Singapore has long been a leader in the use of GIS technology. They are currently taking geospatial data management to the next level – the intelligent 3D level, with the help of a number of individuals and companies. This is good news for the 3D laser scanning/lidar industry. A tremendous amount of 3D data needs to be collected and maintained in order for a “Smart City” to function.
One of the companies taking the lead on this is Dassault, a French company that many of may not be aware of, but they are a major player in the CAD world and are now advertising on CNBC with the corporate tag line of “The 3D Experience Company.” I am a big believer in the power of these branding messages as they can be an important marketing tool as well as an internal focus and rallying cry for the employees.
It has always seemed a lot simpler to tackle an island such as Singapore as compared to a country such as the U.S. or Germany. That said it is still a daunting task to build a 3D model of any city, particularly if you want to include the buildings and the underground utilities which to me are essential. Getting that “last mile” of data is really hard to do, however Singapore is including indoors in their vision of their 3D governance model.
It will be interesting to see the progress that Singapore makes and to leverage their experience in other cities and countries around the world. Helsinki and Budapest are two cities that have their 3D databases created.
Tackling a major city may be more than your firm can handle, but the idea of a smart city makes sense at any population level. You can match your target market to the population that makes sense for your firm. Perhaps it is a corporate or university campus to get started.
Documenting the benefits is a challenge, but this is the direction that the management of geospatial information is heading. The uber vision is one of a unified, integrated geospatial data model that can scale from the earth to your desk. I hope this is the 3D experience that Dassault has in mind.