Our project goal is the exploitation of aerial imaging information for the purpose of event security and safety. In the course of planning an event in a public urban place, involving large crowds of people and potentially also vulnerable individuals, usually an extensive planning is required, taking local constraints of the place into account. Safety aspects like available space, potential evasion routes, and expected crowd density need to be considered, as well as security aspects like the seamless observation of an urban area. More than often, this requirement of seamless observation contradicts other requirements like protection of privacy of uninvolved parties, as well as limited resources like the number of observers.
Consider the typical scenario of a demonstration at a public place in a city. Although it needs to be announced beforehand, usually the time for planning is limited. Within this timeframe, the locality needs to be examined, the number of participants estimated, and sufficient space for emergency situations and evacuations needs to be provided. At the same time, a resource planning of required forces needs to be conducted, with the goal of seamless observation to recognize escalations early on. If cameras are employed in this observation plan, legal problems need to be accounted for, e.g. where and when is the privacy of uninvolved people in neighboring buildings violated.
All of these problems have one common denominator, which is the relation to spatial information. If the complete three-dimensional structure of an urban area is available, including a connection with semantic information (doors, windows, vegetation, street, etc.), a completely digital workflow of event planning and validation would be possible for the first time.
We argue that this information is very well available, in form of high resolution, highly overlapping aerial images. From these, it is already possible to create digital elevation models, a predecessor of full-3D city models. Our goal is to bridge the methodological gap between aerial photogrammetry and event planning and allow task forces the access to fully three-dimensional urban geometry. In this way, costs will be saved by allowing a remote planning procedure, and security and safety will be increased by setting optimal observation points, avoid blind angles, and conducting a fully three-dimensional visibility simulation.
Dr. Matthias Rüther
Institut für maschinelles Sehen und Darstellen
Technische Universität Graz
Project or Cooperation partner
Fa. Meixner Vermessung ZT GmbH
Katastrophenschutz und Feuerwehr, Graz
Magistrat Stadt St. Pölten
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung