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News

Video Compression Technology Assist Flood Management

Vemotion Interactive : 08 November, 2011  (Application Story)
The UK's Environment Agency is deploying further technology from Vemotion Interactive for live video transmission in its flood management project
Video Compression Technology Assist Flood Management
Vemotion Interactive has announced a further order from the Environment Agency.  This will extend the reach of a project successfully deployed in 2010, to assist the Environment Agency in its flood management role and ongoing measures to reduce the risk of flooding.

The initial project followed a successful pilot in Shrewsbury, instigated in partnership with Shropshire Council.   The project enabled the Environment Agency to view live images from the Council’s CCTV cameras in locations of particular interest from a flood management point of view.  Vemotion video compression technology was used to allow live images to be cost effectively streamed from Shropshire Council’s CCTV Control Room over low bit rate networks such as standard GSM mobile phone networks.  The technology used means that Environment Agency staff can access these images on their laptops from any location.

This latest investment extends the value of the Environment Agency’s existing portable video cameras, by enabling live footage captured by personnel on site to be viewed instantly by staff back at its flood control centre, which helps inform the Environment Agency’s decision making.  Live Video from portable camcorders and body-worn cameras is transferred wirelessly to the operative’s vehicle.  Vemotion’s innovated technology within its Vehicle Streaming Unit is then used to compress and transmit the video stream from the vehicle over a GSM mobile connection to the Environment Agency’s Flood Control centre in Shrewsbury, West Midlands.

Over 2.5 million properties in England and Wales are at risk from flooding from rivers or from the sea.  Changes in our climate, such as more severe storms and wetter winters, serve to increase this risk.  The Environment Agency, through the management of land, river systems, and flood and coastal defences, can reduce the probability of flooding.

Following the summer 2007 floods and in line with the recommendations within the Pitt Review, the Environment Agency and the Met Office have been examining ways to combine their expertise to provide a comprehensive picture of national flood risk, from developing weather through to the actual flood event itself.

Within its overall measures to improve flood management and reduce the risk of flooding, the Environment Agency was looking for cost effective ways to leverage existing infrastructure.

The Vemotion Encoder provides a highly efficient video compression and transmission that ensures that the quality video images can be reliably transmitted over very low bandwidth connections.

Following the success in Shropshire, the Environment Agency is already forging partnerships with other local authorities and expects to extend its CCTV capabilities across the Midlands.
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