In-Building GIS for Security

I have been talking with a number of people lately about the use of in-building GIS for security management.  Turns out GIS offers a lot to the security professional both inside buildings and in the landscape.

One of the fundemental analogies in the security world is the layers of the onion.  The item that you are trying to protect is the center of the onion and there are a number of progressively restrictive layers of monitoring and access control established between the outside world and your target.

Risk Surface Visualization Risk Surface Visualization



  Take Heathrow airport for example.  The monitoring starts as you leave the M-25 as a series of video cameras scans your license plate looking for matches with criminal activity.  The monitoring and access control becomes progressively tighter as you finally move through the final security screening and are permitted "air side".


The interesting point here from my perspective is that the security infrastructure is both internal and external to buildings and therefore to properly model your security infrastructure in GIS, your GIS needs to go into and throughout buildings along with the security problem space.

OK, so what?  What value can GIS really deliver to the security professional inside buildings?  Here are a few opportunities that I think are compelling:

  • GIS dashboard for security monitor status - quickly show all monitors on a map (both inside and outside) with the status of each monitor.  Be able to select individual video cameras for immediate detailed display.

  • Mobile GIS for planning and inspection - download your GIS (both inside and outside) to a mobile device to support security planning and inspection workflows in the field.

  • Spatial Analysis for Security - surfaces that describe concentration of vulnerability or threat, 3D explosive arcs, placement of security cordons.

  • Viewshed Analysis - If I can deploy 5 sharpshooters, what are the optimum placements so that they can cover the most critical landscape?

As the 3D capabilities of GIS are enhanced in future releases, there will be ever more compelling reasons to leverage the power of GIS in security operations.  How can your organization benefit from incorporating GIS into its security system?