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How open integration made a city smarter than the sum of its smarts

junio 28, 2021
For cities like Calgary, round-the-clock security and operational challenges mean there’s never any downtime. Only a flexible, scalable video monitoring software (VMS) could help a city manage all of these concerns efficiently and, a few years ago, Calgary finally got the tools it needed.
City of Calgary
Calgary, Canada
Camera count
1800+ AXIS network cameras
XProtect® product
Corporate video management software
Live Earth multi-layer IoT data correlation, AXIS Network Radar Detector and Perimeter Defender, Lenel OnGuard access control
Convergint Technologies
Challenge: Help to integrate it all
Around 2014, city managers decided to replace and upgrade their legacy video monitoring systems. At the time, the city had about 1,800 cameras in use, with 300 network video recorders (NVRs) spread throughout. That setup was not meeting the city’s needs for efficient, centralized security operations.

City managers wanted interoperability of the system with other technologies, including access control, video analytics and building management systems. They determined that having an open platform video software that could deeply integrate third-party devices and systems was a critical requirement.
Solution: Sharing data serves up the smarts
  • Milestone XProtect® Corporate video management software (VMS)
  • Network cameras from Axis Communications
  • Other components include providers of encoders and NVRs, storage equipment, access control, alarm systems, video analytics, GPS technology, laser scanners, perimeter detection sensors, emergency call boxes and more
  • Implementation by Convergint Technologies

With the Milestone open platform architecture, integration options are unlimited, thanks to application program interfaces (APIs) to share data between systems, devices and components. For example, integrating AXIS Network Radar Detectors and AXIS Perimeter Defender video analytics with the video platform allows the city to create a virtual “fence” around designated areas and visually verify any activity.

Result: Seeing the sights with mapping connectivity
In the first phase of the new VMS deployment, the city installed the system to cover public utilities, recreation facilities, electrical substations, parks, critical infrastructure sites, and operational work centers which include storage lots.

Sites such as the transportation infrastructure storage compounds were chosen because they’re large, and people often broke in to steal copper, fiber and other road supplies. The 24/7 video and perimeter detection enabled by the Milestone VMS with Axis devices proved to be effective protection for this and many other sites with valuable equipment.

In 2019 the city completed a proof-of-concept evaluation with Milestone Technology Partner Live Earth - an Internet of Things (IoT) visualization platform that seamlessly synchronizes data from multiple sources, combining live data feeds into an interactive map. The team mapped out most of the city, including transportation, utility and other infrastructure systems. This integration enables both real-time notifications about incident locations and the use of surrounding cameras for visual verification.
Training gets high watermarks to save time and money
The city of Calgary has a growing group of people who access and use the video software regularly. Many of the users had never used a surveillance system, but security advisors report that Milestone’s expansive e-learning content has been critical to their success. Online videos have saved the city’s technology operations department hundreds of hours in training.

In 2013 Calgary had a massive flood that caused $5.4 billion worth of damage, so they take water level monitoring very seriously. Video now monitors the river levels in real time, and they installed more cameras for use by city water engineers. Instead of sending Security or Systems Administrators to teach them how to use the software, they just send a link to the Milestone e-Learning web page, where they can learn at their own pace.

To date, so much has already been accomplished to transform Calgary into the connected entity it is today. City officials will gladly continue to build on Milestone’s innovative foundation using a growing ’smart city’ portfolio of tools that provide efficiency, safety and security for their citizens.
“I would actually call the Milestone platform more than a security system. It’s foundational technology that serves as an IoT connector. With it, we’re continuing to find different use cases for video surveillance outside of just security applications.”
Alex Lee, Security Advisor of Technical Operations, City of Calgary.
About the City of Calgary
With a population of nearly 1.2 million, Calgary is the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta and is Canada’s third-largest municipality.   

Consistently recognized for its high quality of life, The Economist ranked Calgary as the fourth most livable city in the world in its 2018 Global Livability Ranking. Much of that livability can be attributed to the fact that technology plays an integral part within Calgary city management.  

Milestone VMS as best fit for Calgary's future-proof security software platform.

Calgary Proves Multiple Returns on Investment in Open Platform Video

Milestone Partners with City of Calgary, Integrating systems on VMS for efficient operations

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