IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Mar 09, 2018

Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the Calculator's features. It will be updated periodically and you can ask questions or request new sections added in the comments.

Setting Up Your Project

Configuring Cameras and Views

Managing Projects

Calculator Troubleshooting

Calculator Introduction

Overview Video

The video below overviews the calculator:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Setting Up Your Project

Changing / Setting Location

Click on "Change Location" and enter the desired address or landmark then press enter. This is shown below as we navigate from Allentown, PA to Honolulu, HI.

Selecting Map vs Satellite vs Blank Display

The Camera Calculator has three canvases to select from: Map, Satellite, and Blank. These are options are located in the top left corner of the canvas.

Adding / Using Floor Plans

Floor plans are adding at the top center of the calculator.

Rotating Floor Plans

The floor plans can be rotated to align the building. Move the cursor to the edge of the floor plan and click the arrow appears, then drag to rotate and release when in position.

Uploading & Rotating Satellite Images as a Floor Plan

The calculator cannot be rotated, but a screen shot can be imported and rotated to achieve a similar result.

Maximum Zoom Limits

There is a zoom limitation in the Google Maps API when in the satellite view. That limit varies depending on the imagery in any specific area. In most countries, major cities have much higher quality images and zoom capabiliies than in rural areas. You can use a separate image as a floor plan (see: Uploading & Rotating Satellite Images as a Floor Plan), and using the Map or Blank background. In the lower right-hand corner on the below animation, you can see the zoom/scale limits by the red arrow. In this area, the closest Satellite scale is 5m, 2m for Map view, and significantly smaller for Blank.

Locking Floor Plans

After a floor plan has been added and positioned, it should be locked so that it will not be moved. Just right click the floor plan and select lock floor plan.

Camera and Design Configuration

Adding Cameras

New cameras can be added to a project in 2 ways

  1. Clicking the Add Camera Button
  2. Right Clicking on the map and selecting "+ Add Camera Here"

Positioning Cameras

Cameras can be dragged to the desired location, and then positioned / aimed by dragging the subject at the edge of the Coverage Cone as shown below.

Setting Measurement System (Imperial vs Metric)

The measurement system will be automatically set to Imperial if your login is detected from with the US, and Metric if outside of the US. To toggle between Imperial and Metric Units, click the drop down menu and select the Unit type you need. The Calculator will remember your selection the next time you log in.

Setting Camera Latitude and Longitude

Lattitude and Longitude coordinates can be edited on the lower right side control panel of the Camera Calculator.

Selecting Specific Camera Models

Changing from a generic camera to a specific model (out of 6000+ models) is done by clicking on "Select Model" and then either browsing to or searching for the desired model.

Your search can be filtered by:

  • Brand (60+ Manufacturers)
  • Resolution
  • Form Factor
  • IR Range
  • Field of View

How to Add a Camera (If Not In Specific Models)

If there is a specific camera model not in our database of choices, click on the "Want us to add a missing camera? Let us Know" Link. It will open a new browser tab where you can request the manufacturer and model you need added. This is usually completed within 1 business day.

IR Display Line

If you add a specific camera model that has integrated IR, the Calculator will display a red line the distance that the IR is effective.

Using Simulated Person (PPF / PPM)

The Camera Calculator automatically displays example images (daytime, dark with IR, dark without IR, and super low light) that load automatically based on the selected camera's details. For a more detailed look at this, see our guide on PPF/PPM.

Naming Cameras

There are 3 ways to change the name of a camera:

  1. As soon as you add a camera, you can immediately type in the name of the camera
  2. Right click the camera, select rename and enter the new name and hit Enter
  3. Left click on the camera that you want to rename and then in the name text box to the right enter the new name

Toggling IR Range Display

The manufacturer's specified IR Range is shown by default in the Camera Calculator. You can toggle this by using the control on the right side of the screen.

Adjusting and Locking Cameras

The distance and direction of the camera can be adjusted by clicking and the subject at the edge of the Coverage Cone. The Field of View (FoV) width can be adjusted by clicking and dragging a corner of the Coverage Cone. The camera can be locked by right clicking and selecting lock camera.

Deleting Cameras

There are 2 ways to delete a camera from your project

  1. Right Click on the Camera and Select "Delete Camera". If you choose this method, the system will not prompt you if you are sure.
  2. Click on the Trash icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen while you have the camera selected

Duplicating Cameras

When working on a project with multiple cameras the same model it can save time to duplicate a camera. Right Click on the camera you wish to duplicate and Left Click "Duplicate Camera"

Simulating Repositionable Multi-imager Cameras

The Calculator does not currently support repositionable multi-imager cameras (e.g. Avigilon 9W-H3-3MH, Axis P3707-PE, etc), it will only place 1 camera on the map, not 4. The quickest way to have the remaining 3 cameras on the map is to duplicate the original camera 3 times:

When using multi-imager cameras, keep names consistent by naming them <Camera Name> N.1,( N.2, N.3, etc) will help your projects stay organized in your exports.

PDF Export Results:

Switching Between Cameras

Use the All Cameras Menu to quickly switch between cameras in your project:

Adding Markup Shapes

There are several markups that can be added to projects: circles, polygons, poly lines, rectangles, labels, and color coding.

Using Polyline as a Ruler

The Polyline tool will display the total length of the line when you draw it and have it highlighted. To use it like a ruler, select the Polyline tool, click where you want to start your measurement, and then click twice where you want to measure. The Calculator will display the length in meters. Currently you can not change it to show the distance in feet, and it does not support a multi-segment line, just a single line.

Adding Labels

Label test sizes are scaled the zoom level when the label is created, and can not be adjusted. Create labels at the zoom level you plan to work on. On the top right of the canvas there is a label button. Click the button and then move the crosshair to where you would like the label placed and click. You can then click and hold to drag the label to another location or double click to edit the label.


Using Simulated View (Google Streetview)

Using Google Streetview, the Calculator provides panoramic street views for many locations. Additionally, several Scenes have been added for parking lots, conference rooms, entrances, hallways, and more.

Adding / Using Your Own Simulated View

Images of the site can be uploaded if you want a view of what the camera will be seeing when installed (using a picture taken at the install location). You can select the image and give it a name. The Uploaded Scene is per camera. You will also need to set the Angle of View of the picture. If taken with a cellphone, the average FoV is between 50-70 degrees, so move the slider below 90, but not more than halfway to 0.

Calculating Lens Requirements using Advanced Settings

The Camera Calculator can be used to calculate the required lens length by clicking on the Gear for Advanced Settings. By adjusting the Width of FoV and the size of the image sensor, it will return the length of lens required in millimeters.

Simulating (Wireless) Network Links

Use the polyline tool along with the label markup tool to show a wireless or fiber network link to a camera:

Simulating Radar Sensor Coverage Areas

Radar Sensors like the Axis D2050-VE have a coverage area that is different to the coverage cone of a camera. You can use 2 generic cameras and the polyshape tool to simulate the coverage.

First place a 180 Degree Generic Camera, a 120 Degree Generic Camera onto the map where the Radar detector will be located, and set the distance of coverage to 50m (or the distance of coverage for another detector):

This overlap area is the coverage zone of the camera. Use the polyshape tool to draw the coverage zone of the detector:

You can now delete the 2 generic cameras. You can also change the color of the coverage area, and add a label if you want:

Managing Projects

Renaming Projects

To rename a project click on the current project name, when the field becomes editable type the new name.

Opening Projects

Existing projects can be opened clicking on "Open Projects" at the top center of the canvas.

Cloning Projects

To make an exact copy of a project (i.e. to create 2 similar designs with optional cameras), click the Clone button

Exporting Projects

The Calculator can export to PDF, PowerPoint, Word, Snapshot, ZIP, and CSV. The export feature is located at the top left of the Calculator. Exports can be found in the downloads folder.

Sharing Projects via Permalinks

Permalinks are used to share projects. It will provide the recipient with a replica of the original.

Deleting Projects

To delete a Project, click on the "All Projects" button, and then click on the "Trash Can" next to the project Date. The system will prompt you to confirm the deletion.

Calculator Appendix and Troubleshooting

Supported Browsers

The Camera Calculator can run in most browsers without any issues, but there are version requirements:

  • Firefox 29+ (Including Firefox OS and Firefox for Android)
  • Chrome 30+
  • Safari 5+
  • Internet Explorer 10+
  • Opera 21+
  • Android 4.0+
  • iOS 7.1+
  • Windows Phone 8+

Calculator Doesn't Load - Clearing Browser Cache

If the Calculator page does not completely load in the browser, this can be caused by excess temporary files being held in your browser cache. To fix this problem, try clearing your browser cache, and relaunch the Camera Calculator.

Here are the instructions for clearing browser cache in the most common web browsers:

Calculator Doesn't Load - Check Network Connection

The Camera Calculator can be blocked by a company firewall if the following 2 sites are blocked. If you can load the Calculator from your home network, but not at work, check with your IT department:

  • https://ipvm.com - Check login credentials for permissions
  • https://e7164728-9328-4911-8cf0-7607d6d34ef5-bluemix.cloudant.com/ - where the Calculator is hosted

Using Manufacturer Specific Links

The standard IPVM calculator's URL is calculator.ipvm.com, now, each manufacturer has their name appended to that link. The full list of manufacturers is located below (Manufacturer Specific Links).

When one enters a manufacturer-customized URL, it shows that manufacturer's name:

When the user picks models, it displays the number of models available:

Then the user can select among that manufacturer's models:

Also, you can still see all camera models in the IPVM calculator by clicking on the 'Show Other Manufacturers' link.

List of Manufacturer Specific Links

The full list of manufacturer specific Camera Calculator Links:

Is there still a feature or function of the Camera Calculator that you would like more details on? Post your comment or question on our Dedicated Discussion Post, or email info@ipvm.com

Comments (20)

Only IPVM PRO Members may comment. Login or Join.

Any additions, or issues with the guide please comment here or email me at sean@ipvm.com

Also, general Calculator questions can still be posted, or review other "FAQ" type questions in the Discussion Post

Updated Projects Section with Cloning Project instructions.

Updated Adding / Using Your Own Simulated View instructions

Added a section on using the polyline and label tools for Simulating Network Links

Added a section on Simulating Radar Detectors like the Axis D2050-VE

Added a section about Using Polyline as a Ruler.

Is there a way to export just a floorplan with camera locations and coverages, rather than including the camera details? Looking for an overview of a single building. Also, is there a way to select the area to export? When I zoom out and export to JPG, it's a bit small. When I zoom in the next increment, it doesn't get the whole building. I can work-around using Snipping Tool or screenshot, but would be nice to keep as much resolution as possible.

And when I export the whole project to PDF or DOC, the blueprint on the first page is only covering about 20% of the page, lots of white space.

Thanks!

Kathleen,

Currently the first exported image is the overview of the entire project. If you have multiple floor plans or buildings, your best option is to create different projects for each building.

In regards to the export, if you export as a DOC, you can reformat the page to Landscape instead of portrait to have the blueprint cover more of the page. As an integrator I prefered the PPT export because it is formatted landscape by default.

We are looking into different additional options when exporting, but I do not have any specific details

Thanks,

Sean

Added a Section about Maximum Zoom Limits

useful and informative article.

Keep up the good work IPVM.

Some suggestions -

It would be great to be able to rotate the google earth image - just to line up the building (I did this with Google Earth).

The measurement tools and labeling could use some tweaking - but overall this is much faster than doing it manually.

Having the camera models and is great - selecting what shows up on the pdf export would be cool, example I might not want the preview images but like the camera model and specifications.

Thanks Undisclosed 2, those are all good suggestions, in fact we are going to be definitely addressing 2 of the 3 suggestions.

The measurement tools have limits of only displaying in metric, and not displaying the length of multi-segment lines (only single segment lines). Is there another limitation you have identified?

The camera model on the PDF report and not just the CSV report has been requested and will be updated.

Rotating the map, unfortunately, is a much more difficult development issue, because of having to keep points of reference for all of the cameras and where they are facing. Our recommended process for this is to take a screenshot in Google Earth and then importing it as a floor plan. We have a section above this Calculator Guide (Uploading & Rotating Satellite Images as a Floor Plan) that covers this.

There is a new Troubleshooting section to the Guide, starting out with the Supported Browser (minimum versions).

We will be adding common troubleshooting steps like clearing browser cache, confirming open ports/firewall blocking, etc.

Updated to add details about Manufacturer Specific Links, and other minor updates to existing sections about Using Labels, and Saving Projects.

Hello IPVM,

I have been working with the camera calculator for a couple of week and have a project that needs to be exported. I have used all of the export formats but for some reason I can not get a good print out of my project. The floor plan overview is to small to be used. I am enclosing the link to my project. Can anyone print the floor plan out so that it covers the whole page? This is the link https://ipvm.com/calculator/g6Qslw

Thanks

I have an issue with a specific project and every time i try to export it it goes to about 25% and says export failed. It seems to be related to that specific part of the satellite map area since I tried starting from scratch with new projects and I get the same result even with only one camera on it. I have another project a block or so away and it works fine. Are you aware of any bugs related to this?

We are currently working on our project export process and appreciate the information. I sent you an email directly to get a copy of your project permalink.

This issue has been fixed, it was caused by an error from the Google API that was forcing the export process to stop, thanks for your patience.

Thanks IPVM team for the quick fix. Much appreciated.

What is the best format to use when uploading floor plans to get decent quality in the calculator. I usually upload my floor plans as PDF files, but the quality I get in the calculator vary from usable to terrible. How can I optimize this?

The Calculator converts PDFs into an image file when creating a floorplan, so we see less variance when importing a JPEG snapshot of the floorplan versus a PDF. This is something we are having discussions internally about how to handle more efficiently.

When importing floorplans into the Calculator the DPI is set to 300.

Image files (JPG, BMP, etc) are auto-scaled to a minimum of 1200 pixels (vertical or horizontal) or a maximum of 5000 pixels.

That means if either side of the image is greater than 5000 pixels, we shrink the image until *one* side is below 5000 pixels (keeping the aspect ratio). If either side is less than 1200 pixels, we enlarge the image until that side is above 1200 pixels.

Related Reports

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
Worst Products Tested In Past Year on Jan 09, 2019
IPVM has done over 100 tests in the past year. But which products performed the worst? Which ones should users be most aware of? In this report,...
UK: Private Video Surveillance Complaints Down Since GDPR on Jan 09, 2019
The arrival of the GDPR on May 25, 2018, brought fears the law would spark a massive increase in privacy complaints about security camera use....
2019 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Jan 07, 2019
Each year, IPVM summarizes the main advances and changes for video surveillance cameras, based on our industry-leading testing and...
IPVM Best New Products 2019 Opened - 70+ Entrants on Jan 07, 2019
The inaugural IPVM Best New Product Awards has been opened - the industry's first and only program where the awards are not pay-to-play and the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact