Press Release

EarthCam Helps NJDOT Protect 87th PGA Championship


New York, May 8, 2006 -- Harold Neil is Executive Assistant of the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Office of Transportation Security. He is tasked with statewide transportation security and counterterrorism efforts to protect infrastructure and vulnerable facilities from attack. An important aspect of Mr. Neil's job is the ongoing evaluation and implementation of new techniques, strategies and technologies to effectively execute his division's security mandate.

Mr. Neil is a contributing author for the "Homeland Security Handbook" published by McGraw Hill. In his chapter "Transportation Information and Security" he writes, "...transportation information fusion is a significant part of achieving N.J. DOT's planned enhancement of transportation security. A fusion center would provide decision makers with a holistic overview of activity in all modes of transportation. Maps and video images would enable officials to detect, mitigate, and respond to threats and incidents having to do with both homeland security and general emergency management."

Mr. Neil first learned of EarthCam, Inc. at a formal presentation the company gave to the NJDOT's Chief of Staff that demonstrated EarthCam's advanced webcam technologies and managed services. Impressed with EarthCam's network camera expertise, long list of successfully completed projects and Fortune 500 clientele, Mr. Neil was anxious to utilize EarthCam for Homeland Security Applications.

The first test of EarthCam's webcam technology would be a special event that would have "a potentially major impact" on NJ's transportation network. This turned out to be the 87th PGA Championship.

When another vendor was unable to meet a tight deadline to deploy the required security camera systems for the international tournament event, NJDOT needed to hire a replacement vendor at the last minute. The task at hand was a daunting one: multiple cameras delivering real time video from widely dispersed locations all without bandwidth connections in a seemingly impossible timeframe. Mr. Neil called EarthCam for assistance, and the response was instant.

EarthCam deployed secure network IP webcams utilizing high-speed wireless data connections on the Sprint EVDO network with robotic pan/tilt/zoom capability, live streaming video output and provided archiving services for this project. One webcam was positioned at Giants Stadium in Rutherford, NJ to monitor the staging area for shuttle buses that transported spectators to the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ. Wireless security webcams monitoring traffic conditions along the bus routes were positioned on a major interstate highway.

Bruce: Why did NJDOT choose IP cameras?
Harold Neil: We took the advice of EarthCam professionals and were guided by their expertise.

BHS: Why did you choose EarthCam?
HN: EarthCam uses the technology of PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom), which is what we were looking for, and EarthCam was able to supply it quickly when time was of the essence. I remembered the first presentation and since we needed quick service, we reached out to EarthCam, really not knowing if they could deliver in the timeframe requested.

BHS: Regarding the recent PGA Championship: why did NJDOT decide to deploy traffic cameras?
HN: NJDOT used cameras for several reasons; they allowed us to be proactive about traffic situations and allowed us to be proactive on security. We had hoped to be able to have cameras to support the transportation planning and awareness during Tournament play. When we found out that the camera systems we desired would not be delivered we reached out to EarthCam. Even with the short deadline, EarthCam was not only able to deliver but exceeded our expectations as to what these systems could do. We then shared the video signals with the New Jersey Police and NJ Transit.

NJDOT has been involved in major event planning and operations since the 1994 World Cup Games at Giants Stadium. The use of cameras provided another tool in our toolbox to support the major events. In our experience people remember two items while attending a major special event, one, the event itself and second, how they arrived and departed and what they experienced. Our goal was to provide to all agencies the regional transportation situational awareness picture needed to identify and remove incidents as quickly as possible thus allowing uninterrupted access to the transportation network allowing those waiting to attend the event their access and those needing to avoid the areas the proper identification of potential disruption.

BHS: Was your project a success?
HN: Our project was a complete success. Our introduction to working with EarthCam equipment and staff has encouraged us to continue the relationship. The ability to view parking areas, traffic flow and monitoring critical transportation activities enabled us to rapidly respond to incidents and supplement the manual modes of traffic monitoring establishing a complete and comprehensive situational awareness mechanism.

BHS: Do you have any comments or feedback about working with EarthCam?
HN: All EarthCam staff, including sales, service and accounting were extremely helpful. In addition, EarthCam staff far exceeded the deliverable expected and often willingly spent many hours to provide solutions to questions and technological areas as well.

BHS: How was your experience working with EarthCam's technology and software?
HN: EarthCam's products are extremely easy to use and to date have met all our needs. Working with these systems and software was really quite new to our special events activities. However we found the software, website and equipment to be extremely "user friendly."

BHS: In the future, will the NJDOT be using more cameras for their projects, and why?
HN: Absolutely, NJDOT will be using a variety of cameras to monitor critical infrastructure sites in the prevention and deterrence of future domestic terrorist acts and from rendering disruptions to our transportation system. We want to expand this system into a timely "transportation fusion" center.

To quote Mr. Neil's chapter, "The expectation is that better information flow and a holistic view of transportation information and incidents will improve decision making and facilitate joint action."


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