The 2021 G7 Summit united government heads from seven of the world's major democracies in Cornwall, England to discuss international policy and events. Police from the Devon and Cornwall, England communities leveraged their geographical information system (GIS) software to enhance safety measures during the G7 Summit.

“We had two major hurdles we had to cross during the planning phase for the G7 Summit,” said Robert Goldsmith, GIS and Mapping Manager, Devon and Cornwall Police. “The first challenge was managing the sheer volume of security protocols needed for such a high-profile event, particularly given that the Summit was hosted in two locations. This meant that safety measures were required for different venues, as well as for each of the world leaders, as they travelled back and forth. The second was giving visibility to our security partners around the world, especially as the pandemic limited the ability for teams to travel to the site in the run up to the event.”

Creating maps for contingency planning

The local police force combined Precisely's MapInfo Pro with third-party 3D visualizations to create a digital twin that enabled precise contingency planning — based on a model that had an accuracy of up to five millimeters. Goldsmith and his team used the GIS technology to generate 2D gridded map books of the venues and enriched it with points of interest (POI) data, such as foot bridges, cell masts, bus stops, and officer and partner locations. External datasets from other GIS units were also fed into the solution to seamlessly connect different formats for maximum context.

The team used the 2D mapping to create 3D visualizations of the event spaces as well. Leveraging capabilities provided by third-party providers, the team used aerial drone footage to build out an initial model. This was further augmented with 360-degree visualizations, using video footage that was meticulously captured by scanning over 140,000 square meters of the Summit venues.

GIS security outcomes

The result was a virtual representation of the entire area. This enabled Devon and Cornwall Police and their partners to anticipate security issues and create contingency plans using virtual reality headsets to remotely access locations during the planning phase. This removed the need to have more individuals on the ground than necessary in the run up to the event, while still enabling contingency planning to take place.

“The data was accessible by our partners who could view our venues from any phone, tablet, or laptop, anywhere in the country,” said Goldsmith. “These insights benefitted a wide range of stakeholders such as our firearms, ops planning, and counter-drone teams, and even external partners including the U.S. Secret Service, because they were able to understand the risks and opportunities different locations and routes presented.”

The G7 Summit went off without security hitch. Learn more about how Devon and Cornwall Police used location intelligence for the G7 Summit planning here.