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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
                   - 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
• Topics: webcameras, Power-Over-
  Ethernet (PoE, PoL), snapshot software,
  strategic placement, Pros-Cons.
               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
                           – Agenda
• Surprising additional uses by faculty,
  staff, students & others; beyond security
• the webcameras have been utilized for:
  –   security,
  –   long distance romance,
  –   NY-MN trouble shooting,
  –   detective investigations,
  –   space utilization,
  –   faculty assistance,
  –   sales – marketing & PR.
       Pro & Cons of Web Cameras

We will present some actual footage
(or re-enactments) to demonstrate topics.

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.
            Security – Intrusion Alarms
When a computer lab has an intrusion
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.
GMW movie
              Lack of Web Cameras

• Residential Life Computer Theft.
• A computer lab in Residential Life was
  often having items stolen, including
  mice, networking connectors & computer
• 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.
           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.
        Walking away with the goods
• April 28th 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.
             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.
           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
• 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
• The accused Student released from restrictive
The Accused & the Mystery Man
                        Public Relations
• University of Nebraska. The ACC first observed Web
  Cameras from the U.Nebraska at Lincoln.

  Lab gym
  L room
• Student

• 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.
                    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
                   The facility can be
 Partner Education Center.
 viewed in real time”
    Student Recruitment

• Prospective students can view web
  cameras from Orientation web site at:
  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.
               Remote Sales Visits

• Sanako Tandberg Educational has linked
  our web cameras to their corporate web
  site as a live Case Study.
• Tandberg website
            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!
Carkoski Printer Problem
           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.
  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.
Trung & Agnes
 Flexibility and Quick Response
• May 18th 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
                           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
            Cons (or what not to do).
• Tell faculty that Web Cameras are being
• 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.
A Teacher’s Response
                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
• 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
     Axis Web Camera Overview

AXIS 2120 Web Camera Indoor-Outdoor
Built in Web Server Up to 30 FPS
704 x 480 resolution       24 bit color
Built in motion detection
$898 CDWG 5/24/05

AXIS 221 Web Camera        Indoor-Outdoor
Built in Web Server Up to 60 FPS
640 x 480 resolution
Full PoE support
$1,100 CDWG 5/24/05

•Wide Angle Lens available for $139
                         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
                    Power over Ethernet (PoE)
•   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.

• 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
                 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
           Questions - Contact

View our webcameras at:

    Minnesota State University, Mankato

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