Video solution supports Germany’s largest theme park

Traveling through Europe in one day — impossible? Not at all — on about 94 hectares, Europa-Park in Rust near Freiburg features more than 100 attractions in 17 European theme areas, six hotels and numerous shows. And the park’s offerings have changed considerably in the past few years. Alongside its leisure attractions, Europa-Park as a venue provides plenty of locations for business meetings.

The challenge

Regardless of how they intend to spend their time, all visitors arrive with the same expectation — to have an unforgettable day. Ensuring visits are memorable in a good way requires Europa-Park to consider safety aspects like preventing theft and minimizing conflict between visitors. To achieve its goals and ensure smooth operations, in 2008, Europa-Park’s management sought a video solution that offered more than security surveillance.

“A large compound like the Europa-Park is difficult to manage decently without proper technical support,” said Reinhard Egner, a consulting engineer for the park. “Our aim is to give the visitors a day at Europa-Park they will never forget. That’s why we need to be informed about all the incidents occurring on our premises. We offer relaxation and fun, but this is only possible if our numerous rides are always operable, the waiting times are not too long and all visitors treat each other with respect.”

The solution

One requirement of the video project was integrating all applied systems — including a burglary and fire alarm system, as well as the Hexagon software — into a comprehensive building management solution. In addition, all cameras and subsections had to be accessible for viewing and operation at one central control station. The system also needed be able to cover perimeter security from a single source — a demand that posed a hurdle to many manufacturers. But the system house vi2vi, located in Malsch, was not deterred by this challenge and won the contract.

“With the Qognify VMS software, we meet all requirements with one solution and are also set for the future,” said Mathias Bechler, project manager from vi2vi. The modular system approach of Qognify VMS offers a variety of extension options, so individual customer requests and needs can easily be taken into account. A further advantage is the scalability of the overall concept; future growth is a goal, not an obstacle. Since Hexagon systems can be seamlessly integrated into many business processes and workflows and can combine the information generated there with video footage, they also make image data more accessible and easier to evaluate.

The result

Today, Europa-Park employs WinGuard by Advancis as a superordinate physical security information management system (PSIM). Operating all programs via one surface makes everyday use simple — no need to switch back and forth between different software solutions. Qognify VMS is linked to the security and building management software via SDK, so information gathered in Qognify VMS is available to users via WinGuard. This integration ensures that both systems operate smoothly.

Video analysis is another component of the solution. Surveillance of the park fences is based on virtual tripwires, which guarantee the security of visitors who accidentally stray from preset paths. They also secure the park against trespassing when it’s closed. As soon as a virtual line is crossed, the security staff in the control station receives an alarm notification and can react immediately. To preserve visitors’ privacy, park operators segment the security staff into several authorization groups. These settings are applied in the Qognify VMS configuration, which allows particular users to browse through recordings but not to edit or export them, for example. Because there are both mobile and web clients, security personnel can even avail themselves of mobile access options to be actively informed about incidents the moment they occur. This allows them to act at once, even when walking across the grounds, far from a desktop terminal.

The customer

Europa-Park has seen significant benefits from the effective cooperation of Hexagon, Advancis, vi2vi and the hardware partner Axis. “We are extremely satisfied with the security solution and the entire implementation process. Succeeding at such an enormous task requires that all involved parties give nothing but their best,” said Michael Steiert, who is responsible for the building and video management software of Europa-Park.

Since 2008, the security system has been growing with Europa-Park, expanding steadily. The luggage compartments of attractions, additional shops and waiting areas of new rides are being integrated into the existing installation. And the system has already proved its value — more than 90% of the thefts in the park have been solved with the help of the video management solution.