VMS Mapping Shootout

Author: Sarit Williams, Published on Oct 30, 2013

Maps are used for situational awareness, but what is that exactly? What features do they have and how do VMSes differ in what they offer?

In this report, we share our test results of reviewing the map features for Milestone, Genetec, Avigilon, Exacq, AxxonSoft, and Network Optix/Digital Watcdog.

Key Differentiators

Maps research revealed a number of important differentiators that separated the 'best' from the 'worst' in VMS map features, including:

  • Map Types: There are 3 Map types. Which is more powerful, easier to use and/or configure?
  • Map Interaction: Which actions can you actually perform with maps?  open doors? playback video? view live video? It is so much more than just viewing cameras. 
  • Layout Precision: How correct is that map representation?
  • Map Alerts: what type of notifications exists and how effective are they?
  • Suspect Tracking: Is it possible to use the cameras to track a suspect- visually - from view to view with use of maps? Response time would be greatly improved.
  • Cost/Installation: Are these features included or are there hidden charges?  We uncover the details.

**** *** **** *** *********** *********, *** **** ** **** exactly? **** ******** ** **** **** *** *** ** ***** differ ** **** **** *****?

** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ******* ** ********* the *** ******** *** *********, *******, ********, *****, *********, *** Network *****/******* *******.

Key ***************

**** ******** ******** * ****** ** ********* *************** **** ********* the '****' **** *** '*****' ** *** *** ********, *********:

  • *** *****: ***** *** * *** *****. ***** ** **** powerful, ****** ** *** ***/** *********?
  • *** ***********: ***** ******* *** *** ******** ******* **** ****?  open *****? ******** *****? **** **** *****? ** ** ** much **** **** **** ******* *******. 
  • ****** *********: *** ******* ** **** *** **************?
  • *** ******: **** **** ** ************* ****** *** *** ********* are ****?
  • ******* ********: ** ** ******** ** *** *** ******* ** track * *******- ******** - **** **** ** **** **** *** ** ****? ******** **** ***** be ******* ********.
  • ****/************: *** ***** ******** ******** ** *** ***** ****** *******?  We ******* *** *******.

[***************]

Key ********

*** ******* *************** ******* **** *** *******:

  • *** *****: ***** *** * ****: ****** ****, *****-***********, *** ********** ****. All ***** *****  ***** **** *********** ***** ***** ****, *** Genetec ****** **************** *** ************ *** ** ********* *** **********. In ********, ******* *** *** **** *** ** ***** * GEOSpatial *** ***********.
  • *** ***********: *******, *********, *** ********* ****** ** **** ***** *** ******* (live, ********, ****** *******) **** * ********* ******* ****** ****.  Exacq, ********, *** ******* *****/******* ******** ***** **** ** *** another ******* ** ** ****- ** ***** ******* ******* ** the *** ****.
  • ****** ********:*******'******* ** ***** ***** *** *** ******** ******* ** **** camera ******* *** ******* ******** ** *** **** ********* ** displaying *** **** ** ******** ** ***** *****. *** **** of *** ***** ****** ** *** ******* ** ************** ** best *** **** *** ******* **** ***** ** ********. *****, however, ****** ** *** **************** *** ***.
  • *** ******: ********, *********, *****, *******, *** ********* ******* *** ******* to *** ****** ** * ****** *** **** ** ******* on *** *** ********. *******, ******* *****/******* ******** *** ***.
  • ******* ********: **** *********'* ****** ********* (*** ************** ** **** ****** view ** ********** *** *** ********* ** **** ****** *****) and *******'* ****** ******** (**** ** ***** *** ***) ******* offer ******** *******. *********'* ** ***** * ***** ****** * suspect ******** **** ******* ***** *** ******* *** ****** ******** based ** ********. 
  • ****/************: **** ******* ******** **** * ******** ************ *** ********** costs *** ***** ******** *** ******** *** ********. *** **** Manager ******/****** *********** ******* **** ****** ********* ** *** ******* selected: *****, ********, *** ********. *** ***** ***** *** ******** maps ** * ******** ******* **** ** ********** *****.

Manufacturer ***************

*** ***** ******* *** *** ** ******, **** ** .****, .***, .***, .*** *** ******.

**** ******* ** ***** ***************, **** ** *** ************* ******* up:

********

**** ******* ** ********* ** ******** *** ********** ********, *** not *** ***** ***** ****.

  • *** *****: ***** ***** ****
  • *** ***********: ************ **** *** *** ******* *** ******* ** view ****** *** ******** ** **** ***** ****** ** ***** a ****** *** * ****** **** ****** **** ******* *** user **** * *** **** *** **** * ****** ****. There ** ** ********* **** ** *** ******* ** **** in ** * ******** ** *** ***.
  • ****** ********: ************** *** ****. **** ******** *** ********* **** ** cameras, ******* *** ****** **** *** ***** ***** *********.
  • *** ******: *** **** **** *** ****** ** ****** **** triggered *** ***** ******** ** ******** ****** *** ********* ***** is **** ** ****.
  • ******* ********: ** ******* ********
  • ****/************: ** ** ******** ** *** **** ** *** *** configuration *** ***** ****** *** ********* ** ***** **** ** ***** installation *****.

*********

  • *** *****: ***** ***** ** * ***** *********** **** ** vector ****** ****** ******** *** ** ********* ****.
  • *** ***********: **** *** **** ** *** *** *** ******, and ****** **** * **** *** **** **** ** * split ****** ** **** **** **** ***. ********, *** ******* mounted ******* *** **** *** ****** **** ***** **** ** displayed ** *** *** ****** **** **** ** ********* ******* FOV.
  • ****** ********: ****** *** ********* ** *******, ***** ********** ******* such ** ****** *** *******, *** '********' (****** ****). ************** FOV **** *** ** ******* ** ********* *** ***** ** FOV (*** ** ********* ** *** **** * ***** *****) ** objects' *****.
  • *** ******: ***/****** ******* (****** ***/***** ** ***)
  • ******* ********: ***** **** ****** ** ****** ******** *******, *** it ** ******* ** *** ******'* *** *** *** ****** several ********* *******.
  • ****/************: ******* ** ******** ** *** **** ** ***. ****** a *** *** ****** *** **** ** **** (**** ** in **** ******), *** ******** ****** ******* ** *** *** was *****, *** **** ***** ******* ****** ** ***** ** know ***** ***** ** **** ** *** ***.

**** ** * ***** ******** *****:

*****

***** ******* ** ********* ** ************ *** **********, *** ****** maps ** **********. *** ** **** ** *****.

  • *** *****: ***** ***** ****
  • *** ***********: ************ **** *** *** ******* *** ******* ** view ** ******* ******. ********* **** **** ** ******** *** be ******** *** ***** *****, ********** ** **** ****** **** can ** ********* ** *** *** **** ** ***** *****.
  • ****** ********: ** *** ******* ** ***. ******** *** ********* such ** *******, ***** ******* **********, *****, ********, *******, *** nested **** *** ***** ***** *********. *** ***** ****** ****** ** indicate ******/***** *** *** ******* ***** * ****** ** ************* *** names, ****** (*** ** ********* **** *** ******), *** ****** icons ****** ********* ** ****** ****.  
  • *** ******: *** **** **** *** ****** ** ****** **** ********* the ***** ******** ** ******** ****** *** ********* ***** ** hard ** ****.
  • ******* ********: ** **** *******
  • ****/************: ** ** ******** ** *** **** ** *** *** configuration *** ***** ****** *** ********* ** ***** **** ** extra ************ *****.

*******

*******'***** ******* ** ** *** ** ****** *** ******** ****** *** ** available ** * ********:

  • *****: **'* ******** ******** ****** **** ******* *** ******** ***** mapping ************ ** *** ******** ****** ******. ******* ** *** JPG/PNG/PDF **** ******* **** ** ** * ********* **** *** 30 ******** (*******, *****, ********* ******, ***) *****. 
  • ********: **** ** ~$**** (*** *** *******). ********* ** *** (6) ********* ******** ***** *** ***** ** *** ****** ** entities ********* * **** ******* ****** (**, ***, ***, ***, 1000, *********). **** ******* ******** ******* ******** *** *** ******* set ** **** ******* ****** *** ******* (***** **** ****, Open ****** *** *** ***** ***). **** ********* **** ************ ** Enterprise ******** ** ******** ***/** ********.
  • ********: **** ** ~$**,***. ** *** ** ****** **** *** ** purchased ********** ** *** ******* *** *** ******** **** **** or ***. **** ******* ******** ******* ******** * **** ******* Standard *******.

**** ** *** ** ****** **** ******* *** *** ***************:

  • *** *****: *** * *** *********: *****, *****-***********, *** **********
  • *** ***********: ************ **** *** *** ******* *** ******* ** add *** ******* (****/****** **** ************* ********* ***** **** ******) *** type ** ****** ********* ** ******** ******: *****, *******, */*, nested ****, ***, *****, ***. ********* **** *** ******* **** on ****** *** *** *** *********. ********, *******' *** ****** or ******* ***** **** ** *** ********* **** *** ** the *** ****** ** *** ******** ******. *** *** ***** feature ****** *** ***** ****** ********** ** ****** *** ****** of ******* ******. *** *******, *** ******, ******, ****** *** more *** ** **********.
  • ****** ********: ****** *** ***** *** ** *** ** ****** latitude, *********, *********, ****, ******** *** ****.
  • *** ******: ****** *** ******* **** ********* ***** ** *** ****** (customizable), ***** ** *** ********* ***-******* *****/***** ** ****** (*.*. Start *********).
  • ******* ********: ******** ******'******* ******** ********** **** ** ***** *** *** ****** **** *** ****** (may ** **** **** ********* **** **** ** ******* *** a ***** ******** **** **** *****).  *******, **** ** ** setup ** *** ***** ** ****** ** ****** ******** **** multiple ****.
  • ************: **** ******* ** * ******/****** *********** **** **** ** ********* ** addition ** ******** ****** *** ***** ** *** ******** ****** client ** * **** **.  ************ *** ****** **** ** configuration ***** **** ~ * **** *** ********** **** ******* server ** * ******** ****** ** *********** ***** ** ***** cost. ************* ***** ** ******* *** ** *** ***** ********* of ******* *** * ***** ******** ******* ** ******** ****** to ***** *** ** ********* *** ** *** ********.
  • ****: *****'* ** ********** **** *** *** ***** *******, *** any *********** ** * *** ****** ** *** ******** *** Advanced ******* ** ** ***** ~$**,*** **** (*** *******), *** ** ********** ***** *******/******** ** ********. ***********, ****** or **** ******** ******* **** **** ** ** *********;****** ****** *** ** ******* ** ~$** *** ***** ** *** *** **** ********** ********** ********.

*********

**** *** ****** ********* ******** *** ********* ** *** ********* editions ****: ************, **********, ****** *** *********. 

  • *** *****: ***** ***** ****
  • *** ***********: ************ **** *** *** ******* *** ******* ** view/trigger/acknowledge ******. ********* (*** ** ********) **** **** ** ******** can ** ******** ** ******** **** ******, *** ******* ** and *** ** **** ********* *** *** ** *********. *******, navigating ** **** ****** **** *** ** ********* ** *** the **** ** ***** *****.
  • ****** ********: ************** *** ****. ******** *** ********* **** ** cameras, ***** ******* **********, *****, ********, *******, *** ****** **** for ***** ***** *********. *** ***** ****** ****** ** ******** motion/event *** *** ******* ***** * ****** ** ************* *** names, ****** (*** ** ********* **** *** ******), *** ****** icons ****** ********* ** ****** **** (***** ** ***- ** 360). 
  • *** ******: *** **** **** *** ****** ** ****** **** triggered *** ***** ******** ** ******** ****** *** ********* * red ****** ***** ** **** ** **** *** *** ** customized.
  • ******* ********: *********'* ****** ********* ************** ** ***.  ** ** **** in *********** **** * ***, *** **** *** *** ** as * **********!  ** ******** **** * **** **** ** the '****' ****** (*.*. ***** ********) *** ** *** ***** side **** **** * **** ** *** **** ** **** as *** *******'* ********** **** *** **** ******** *** ***** navigation. 
  • ****/************: ** ** ******** ** *** **** ** ***. ************* is ******* ** ******** * **** *** *** *** ************* must ** **** **** *** ***** ****** *** ***** ** * Public *** ** ** **** ** ***** **** ***** *****. 


 

Network *****/******* ********

******* ***** **** ******* ** *** *** ** *** ******* stages **** ******** ** *** ****. ** ** * ****** with ** ***** ********** ****.

  • *** *****: ***** ***** ****
  • *** ***********: ** ******** *** ************.  *** *********** **** **** place ** *** ****** **** ** ** **** ******* * map.
  • ****** ********: ****, ** *** ** *******.  *** *** ** just * ********** **** **** ** * **** ******.
  • *** ******: ****
  • ******* ********: **** ***** **** ** ******** ***** *** ************** camera **** ** *** ********* *** ** ****** *** *******.
  • ****/************: ** ** ******** ** *** **** ** ***. ************* is ******* ** ******** * ****** **** ** **** **** the **** ** ****** ****** * ********** ** **.

