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The First Workshop on Video Analytics in Public Safety (VAPS) June 6, 2016, 8:30am – 6:30pm, San Diego, CA

VAPS 2016 Workshop Report:  NISTIR 8164 - First Workshop on Video Analytics in Public Safety, June 6, 2016, San Diego, CA

On June 6, NIST will host the 2016 Video Analytics in Public Safety (VAPS) Workshop, a satellite workshop of the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Broadband Stakeholder Meeting on June 7-9.

In addition to workshop registration, please see the critical deadlines below regarding participation in pre-workshop technical perspective panels to be held in May and the workshop poster/demo session.

The VAPS workshop will be open to all interested technical stakeholders and is intended to engage the following communities:

  • Public Safety and Transportation Safety Video Use Communities
  • Computer Vision, Multimedia Analytics, Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Data Science, Video Compression, Video Processing Architecture, and Video Privacy research communities
  • Video Analytics, Video Security Technology, and Video Compression industries
  • Computing, Networking, and Telecommunications industries
  • HCI, Human Factors, and Visualization Research Communities
  • Public Safety Legal and Policy Community
  • Public Safety Social Science Research Community
  • Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and International Video R&D Communities
  • Video Processing Standards Community

The goal of the VAPS workshop will be to create an environment where technical stakeholders of all types can exchange knowledge, practices, needs, challenges, issues, and ideas to jointly identify the critical R&D, resources, standards, and collaboration vehicles and infrastructure to support the creation of a robust public safety video analytics R&D ecosystem. The VAPS workshop is intended to inform national strategy for video analytics R&D and to lay the foundation for the formation of a multidisciplinary VAPS Community of Interest to support robust collaborative engagement on the emerging priorities. A summary report will be published after the workshop.

The VAPS Workshop and future VAPS activities will help to focus and link research, collaboration, and standards activities across stakeholders to support the development of a robust and interoperable public safety video analytics ecosystem that meets the nation's growing needs.

If you have technical questions about the workshop, please contact the workshop organizers at: VAPS-info [at] (VAPS-info[at]nist[dot]gov).


The public safety and transportation safety communities are creating enormous and often-federated video systems to monitor the safety of citizens and urban and transportation infrastructure. However, these communities lack robust, scalable, and interoperable technologies to effectively assist them in managing and working with the video data in these systems – both in live streams and in archives. Most cities now have thousands of public safety and transportation infrastructure cameras. And, the sources of public safety video are multiplying beyond CCTV including cell phone video, dash cameras, body cameras, a variety of tactical cameras, robot cameras, unmanned aircraft surveillance, as well as video data contributed by the public in emerging 911 apps and from social media.

Breakthroughs in the scientific disciplines of computer vision, machine learning, data science, distributed computing, high-speed networking, and others are enabling significant advances in video processing. These breakthroughs will play a critically important role in future public safety video applications spanning video capture, compression, encoding, transmission, broadcasting, real-time alerting, triage, retrospective analysis, and forensics.

Video analytics is an emerging applications area focused on automating the laborious tasks of monitoring live streams of video, streamlining video communications and storage, providing timely alerts, and making the task of searching enormous archives of video tractable. Public safety video analytics research and development and standards activities have lagged behind other domains.

Given the explosion of video in public safety, the strategic incorporation of next-generation video analytics into public safety systems and workflows is critically important. Video analytics will play an essential role at the collection devices, in the public safety communication networks, in the data management back ends, and in real-time interactions across a variety of stakeholders and automated systems that span agencies, jurisdictions, and sectors. Significant coordinated activities in R&D, measurement, standards, education, outreach, and collaboration will be essential in supporting the robustness, efficiency, usability, security, and interoperability of these systems while balancing the public's need for increased safety, transparency, and privacy.

Workshop Format and Pre-Workshop Activities and Submissions:

This one-day workshop will focus on knowledge sharing and strategy development and will have a fast-moving and interactive format consisting of the following elements:

  1. Vertical Perspective Panels:To promote the sharing of knowledge and perspectives across stakeholders, the workshop will have technical perspective summaries from pre-workshop panels on:
  • Public safety and transportation safety video use and analysis
  • Industry video analytics R&D and related technologies and standards
  • Academic research in areas relevant to public safety video technologies
  • Human factors, HCI, and visualization research
  • Legal, policy, and social considerations

These panel briefings are intended to be a sampling of the knowledge and perspectives of these stakeholder communities to promote cross-education of the workshop participants. The panels will meet virtually during May to develop flash summaries to be presented by the panel chairs at the workshop. Detailed panel participant briefs and technical materials can be made available in the VAPS sharing site and individually presented in the technical poster/demo session.

Your participation in the pre-workshop panels is extremely important to ensuring the success of the workshop and can be as formal or informal as you prefer. Please contact the VAPS organizers at VAPS-info [at] (VAPS-info[at]nist[dot]gov) no later than May 1 if you wish to participate in one or more of the above panels.

2. Collaboration Success Stories: The workshop will feature case stories in successful R&D collaborations between the Public Safety Community and researchers and will discuss lessons learned.

3.Technical Poster/Demo Session: The workshop will include a technical poster and demo session where all participants can present their relevant research. Please contact the VAPS organizer at VAPS-info [at] (VAPS-info[at]nist[dot]gov) no later than May 15 if you wish to present a technical poster or demo and include a brief abstract (title, presenter(s), and 1-paragraph description) describing your exhibit and any A/V needs you might have. Since space is limited, posters and demos will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Posters and demos must fit within a 4-foot space. Additional Information will be forthcoming.

4.Technical Breakouts: The emphasis of the workshop will be on two technical breakout sessions where participants will jointly identify issues, needs, R&D priorities, and ways forward for research, measurement, standards, education and outreach, and collaboration. These breakouts will draw from the breadth and diversity of the workshop participants and the materials presented earlier in the day.

Important Dates:

May 1 – Deadline for registering to participate in pre-workshop vertical perspective panels. These panels will meet virtually on several dates in May.

May 15 – Deadline for poster and demo abstracts.

May 27 – Deadline for workshop registration.


NIST Information Technology Lab (ITL)

NIST Communications Technology Lab (CTL)

DHS Science and Technology Directorate - Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (DHS/S&T/OIC)

OSTP National Science and Technology Council and Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD) Program

Agenda PDF (Updated 5/5)

A room block has been established at the Marriott San Diego Gaslamp Quarter (located across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel where the event is taking place) for attendees needing lodging. Attendees are responsible for making their own reservations by calling the Hotel's Reservations Department at 877-622-3056, no later than the Cut-Off Date – Monday, May 16, 2016.

Attendees should identify themselves as being part of the NIST VAPS group when calling.  

Marriott San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
660 K St, San Diego, CA 92101
RATE: $153.00

NOTE: There are a limited number of hotel rooms available at the Hard Rock. VAPS Workshop attendees staying for 2016 PSCR on June 7-9 should contactmyesha.steadman [at] ( Myesha Steadman) regarding booking a hotel room at the Hard Rock.

Created April 7, 2016, Updated May 23, 2017