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 Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Drops Dahua, Fenner Becomes ISS CMO on Jul 09, 2018
Hired to improve Dahua's miserable marketing just last year, Janet Fenner has quit Dahua, joining VMS manufacturer ISS as Chief Marketing...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million Led By Bosch on Jul 20, 2018
Anyvision is the most ambitious heavy-spending video surveillance startup in many years. And, now, the startup has raised $28 million led by...
Fail: Dahua "Didn't Check The Lux Levels but It Was Dark" on Jul 20, 2018
Dahua UK has been promoting their camera quality on LinkedIn: I, and others, asked what the lux level of the scene was. (background: Lux Rating...
Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...

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