Apr 02, 2019

Behind the scenes in the pop-up command room of a major cycling classic

Government

2 min read

The BinckBank E3 Classic is a major cycling classic leading to Harelbeke (Flanders, Belgium). And a sporting event of this size, taking the racers over more than 200 kilometers of public roads, requires an advanced security and logistics strategy. You probably heard that Zdenek Stybar proved to be the strongest after a tough and exciting race. But did you know that Barco helped to guarantee public safety that day? In the operational command post (a pop-up control room) , a joint team of multiple emergency services gathered to ensure public safety around a central Barco video wall and the TransForm N networked visualization system.

The team responsible to ensure smooth proceedings of the cycling classic, is the traditional setup of public services, executing the city of Harelbeke’s emergency planning. Cooperation was solid, but three years ago, chief of police Jean-Louis Dalle decided to take this approach a step forward, and created a dedicated operational command post (CP-Ops). This pop-up command room, centered around a large Barco OverView KVD5521B LCD video wall, gathers all available information, analyzes it, and distributes the necessary commands based on real-time information.

“In the past, all communication happened over radio, and we were totally dependent of the information we received from the field,” Jean-Louis Dalle remembers. “Only if we got this information, we could interpret it, take decisions, and steer the people. This was quite a cumbersome practice, and the lack of visual assistance created a quite fragmented overview of the situation. Today, we have a lot more visual information that we can directly bring to life on the video wall.”

Tapping into social media

Next to video footage coming from many sources (including tv-streams and helicopter shots), traffic data, but also social media messages. “The presence of a social media monitor in the command room is quite unique,” Jean-Louis Dalle continues. “This also gives us some ‘digital ears’ that often provides valuable real-time information. For example, some years ago we saw a social media post about nails on the road. We managed to locate the spot and send a team there before the actual race passed by. This could have led to disaster without the early warning on social media!”

A textbook example of smooth operations

The Barco TransForm N networked visualization solution, ensures the smooth capturing, distribution and display of all necessary data. Using a simple network connection, all information is streamed to the CP-Ops in a secure way, without violating any of the security regulations. The information is then managed by Barco’s CMS software to display on the OverView KVD5521B video wall.

“The complete preparation, installation and operation of the CP-Ops proved to be a textbook example of how a cycling race should be monitored,” says Mathias Stael, Solution Architect at Barco. “Everything worked as envisioned on the drawing table, allowing the emergency services to do their jobs in the most optimal way. Once more, the CP-Ops successfully helped to create a great day for all cycling lovers.”

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