Geospatial World June 2014 - Smart Cities and GIS

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June 2014 • Vol 4 • Issue 11 THEME: Smart Cities

Inside 44 Improving Public Transport Using Real-Time Data

Special Feature: GPR 52 Revolutionising Non-Invasive Intelligence Gathering, Geoff Zeiss

IBM Smarter Planet

46 Turning Every Light Green in Flanders

Eurisy, the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic

48 Leveraging the Power of Land Administration

IPG Product Group, Autodesk

Martinus Vranken and Kees de Zeeuw, Kadaster

Cover Story 22 Smart and Future Proof

Anne Kemp, Director (BIM Strategy and Development), ATKINS

50 Laying a Green Carpet for Mumbai

Article 28 Towards a Sustainable Future

Interviews 31 Michael Dixon, General Manager, IBM

Abraham John Architects

Lynda Sharkey and Brian Young, Autodesk

Global Smarter Cities

Case Studies 38 Setting a Benchmark

34 Out‘smarting’ the future

07 Editorial

Vaibhav Arora

Country Focus: Mexico

08 News

40 High on Low Carbon Footprint

58 Mapping Social Programmes through WebGIS, SEDESOL, Mexico

16 Product Watch

Laura Hakvoort, Ruben Voerman, Daiva Jakutyte and Wolfgang Loibl

60 Rolando Ocampo, Vice President, National

43 Intelligent System Lights up the City

Institute of Statistics and Geography

Disclaimer Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. Geospatial World is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided.

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Ed Parsons Geospatial Technologist, Google

Greg Bentley CEO, Bentley Systems

Prof. Josef Strobl Prof. Ian Dowman First Vice President, ISPRS

Chair, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria

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Mark Reichardt

Chairman and CEO, Rolta Group

Vice President, Engineering & Infrastructure, Autodesk

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Vice-President and General Manager, Large Format Printing Business, Hewlett-Packard

Kamal K Singh

66 Picture This

Dorine Burmanje

Dr. Hiroshi Murakami Director-General of Planning Department, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

62 Conference Report

Stephen Lawler Chief Technology Officer, Bing Maps, Microsoft

Juergen Dold President Hexagon Geosystems

Matthew O’Connell CEO, Adhoc Holdings

Dr Swarna Subba Rao Surveyor General of India

Publisher Sanjay Kumar

Publications Team Managing Editor Prof. Arup Dasgupta Editor — Building & Energy Geoff Zeiss Editor — Agriculture Mark Noort Editor — Geospatial World Weekly (Hon) Dr. Hrishikesh Samant Executive Editor Bhanu Rekha Deputy Executive Editor Anusuya Datta Product Manager Harsha Vardhan Madiraju Sub-Editor Ridhima Kumar Graphic Designer Debjyoti Mukherjee

Vanessa Lawrence Secretary General, Ordnance Survey International, UK

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 5

From the Editor’s Desk

Prof Arup Dasgupta Managing Editor


Going Smart, Why and How

he world is going ‘smart’; there are smartphones, smart cards, smart sensors, smart satellites and now smart cities. What is behind this adjective? Intelligence for one, though as a noun it could mean neat but as a verb it would imply hurt. So, a smart city would be one that manages itself intelligently and appears neat and well groomed. On the other hand, not being intelligent could lead to a hurtful outcome! But, enough of wordplay; the highlight of last month was the Geospatial World Forum 2014 held from May 5 to 9 in the beautiful city of Geneva with ‘GeoSmart Planet, Resources, Infrastructure and You’ as it theme. The event was big with more than a thousand delegates from 78 countries and five ministerial-level participants. After two days of scintillating presentations in the plenary sessions by world leaders in the geospatial arena, there were two days of intensive parallel sessions. Having the privilege of chairing the session on Land Information Systems for Smart Cities, I was exposed to the various activities in different member countries under the aegis of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. Two days of presentations and discussions brought out that for a city to be smart, it needs to plan ahead adopting a lifecycle approach. Smartness involves people and their diversities, and therefore entails dialogue between the stakeholders. Smart cities are not only about smart technologies, though they help, but about smart usage of technologies, smart ones included. Thus smart cities should cleverly adopt an open and shared data approach, under which combined data can be used for multidimensional analysis. In the end, it boils down to people, so, put people in the centre and set up a two way dialogue.

Encourage individual innovators. Smart citizens make cities smart. One aspect of a smart city is its database, which not only includes data about the land but also about the infrastructure both above and below the ground. While geospatial has contributed immensely to the information above the ground, there is a need for addressing the assets below the ground as well. This aspect is brought out in the article by Geoff Zeiss who is the Editor, Building and Energy, Geospatial World. Zeiss was also conferred the Geospatial Ambassador Award during the event for his efforts in sensitising the Building and Energy sectors about the benefits of geospatial technologies. Another aspect which is of interest is the participation at the ministerial level in a session on Evolving Geospatial Policies for Development. More than what was said, it was their very participation in the event which bodes well for the geospatial industry, since in the final analysis, it is the governmental support that makes or breaks geospatial initiatives. In conclusion, to be geosmart in the context of city planning and management, geospatial systems need to serve the information needs of city planners, managers and the citizens by seamlessly integrating data and models with other systems like e-governance and e-commerce. It also needs to adopt emerging technologies like Big Data, Cloud and new sensors in space, air and ground. Most importantly, it needs to carry with it top decision makers, administrators, technologists and citizens.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 7

Americas News Business NGA favours relaxing imagery resolution restrictions Pitney Bowes, SAP sign global OEM agreement Pitney Bowes and SAP have signed a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement that will enable the former to develop geospatial and location intelligence solutions using the SAP HANA platform. The companies claim that spatially enabled solutions running on SAP HANA will help telecommunications companies build more profitable coverage maps, help consumer product goods’ companies refine their supply chain processes, and offer oil and gas providers a way to optimise product and pricing strategies.

RoboFlight acquires Aerial Precision Aerial Precision Ag, a manufacturer of agricultural UAS has been acquired by RoboFlight Systems, a georeferenced aerial data company that processes, analyses, and manages multispectral aerial imagery data. RoboFlight collects data from remote sensing UAS as well as their manned aircraft, satellites and any other aerial data collection platforms in order to provide their customers with actionable information. Aerial Precision Ag will be the company’s division that is focused on the agriculture and livestock industries. Through this acquisition, RoboFlight has added the ability to capture imagery from five feet above the crop canopy for millimetre resolution, up to heights of 500 miles. The acquisition follows RoboFlight’s acquisition of AgPixel in March.

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At an annual space conference hosted by the Space Foundation, NGA Director Letitia Long said that NGA and other intelligence agencies backed the effort to relax the norms restricting the commercial sale of high-resolution imagery. The White House is still coordinating the positions of the Pentagon, Commerce Department, State Department and other agencies. She said she did not know when a decision would be announced. In May 2013, commercial WorldView-3 would allow DigitalGlobe to sell imagery provider, DigitalGlobe, imagery accurate to 31 cm. had put in a formal request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to have the restrictions lifted. The licensing requirements petition by DigitalGlobe requested for a 25cm resolution.

Hexagon acquires Arvus and Mintec Hexagon AB has agreed to acquire Arvus, a manufacturer of precision agriculture solutions, for site-specific management of the factors affecting crop production. The acquisition is a strategic step to strengthen the precision agriculture solution portfolio of Hexagon. Hexagon has also signed an agreement to acquire Mintec, a resource modelling, optimisation, mine planning and scheduling software developer for the mining industry. The Mintec deal is expected to close by June 2014.

Intermap bags contract for its NEXTMap database Intermap Technologies has received a $1-million contract to provide

digital elevation data and orthorectified radar imagery from its NEXTMap For digital database. Under elevation data the terms of the agreement, Intermap will deliver the data during the second quarter of 2014. Intermap did not disclose the name of the client.

$1 mn

Airbus wins Peru’s EO mission contract For its maiden earth observation mission, Peru has signed an agreement with France to purchase a $213- million satellite. Airbus Defence and Space was awarded the contract to develop, construct and launch this earth observation optical satellite system. The contract covers

Americas News supply of a ground control segment, image reception and processing centre, as well as a complete training programme for Peruvian engineers and technicians for developing tailored imaging applications. The Asrosat-300 For maiden satellite will be EO system able to provide

$213 mn

by a constellation of satellites made economically feasible by a low cost per spacecraft.

