canada can be found at http://www.esricanada.com/.