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What does GIS Have to do with the Super Bowl?

Security and the Big Game 

The Tampa Police Department had a much easier time calculating all the risks involved with the Super Bowl, thanks to GIS [geographic information systems]. ArcGIS software was integrated with Digital Sandbox, Inc., which formed a primary security information system that linked more than 10 command posts and the emergency command center with real-time data feeds and analysis (
The two systems worked to supply staff from multiple agencies with a map-based common operating picture (COP) for monitoring events on the ground as they happened.  It helped provide security for tens of thousands of people participating in dozens of events, occurring over several days before, during, and after the Super Bowl XLIII, held in 2009, in Tampa, Florida.
•The ability to integrate GIS with our risk management solution supplied a unique situational awareness capability,• says Anthony F. Beverina, president and cofounder, Digital Sandbox. •Instead of pockets of knowledge or separate information flows, there was one complete framework benefiting the many different agencies managing security. The speed of information capture and exchange was many times faster than what was previously available.•
Safety: A Year in the Making
Digital Sandbox began working with the Tampa, Florida, Police Department nearly a year in advance to deploy its Risk Management Center for the 2009 Super Bowl. ArcGIS was integrated with the Digital Sandbox Risk Analysis Center software to provide a readiness capability for responding to all types of emergencies.  Incident commanders, analysts, emergency managers, and first responders all benefited from GIS.
The Risk Analysis Center provides access to Site Profiler technology; secure, compartmentalized data storage; constantly updated homeland security information to supplement existing local data; and Digital Sandbox customer service risk analysts to interpret results and provide reports on a 24/7 basis.
ArcGIS supplied a real-time map view of events. Police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) calls for service could be observed as they occurred on the map with related tabular information available in a text-based dialog box.  Locations of critical assets, points of interest, hospitals, fire stations, traffic advisories, and more, were all available.  If an emergency occurred, managers could see its location instantly and deploy resources and staff.  They could monitor responders and give and receive information in real time.  Staff in the Tampa area also had open lines of communication to federal resources located outside the state. Staff working in the field could access the COP using laptop computers, mobile phones, or any other device with Internet capabilities.
By Adam Herschkowitz
Get GIS Jobs, Contributing Editor

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