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The Webcam View of MSU LabMan VI Conference, June 2005 Bryan Hoffman, Server Manager Information Technology Services Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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Presentation on theme: "The Webcam View of MSU LabMan VI Conference, June 2005 Bryan Hoffman, Server Manager Information Technology Services Minnesota State University, Mankato."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Webcam View of MSU LabMan VI Conference, June 2005 Bryan Hoffman, Server Manager Information Technology Services Minnesota State University, Mankato

2 - Introduction MSU’s Academic Computer Center needed to provide increased security after some computers were broken into & stolen. Web cameras became a reasonably priced solution. A new technology - we did not have experience with & therefore was a challenge. Topics: webcameras, Power-Over- Ethernet (PoE, PoL), snapshot software, strategic placement, Pros-Cons.

3 Axis Web Cam Ad IP Video Camera Wireless or Wired Powered or Power over Ethernet Real Time Video - Anywhere, Anytime Remote Control Remote Image Storage

4 – Agenda Surprising additional uses by faculty, staff, students & others; beyond security reasons. the webcameras have been utilized for: –security, –long distance romance, –NY-MN trouble shooting, –detective investigations, –space utilization, –faculty assistance, –sales – marketing & PR.

5 Pro & Cons of Web Cameras We will present some actual footage (or re-enactments) to demonstrate topics.

6 Safety We have not had Safety issues at the ACC, that we have documented. Other than “clutzie”. Perhaps Webcameras are not the best for Safety issues; unless they are continuously monitored.

7 Security – Intrusion Alarms When a computer lab has an intrusion alarm. Security can simply look at the web cameras & see who is in the area. Security doesn’t have to immediately dispatch personnel to investigate. This has saved many trips this winter.

8 GMW movie

9 Lack of Web Cameras Residential Life Computer Theft. A computer lab in Residential Life was often having items stolen, including mice, networking connectors & computer parts. Because there were no web cameras in that area, no one was ever caught. Since Web Cameras have been installed, nothing has been stolen from this lab.

10 Security to Catch Bad People CS student setting up remote control software to harass other students. The perpetrator identified based upon time/date & web cameras. He was then located in the ACC via the web camera, security & police called, the student arrested while in the act of harassing yet another student.

11 Fernando

12 Walking away with the goods April 28 th 2005, we noticed that we had a workstation missing from the ACC. Thru network logs, A.D. login records, we were able to identify when workstation was last used, and who was on it. Stats. & web camera footage, located individual and called local police. In less than 24 hrs., had pertinent information with a visual image of the thief.


14 Employee Theft One of our student workers left their coat in our information booth overnight Came in the next morning it was gone Thru the webcameras, we were able to see exactly who took it. That temporary employee is no longer employed by MSU.


16 Webcameras Prove Innocence Had student was accused of sending bad emails to several people. Using Date/Time stamps of the bad emails & where the accused student had last used a computer, the web camera PROVED his innocence. He had left the computer lab at the time he said, unfortunately he left his email account signed-on on the computer. Another student then canvassed the lab until he located that machine & began using it. This matched the date/time stamps of the bad emails. The accused Student released from restrictive sanctions

17 The Accused & the Mystery Man

18 Public Relations University of Nebraska. The ACC first observed Web Cameras from the U.Nebraska at Lincoln. Lab gym L room Student Union University of Wisconsin. After installing our web cameras, a lab manager from the University of Wisconsin stated that they had decided to purchase web cameras. After viewing ours (& our GLL) he was convinced of the need & applicability for web cameras on their campus.

19 GIS/LIS NEWS The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium “The Geography Department at Minnesota State University recently opened a new 25 seat GIS Lab. –snip- The lab is equipped with a full suite of ESRI products and is supplemented with Leica Geosystems Imagine and S- Plus statistical software. –snip- The new lab has also been designated as MnSCU’s only authorized ESRI Partner Education Center. The facility can be viewed in real time”Geography Department viewed

20 Student Recruitment Prospective students can view web cameras from Orientation web site at:

21 Remote Diagnostics & Installation Assistance Summer 2003. As the GLL was being built, Tandberg employees from NY communicated with their home office via the cell phone & web cameras. Multiple times they needed replacement parts, showing the part to the web camera & the NY office would send the part overnight. This greatly shortened up the installation time for the GLL language equipment. It also allowed their loved ones in NY to see them during their week in Minnesota.