Miscellaneous GPS 2F-6 navigation satellite launched The US Air Force has replaced one

Peruvian authorities accurate information to take measures for prevention of natural disasters by predicting weather patterns. The high-resolution satellite can capture images with a spatial resolution of 2.5 metres.

DigitalGlobe CFO to quit in October DigitalGlobe’s Chief Financial Officer, Yancey L Spruill has announced that he will step down on October 1, 2014. Spruill has announced the decision following a 10-year career with the company, during which he played a key role in transforming DigitalGlobe from a privately-held satellite imagery provider with $60-million in revenue into an NYSE-listed company and $613 million in revenue in 2013.

Surrey offers colour video-imaging small-sat Surrey Satellite Technology US has introduced V1C colour video-imaging satellite that offers high-quality imaging at sub-metre resolution. The Surrey V1C satellite can collect high-definition, natural-colour (red, green, blue) video with better than one-metre ground sample distance (GSD) resolution over a 10 km-wide swath at up to 100 frames per second. The company claims that the basic limitation of time over target for video can be overcome

of its worst-performing satellites in its GPS positioning, navigation and timing constellation with a new one. The GPS 2F satellites provide better accuracy and more resistance to jamming than the previous generation of GPS satellites, most of which are still in operation. Two more GPS 2F satellites will be launched later this year.

Produced Waters database launched USGS has launched National Produced Waters Geochemical Database. Produced waters are those volumes of water that are typically recovered during oil and gas exploration, development, or production. The database is an update of the 2002 USGS Produced Waters Database. The latest database includes more than 100,000 new samples with greater spatial coverage and from both conventional and unconventional oil and gas development.

Mexico Prez proposes geospatial infrastructure The Mexican president, Enrique PeĂąa Nieto, proposed establishing an information and geospatial infrastructure system. This system will anticipate major natural hazards that affect For geospatial the Caribbean infrastructure region and which have significant economic and social consequences. President Nieto, who was speaking at the sixth Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), held in Merida (Mexico), also announced that his country will invest $4.5 million for the initiative.

$4.5 mn

Canada MDA collects hyperspectral imagery MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has signed a contract with the Canadian Space Agency to develop the mission concept for the Canadian Hyperspectral Mission. MDA will lead a team of experts to develop a satellite constellation concept to collect hyperspectral imagery around the globe and specifically in Canada and its coastal waters on a weekly basis. Hyperspectral remote sensing collects the full spectrum of light reflected from the earth’s surface and separates it into dozens of spectral bands. Analysis of the spectral bands reflected by a feature on the ground can reveal its composition and evolution providing critical information to environmental, security and natural resource decision makers.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 9

Europe News Germany Dauria Aerospace partners with Elecnor Deimos Dauria Aerospace, an aerospace company providing global data, communication and remote sensing information, and Madrid-based Elecnor Deimos have signed a joint partnership agreement to develop Deimos Perseus, a constellation of eight satellites that will provide frequent imagery. These satellites will carry multispectral sensors that provide for automated identification of ground features such as crop types, their vigour, and stage in the growing cycle. The first four Perseus-O satellites are scheduled for deployment in early 2015, with the remaining four planned for the third quarter of the same year.

to acquire high-resolution satellite data and associated services in support of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Finland Nokia reincarnates with new team, strategy After the sale of its devices and services business to Microsoft, Nokia has announced new strategy and team to build on its networks, location and technologies business. Effective May 1, Rajeev Suri took over as the new Rajeev Suri, new CEO and President, Nokia

DAT/EM Systems expands brand to Europe DAT/EM Systems International has expanded operations to Europe by establishing a new company, DAT/EM Systems Europe. The decision to establish a new entity is aimed at increasing awareness of the brand. The new company will focus on providing 3D stereo mapping solutions and provide customer support in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent.

EUSI partners with DigitalGlobe and e-GEOS European Space Imaging (EUSI) has signed partnership agreement with e-GEOS and DigitalGlobe to provide imagery and data processing services as part of a multi-year framework supply contract with the European Commission. The contract was drawn

10 / Geospatial World / June 2014

President and CEO of Nokia Corporation. Timo Ihamuotila has been appointed as the Executive Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer, and Michael Halbherr as CEO of HERE. Nokia also initiated a $100-million Connected Car fund which will be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP). The fund will be used to identify and invest in companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles.