 

VMS ******** ******

******** ******/****** *.*.*.**
***** **** ******/****** ******* *.*.****
********* ********* ******* *.**/***** ****** **** *.**
******* ******** ****** ******* ******/****** *.*.****.**** ***, **** ******* **.* SR1
***** ******/****** ******* *.*.*.*****
******* *****/******* ******** ******/****** ******* *.*.*.**** 

Comments (7)

As far as I know, the Genetec Basic package can only be used for up to 30 cameras and 3 maps without zoomable vector graphics, for the Standard version you have to pay per camera.

If you can have it purchased by the customer this is far the most advanced map feature compared to other VMSs.

One thing we do with suspect tracking via map on Milestone (XPCO) is to have a 'hotspot' pane on one monitor, map on the other, and then just click around on the map which then automatically changes the hotspot. Simple, pretty quick, and easy. One thing we requested be added a while back, and is in there now, to make it little more interested was for suspect tracking outdoors with PTZ's. When placing a PTZ camera on a map we have regions on the map that coorelate to presets on the cameras. We place those regions as best we can to match reality and then you can just click those regions, it triggers the preset, and updates the hotspot. This ends up being pretty powerful and in my mind counted as suspect tracking but maybe I am mistaking in the terminology.

What happened to Video Insight?

Great review but I agree with Nidal, bummed VI didn't make the cut. Luckily they have a 60 day trial I can try it out myself :)

Nidal/Jason,

Here is a quick overview of Video Insight's mapping options:

Map Types: image files only
Map Interaction: interactions with the map include the ability to view live by selecting a camera which brings into the lower split screen layout. Additionally, if there is a card swipe on a door a pop-up will appear with a live view of the image. There is no ability to playback or enlarge the smaller image from the map view. Zooming is available in the thumbnail, but not on the map.
Layout Precison: representative FOV only. Also includes map artifacts such as cameras, layouts, doors and nested maps for multi floor buildings. Camera icons are the same for all types of cameras, though if its an Arecont 360 or 180 the FOV will be different.
Map Alerts: pop-up for integrated Blackboard access control.
Suspect Tracking: User would have to click each camera manually to follow the suspect's path
Cost/Installation: it is included in the cost of VMS and configuration was simple to setup with no extra installation steps.

Awesome! Thanks for the quick breakdown it is much appreciated!

There are a number of open source tools that geographically plot imagery, and I'd like to make an observation regarding only this narrow area. This is more "the dream," not yet reality.

An image or video stream of images is a two dimensional projection on the 3D world. Generally any user field of view is also a 2D projection of the 3D world. You can achieve a somewhat realistic immersive view by combining the two 2D projections without building a 3D model of those worlds. Occasionally though it provides a relatively poor outcome when the viewer's field of view provides a highly oblique aspect to the camera's 2D projection, so you see almost a line or a rhombus reflecting video's 2D projection mapped to the viewer's field of view.

Work that tries to infer 3D information from motion within the 2D video is called "Structure from Motion (SfM)." It's substantially more resource intensive, but in cases where most of the 3D structure is already known, can provide better matches between overlapping fields of view (particularly in the case of near-orthogonal 2D projections) because it infers some of the missing information, providing a more complete and immersive sense of the world.

Because processing is costly, I would expect this processor-intensive technology will migrate fairly slowly into fields in which cost is the governing dynamic. However, there is some hunger for an immersive simulation of the real world rather than a pastiche of 2D projections that gray matter has to pull together into a comprehensive picture (e.g. the video wall). For example, while I can't find any reference to it today, three or four years ago, one well-funded start-up's product was an integrated 3d transparent model of your surveillance space, with people and vehicles projected accurately into the 3D space. I'm guessing I'd find it if technology were supportive of such an approach, but we're getting there -- they may have been too far ahead of their time.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Worst Products on Nov 03, 2018
Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer surveys....
Unisight Company Profile on Nov 01, 2018
Hikvision's largest US OEM, LTS has started to carry Unisight, whose products (shown below) look a lot like Hikvision's rival Dahua: Who is...
VMS Camera Management Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hanwha, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix on Oct 29, 2018
Camera setup, configuration and maintenance are the most common tasks when managing a surveillance system. Who does it best and worst? Who offers...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

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