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  • Writer's pictureArpit Shah

Visibility Analysis for Security Applications

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Imagine that a VIP is coming to host a political rally at a park in your city and you have to design the security arrangements - where to position patrol vehicles, aerial surveillance, snipers etc. How would you go about doing it? Geo-technology is very useful for such intelligence operations.

The concept is very simple: if one knows the geo-position of the target and the geographic nature of the surroundings: one can model a robust security plan using that information.

Let's see this video demonstration -

(The video is best viewed in Youtube's HD setting either on PC or on Landscape mode in Mobile Phone. You can reduce / increase the play speed as per your viewing preferences.)

Isn't this useful?

Publicly available Research shows that Police, Military Personnel in USA already use these tools - Line of Sight & Viewshed - extensively to plan for military missions, provide security cover, conduct clearing operations etc.


Let's see another workflow related to Military operation -

Image 1: Visualize that terrorists carrying snipers are located on the roof of a particular building (marked in purple) within an urban area and that and you have to stealthily evacuate the civilians in the adjacent buildings (all numbered) before proceeding to engage with the terrorists.

Image 2: The terrorists are expected to rove around i.e. not remain stationary. Hence, we'd need to conduct visibility analysis considering the entire view from the roof i.e. considering all four corners (blue dots).

Image 3: Once we have a hi-res model of the surroundings (a Digital Surface Model i.e DSM) - we can conduct visibility analysis using Line of Sight - areas in green are visible from the roof while those in red are not.

Image 4: Of course, the security forces and those evacuated will need to travel by road. In this image, we've conducted visibility analysis considering specifically, the roads in the vicinity of the target building. Red dots represent 10 mts. of Road area. Here, Red signifies visible areas and Green signifies not visible / obstructed areas from the roof of the target building.

One can use this as a base model to proceed to do more advanced workflows - there are specific geo-modules available to strategize for such intelligence operations - for military, crime prevention and other security applications.

The applications of visibility analysis are not restricted to security purposes only, they can even be applied to construction, real estate and urban design workflows.


Intelloc Mapping Services | is engaged in selling products which capture geo-data (Drones), process geo-data (Geographic Information System) as well as services (PoI Datasets & Satellite Imagery). Together, these help organizations to benefit from Geo-Intelligence for purposes such as operations improvement, project management and digital enabled growth.

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Much Thanks to Esri for the training material.

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