UK Thales Alenia Space creates new subsidiary Thales Alenia Space has further expanded its presence in Europe

with the creation of a new British subsidiary, Thales Alenia Space UK. The new subsidiary will be based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus (HISC) in Oxfordshire. Thales said the move was an integral part of the company’s strategy to bolster its presence in key countries that invested heavily in the space sector. Martin Gee, CEO of Thales Alenia Space UK said, “Globally, the space industry is moving very fast, and there is exponential growth in demand for space-based communications, navigation and observation.”

ESA extends €5-mn contract for SCISYS SCISYS, a leading developer of IT services, has signed a one-year contract extension agreement with the European Space Agency, worth in excess of €5 million ($6.82-million). Under the terms of the contract, the company’s engineers and flight dynamics experts would provide service to the earth observation, science and astronomy missions operated by European Space Operations Centre (ESOC). The service includes attitude and orbit determination, command generation, mission analysis and planning, as well as software development, procedure generation, and test and validation.

Denmark Eye on Earth website scrapped The European Environment Agency (EEA) has scrapped its Eye on Earth website. The online service was jointly developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) — an

Europe News European Union body and a leading environmental network and information partner — and the geographic information system developers Esri and Microsoft. The global Web service allowed users to develop maps and visualise data on environmental issues.

France CNES, NASA join hands for SWOT mission The French space agency CNES has signed a formal workshare agreement with NASA on the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) altimetry satellite which will be launched in 2020. The agreement, signed by CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, calls for CNES to provide the satellite’s platform, a radiofrequency unit for the US-built

Ka-band Radar Interferometer, a Doppler positioning instrument and an altimeter. In addition, France will provide the SWOT mission’s satellite command-andTotal French contribution control centre, a network of data-reception stations and the French ground segment. The total French contribution is valued at about $238 million.

$238 mn

Ireland Geoinfo contributes €69-mn to Irish economy The geospatial information industry contributed €69.3-million ($94.17-million) to the Irish economy in 2012 and when multiplier impacts are included, this estimate is more than €120-million ($163.78-million), a new

report commissioned by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) suggests. This report was submitted to OSi by Indecon International Economic Consultants. According to the report, the industry generated sales or output valued at €117.5-million ($160.36-million) in 2012, and spent a total of €84.4-mn ($115.19-million) on salaries of 1,677 full-time equivalent persons who Estimated were directly savings employed by the industry, which, in total, supports the employment of 3,087 people. The report also found the use of geospatial information has saved the public sector money; estimating €82-million per year is saved on administrative costs in both local and national government.


The Netherlands Fugro to acquire RailData

Sentinel 1-A beams its first radar images ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite has delivered its first radar images of Earth. The first image (Photo on right) shows Brussels in Belgium, the seat of the European Commission, and was captured on April 12. It demonstrates the potential of Sentinel-1A’s radar vision. The image was acquired in the satellite’s ‘strip map’ mode with a swath width of 80 km, and clearly captures the dense urban environment of Brussels shown in white in the middle of the picture.

Fugro has reached an agreement to acquire RailData, including its international business. RailData specialises in the measurement of absolute and relative position of railway tracks and has developed a patent pending RILA-system that measures data in three dimensions. The acquisition fits well with Fugro’s strategy to build market share in corridor mapping. The company already offers LiDAR and other survey mapping techniques and expertise, providing solutions to the railway industry. RailData will form part of Fugro’s geospatial business, within its survey division.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 11

Asia News Kazakhstan

printed maps at multiple scales, and knowledge transfer.

KazEOSat-1 enters orbit After three delays KazEOSat-1, the first earth observation satellite of

Kazakhstan, entered orbit on 29 April. It will facilitate Kazakhstan with a wide range of civilian applications, including monitoring of natural and agricultural resources, mapping data and support for search and rescue operations during natural disasters.

