Jixel: the name
We call “jixel” any piece of information (e.g. incident, resource, feature) that Emergency Services Control Rooms may want to share. The name JIXEL is the combination of “JIGsaw” and “ELement”, suggesting that, information elements (or jixels) can be displayed on a collaborative map just like pixels forming a picture or a individual tiles of a jigsaw can result in a full-frame image.
The REACT project and Jixel’s first use
JIXEL is the main result of the EC-funded FP6 Project REACT (Reaction to Emergency Alerts using voice and Clustering Technologies, 2006-2009), which IES Solutions coordinated: the project aimed to create a solution for a seamless management of information sharing by command and control rooms. JIXEL was the perfect answer: born with the idea of providing a solution to Emergency Services and Civil Protection organisations, it was quickly adopted by Italian Ministry of the Interior – Department of Fire Fighters (CNVVF) during the earthquake that stroke in L’Aquila in 2009.
In particular, during the L’Aquila earthquake, IES Solutions provided JIXEL as a service supporting the management of the operations for restoring cultural heritage and historical buildings, carried out by CNVVF and Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (MiBACT – Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism).
Jixel’s display during L’Aquila earthquake aftermath management. Click on the image to go to the interactive map
JIXEL stands out for its flexibility and for continuous evolution: it was used for managing forest fires and wildfires in Calabria Region in 2009 and 2010. It resulted in a very positive impact on both the process and the environment, and CNVVF received the “Innovation and Security” award at the TechFOr 2010 for the efficiency and innovation of the operation. One of the further improvements of this use was the development of the App “Incendio!” for sending alerts to a JIXEL-powered Control room; a more advanced version, “AIB”, is targeted to professional users that are empowered to send detailed information about a fire they observe.
In 2011 an app developed by IES Solutions on the basis of JIXEL was awarded with the “Innovation and Security” recognition at TechFOr: “115-for-deaf”, a result from the EC ICT Project REACH112 (REsponding to All Citizens needing Help, 2009-2012, which aimed to make 112 services closer to the needs of people with disabilities). The app allows deaf people to call reach the Firefighters emergency number, connecting the caller with the Control Room and solving the problem that deaf people have in calling the emergency services.
The “Innovation and Security” award 2010, won by CNVVF for the management of forest fires in Calabria, supported by the use of JIXEL AIB
A further example of the application of JIXEL to major disasters is the management of the aftermath of the Emilia Romagna Region earthquake (2012): in addition to what already implemented in L’Aquila, JIXEL allowed CNVVF to keep track of all the activities concerning the removal and disposal of rubbles and debris.
After the first use in L’Aquila, JIXEL has been improved by a number of customisations and extensions. The system can now manage the distribution of information for operational management of events and the real-time information exchange between CNVVF control rooms and with other organisations. Currently, JIXEL is used in every day activities by CNVVF in 120 provincial and regional control rooms and in the CON (National Operational Centre), which coordinates all the national operational structures in case of large disasters. JIXEL also allowed CNVVF to receive early warnings alerts by the forest fires video surveillance systems recently deployed in Apulia and Calabria Regions: the systems are fully interoperable with CNVVF control rooms.
Another evolution of JIXEL, GECOS (Gestione Emergenze e Comunicazione Sicilia), deserves a special consideration: it is a solution developed by IES in 2015 for the Civil Protection Department of Sicily Region and is aimed at managing human resources, tools, assets and volunteers’ organisations in any type of emergency situations. In 2016, IES provided to the Department Anch’ioSegnalo, the App that allows citizens in the Sicilian territory to send alerts about near dangers directly to the control room. With GECOS, JIXEL has reached a new level of adaptation to the needs of emergency services for managing all kinds of event, from the minor ones to the large-scale ones.
Jixel in Italy
Italian Ministry of Interior, Department of Fire, Public Rescue and Civil Defense
• 2009 – System for the management of L’Aquila earthquake aftermath
• 2009-2010 – System for the citizens’ awareness of the status of cultural heritage buildings reconstruction (in cooperation with MiBACT)
• 2009-2010 – System for the management of AIB campaign (AIB – anti-forest fires) for Calabria Region
• 2011 – Supply of a real-time operations information distribution system to CNVVF
• 2012 – Supply of a system for the management of emergency requests from deaf people (115-for-deaf)
• 2012 – System for the management of Emilia Romagna Region earthquake aftermath
• 2014 – Commissioning of national system of real-time information exchange between CNVVF control rooms and with third parties
Sicily Region, Civil Protection Department
• 2013 – System for the management of forest fires provided to Sicily Region
• 2013 – Supply of an app dedicated to warnings on forest fires
• 2015 – GECOS system (Gestione Emergenze e COmunicazione Sicilia – Emergencies and Communication Management Sicily)
• 2016 – RISK SIS.MA Civil Protection exercise – use of GECOS during operations
• 2016 – Anch’ioSegalo: App for citizens that allows them to send alerts to the control room
Jixel in Europe
JIXEL has been demonstrated during several international collaboration and European projects in:
• 2009 – Sussex Police: Sussex County, United Kingdom (REACT project)
• 2010 – Meuse–Rhine Euroregion: Aachen (Germany), Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Liège (Belgium)
• 2011-2012 – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble: Grenoble, France (REACH112 project)
• 2013 – European exercise TWIST: Salerno, Italy (IDIRA project)
• 2014 – European exercise NEAMWAVE14: Palermo, Italy