2018 IAAA Winner: SAFE (Situational Awareness for Events): A Data Visualization System

Marathons and other endurance events are growing in popularity, and thus require significant resources to ensure safety and success. Event management tools have not grown to meet this need. A team of Northwestern University faculty and students and staff members of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has developed a data visualization system that incorporates critical data into a user-friendly dashboard to provide a centralized source of information at mass gathering events. This system uses descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics to help race organizers and relevant stakeholders effectively manage and oversee all participants, monitor the dynamic location of race participants, and manage health and safety resources throughout the event should any emergency issues arise. Our system is the first comprehensive dashboard for endurance event management. The system provides a dynamic representation of the flow of people and resources. The system integrates real-time dynamic data from tracking devices and predictive algorithms developed by the research team, and presents the information on a summary visual device, both as a large screen in an incident command facility for group monitoring and a desktop/mobile version for individual monitoring. The system has become an integral component in the management of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle 8K and the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon.