Oct 6, 2017
As more agencies across the globe adopt technology to support call record analysis, GeoTime is featured in the Italian industry magazine – Sicurezza e Giustizia (Security and Justice) as one of the most-used software tools for this purpose.
A rough translation:
ArcGIS® + GeoTime®: GIS technology to support the analysis of telephone traffic data
Historical mobile phone traffic billboards analysis is becoming increasingly important in investigative activities of public security organizations around the world, and leading technology companies have been trying to respond to the strong demand for the most suitable tools for supporting such activities.
Originally developed as a project funded in the United States by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), GeoTime, the uncharted software solution, is surely among the most used tools (18 countries, 275 public security units and thousands of users). use, effectiveness of visual representation, specific analyzes of the investigative and reporting world.
GeoTime integrates with the ArcGIS platform of Esri, the world’s leading geospatial solution provider, to provide the analyst with all relevant information for the area that is relevant for investigative purposes, enabling you to gain a better understanding of the scenario being investigated.
The variables investigated from phone records are space-defined as the location roughly reconstructed based on the location of the mobile operators BTS-Base Transceiver Station and the associated time. For consideration of the accuracy of the localization, refer to the two articles by G. Zambonini and C. Fusco, published in this same magazine.
Figure 1 shows a possible representation mode with GeoTime: at the top we see the movements over time (z axis) and at the bottom projection on a base map.
The tabular is for a two-year time span, for a single cellphone user. In an intuitive way, from this representation we can already locate the location of the person’s habitual residence, as well as the displacements and the relative repetition frequency.
Figure 1: Example of displaying a telephone user’s data in GeoTime
Trying to imagine the combination of the contemporary representation of multiple users, it is intuitive to think how the density at the top of the graph of representative points of multiple users (proximity in space and time) is the clue of possible encounters between the suspects. Specifically, the instrument offers the ability to automatically detect these situations by assigning time / time search parameters (km / min).
Another possible space-time representation is that shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Sample data representation of two telephone users in GeoTime
In this case we see the people associated with two different utilities moving very similarly over time (“z” axis). The figure describes the overall range available, but GeoTime also gives you the ability to present the timeline in a video and record it by creating a .WMV file. It is also possible to manage, through the timelines “Macro” and “Micro”, selections of the observed period to perform more detailed analysis.
Other predefined analysis features are already available (automatic cluster search, who attends sites of investigation interest, mobility compatibility with participation in events, etc.), allowing considerable time savings, especially when long time series are in play.
GeoTime can also use GPS data as a data source, allowing you to combine this information with data from traffic.
The Esri Geographic Platform, ArcGIS
In the examples above, we see a generic map in the background. A Geographic Information System (GIS) enables the management of additional 2D and 3D layer layers, which may contain any type of information that is associated with a geographic coordinate; In this case, we can use the position of the camcorders (with associated video files), BTS positions (and their characteristics), the theoretical radiation area (and also the actual electromagnetic coverage, if available) or real measures, residences or places visited by suspects, just to name some data types with an associated geographic component.
All this information can therefore enhance the knowledge framework, integrate it and strengthen it; GeoTime can use, instead of “mute” maps, maps and layers created and managed in the ArcGIS environment, submitting to the analyst the data from the telephone tabs enriched with all relevant information relevant to the survey.
How easy it is to understand the use of a geographic information system (GIS) goes far beyond the scope described above. We have already seen how a GIS is first of all a system of records of all types of geographic information in order to guarantee, as does the ArcGIS platform, the management of the most advanced data sources (which have recently been added drones), real time, exploded with the internet of things, and the big data.
In many application areas, this is not enough: Geo-spatial and temporal correlations between the data should be studied, so that, on the basis of this insight, the available data – more and more numerous – can be translated into knowledge and therefore in appropriate decisions . In the area of security, to name an example, all this results in the predictive analysis of the spatiotemporal occurrence of crimes. Lastly, a technologically advanced GIS platform must ensure data sharing and enable the world of mobile devices (system of engagement).
There are several ways to share data / information, all supported by ArcGIS, such as: sharing within a single organization, according to the profiles assigned (identity); the sharing of multiple organizations that may / should share confidential data (a very common situation in both Public Security and Emergency Management); public communication, open to all (for example, to report investigative success, or to communicate to citizens unsafe areas for the frequency of criminal offenses).
Mobile (geographic) enabler is another key to operating in order to ensure communication in two important areas: on the one hand, between headquarters and field operators, in order to have an up-to-date operational scenario available and for the real-time update of the central database; on the other for georeferenced reports sent by the citizens themselves.
Figure 3: The ArcGIS platform in operating rooms
The combination of advanced visual analysis tools (GeoTime) with the information assets created and managed by a geographic information system, such as ArcGIS, has proven to be very effective in supporting investigative and efficient activities, enabling a significant saving of time spent in analysis of telephone tabs. The ArcGIS platform of Esri implements the three pillars of a GIS, system of records, system of insight, system of engagement, at the highest technological level.