Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Esri demonstration of using Lidar for situational awareness
April 18th, 2012 by Susan Smith
At the Esri Federal User Conference 2012, Brett Rose demonstrates how to use lidar and terrain data for surveillance and situational awareness.
In a visit with the U.S. Customs Border Patrol, Brett Rose of Esri learned that many border patrol agents often work alone and in the field, and one of their best friends is information and situational awareness. They want to know everything important and everything happening around them. Our borders are some of the most remote and unfriendliest areas: dry open deserts in the Southwest with 120 degrees or bitter cold mountains, or our eastern or western borders with some of our most densely populated and heavily industrial locations. All of this creates big challenges for border patrol agents and CBP officers. One of the keys to successful border patrols started ten years ago with Operation Waypoint. They recognized the need to get accurate spatial coordinates on everything, including apprehensions and seizures. Every case report is located. Field agents patrol the trails with GPS receivers. Every asset such as unattended ground sensors have accurate coordinates. In addition to collecting coordinates, integrity checks were done to make sure accurate data were collected. It was this realization that seemed to change the course of GIS at Border Patrol with high quality data and enterprise GIS coming onto the scene. The EGIS system allows agents to see all apprehensions in the last 24 hours across the country. They can watch ground sensors detect real time movement along the Arizona border, then see the status reports change as agents start moving in on the situation. EGIS is now available to more than 20,000 border staff all through role based security to ensure only appropriate information is accessible. The system is proving invaluable for situational awareness and training, providing better national role up reports and predictive forecasting for resource planning and allocation. The key to their success was the involvement of everyone in providing geographic coordinates as part of their normal workflows and turning it into intelligence for everyone. This is happening in the Border Patrol and CBP.
CBP are rapidly advancing surveillance techniques.