22 Remote Sales Visits Sanako Tandberg Educational has linked our web cameras to their corporate web site as a live Case Study. Tandberg website

23 Remote Diagnostics & Repair A student was observed having difficulty with a printer. She was pushing buttons, opening & closing the paper drawers, walking frustrated back & forth to the computer. We noticed this behavior over the web camera, realized that there was probably a printer problem. We checked the printer queue, restarted the queue & watched as the student’s printout started to print again. The student was surprised & happy. Problem fixed!

24 Carkoski Printer Problem

25 Faculty Assistance & Debugging Fall Semester. An English TA was having difficulty with the teacher equipment. She called Help Desk for assistance. Help Desk used the web camera, identified the problem & responded with the proper item to repair the problem. This all happened before class began. Spring Semester. An English Faculty member was having trouble with a computer. She was observed struggling with the equipment via the web camera. An assistant was sent to help before she even called.

26 Long Distance Romance & Video Phone Fall 2003. An Oregon student emailed asking how to view the web cameras from a computer off campus. When asked why, he said that his girl friend was studying at MSU & this is their way of “seeing” each other from such a long distance.

27 Trung & Agnes

28 Flexibility and Quick Response May 18 th 2005, 3 MSU students died in a car crash on their way to a engineering competition A message table was set up at MSU, with a webcam to view the memorial Distant relatives, friends, family and people from around the US sent in condolences and were able to view the memorial for the students Setup only took about hour for everything, from mounting camera, setting up network, PoE and webpage.


30 Other Uses Remote Space Availability – repair staff can see if room is available to do work in. Last Minute Room Request – faculty can see if room is in fact available Resource Utilization – administration can see that resources are being heavily utilized. Weather Cam MSU Mall Cam

31 Cons (or what not to do). Tell faculty that Web Cameras are being installed. Focus at door ways & equipment Do not focus on Instructor Repeat often that web cameras are for security of resources. Get ruling from HR about cameras in public areas.

32 A Teacher’s Response

33 Current Equipment 39 - Axis 2120 cameras, 7 - Axis 221, 3 - Axis 2100 Milestone XProtect Business edition webcamera management software Software takes snapshot from every camera once every 1.3 seconds to every 6 seconds (depending on location of camera) organized into a separate database for each camera Each database archived daily, and backed up to tape weekly

34 Future Upgrade to Milestone XProtect Professional AXIS 290B protective housing & wide angle lens AXIS 2191 Audio Module - Add the ability to hear and speak through an Axis network camera unit AXIS SMC2870W Wireless Bridge - 2.4GHz 54 Mbps Wireless Ethernet Adapter

35 Axis Web Camera Overview AXIS 2120 Web Camera Indoor-Outdoor Built in Web Server Up to 30 FPS 704 x 480 resolution24 bit color Built in motion detection $898 CDWG 5/24/05 AXIS 221 Web CameraIndoor-Outdoor Built in Web ServerUp to 60 FPS 640 x 480 resolution Full PoE support $1,100 CDWG 5/24/05 Wide Angle Lens available for $139

36 Axis 213 PTZ AXIS 213 Pan/Tilt/Zoom Ceiling Mount, Indoor or Outdoor 26X optical + 12X digital zoom Up to 30 FPS 704 x 480 resolution, 24 bit color $1,695 CDWG 5/24/05

37 Need powered device for sending & receiving Power over LAN Midspans available in 1, 6 and 12-port versions. A Power over LAN Midspan uses the unused pairs in a standard Cat 5 network cable to supply power to PoL-enabled products Power over LAN Active Splitter separates data and power coming over a network cable. It enables network video products to receive both power and data from a network connection. Power over Ethernet (PoE)

38 Server Dell Power Edge 2600, Dual Xeon 2.4GHz hyper-threaded processors, 2 Gig ram 6 - 73GB SCSI Ultra 320 15K rpm HD SDLT 320 – 160GB tape drive 1 GB Ethernet to core switch

39 Archival Software Milestone XProtect Business Webcamera management software 1 Folder per camera Each image organized in a database 49 cameras = 138gb/week Under $200/camera Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 Approx. 2 hrs for full database backup Tape backup up to SDLT 160GB cartridge

40 View our webcameras at: Minnesota State University, Mankato Questions - Contact

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