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Panama Canal Expansion Opening Day Security Relies on Esri ArcGIS

By: Barbara Shields, Esri
The Panama Canal Expansion (PCE) project opened for business on June 26, 2016, the same day that the Esri National Security and Public Safety Summit convened in San Diego, California.  Carlos Contreras, the GIS manager at the Panama Canal Authority, presented a live demonstration of the first ships passing through the canal on a real-time map. The project’s GIS team used the Esri ArcGIS platform to support operations throughout the project phase as well as the security during the opening day events.
The world watched the PCE grand opening, which was attended by 15 heads of state. The event required tight security. Contreras’ GIS team coordinated with the police, special forces, national security, and the Red Cross to provide the geographic intelligence for monitoring the event.

As ships traveled through the canal starting at the Atlantic side of the canal, 20,000 attendees were also on the move in 280 buses. The busses traveled along the Canal’s banks stopping at towns and locks along the route. Security managers had a common operational view of the entire event via Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS. This allowed security teams to keep track of the entourage as well as the location of specific VIP.
Volunteers for the PCE event downloaded the Collector for ArcGIS app to their phones and provided on-the-ground information to the event command center. Esri’s new app Survey 123 for ArcGIS allowed security forces and health providers to track the locations and number of health incidents along the way as well as the patient care centers where they were being treated.

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