UAE Proteus delivers phase 1 of EAD project Proteus, a provider of satellite mapping and classification services, has delivered the first phase of a fine-scale terrestrial and marine land use/land cover (LULC) and habitat mapping project of Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD). Proteus completed the first of the total three phases in nine months. The project will include 60,000 sq km of land area and the coastal marine environment down to the 15-metre contour. Deliverables for each phase of the Abu Dhabi mapping project include bathymetric analysis, orthorectified mosaic, LULC/habitat ecological classifications, geospatial models,

12 / Geospatial World / June 2014

EIAST launches ‘Super Resolution Tool’ The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has announced that ‘EIAST Super Resolution Tool’ has enhanced the resolution of satellite images — including those taken by DubaiSat-2 — by 0.75 meters. The solution can also be modified to fit other applications such as radars, surveillance cameras, and various medical fields. EIAST also added that its second satellite, DubaiSat-2, is now fully operational.

China Tancent buys minority stake in Navinfo Tencent, one of China’s largest Internet companies, has bought 11.3% stake in NavInfo, China-based mapping company, for $187 million. Tencent’s products in China include a large range of consumer mobile products. NavInfo will help power its location-based services. The deal is notable because Tencent’s rival For 11.3% Alibaba Group, NavInfo stake which is prep-

$187 mn

ping for its IPO, recently bought mobile mapping provider AutoNavi, one of NavInfo’s main competitors. The deal makes Tencent the second-largest shareholder of NavInfo.

Fengyun-III to provide 3D view of earth China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has stated that its Fengyun-

III, a polar orbiting meteorological satellite which provides a threedimensional view of the earth, has been put into operation. The third Fengyun-III satellite, together with its predecessor, will form a monitoring network capable of constant threedimensional, multiple-spectrum and remote-sensing observation of the earth. The network of satellites will provide more and better monitoring data for global environmental surveillance, disaster reduction and the fight against climate change.

Beidou achieves positional accuracy of 1 metre Beidou differential navigation satellite system has achieved a positioning accuracy within 1 metre. The Beidou Radio Beacon-Differential Beidou Navigation Satellite System (RBN-DBDS) is an augmentation system that provides improved positioning accuracy of the GPS-like Beidou Navigation Satellite System by broadcasting differential corrections to Beidou receivers in the medium frequency radio beacon band (285325 khz). The RBN-DBDS system has passed an evaluation after more than 130 days of test trials in Tianjin Municipality. It can be applied in sailing, marine exploration and rescue, and maritime charting and monitoring.

Philippines DOST prepares for LiDAR survey of ARMM The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will begin LiDAR survey of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in August to check areas prone to

Asia News geologic hazards. The project is expected to produce the region’s hazard map by 2015. The mapping plane equipped with LiDAR sensors will fly over Basilan, then Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, starting August to produce high-resolution, detailed, and up-to-date elevation maps and datasets. The initiative is part of DOST’s project with the University of the Philippines’ Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM), and a component of Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH).

Japan QZSS strives for centimetre accuracy Mitsubishi Electric, the prime contractor of Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), is set to launch the first commercial, nationwide, centimetrescale satellite positioning For QZSS expansion technology. The

$526 mn

expansion of system will be carried out via a $526 million contract, which will build three navigation satellites and launch them by the end of 2017.

Iran GLONASS ground-based facility to be set-up The Russian government has informed media that a ground-based facility for the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS will be built in Iran. Iran government is ready to install elements of the Differential

Correction and Monitoring System (SDCM), as well as a quantum optical system on the Iranian territory to maintain the GLONASS system. The system will allow better positioning accuracy and greater reliability. Anatoly Shilov, the deputy head of the Russian space agency said the decision can boost the accuracy of GLONASS to one metre when used within Russia by the end of the year. Russia is aiming to improve the global positioning accuracy of GLONASS to 60 cm by 2020.


system GLONASS in China and to deploy Chinese navigation satellite stations Beidou in Russia. Russia and China see prospects for co-operation between global navigation satellite systems GLONASS and Beidou in the sphere of regional support and the development of chipsets. They consider ensuring compatibility of the national navigation systems, similar to the American GPS. The Russian Space Agency has also stated that it is interested in setting up a joint venture with India to produce equipment for GLONASS navigation system.

3D GIS map of pipelines to pinpoint leaks


The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) in the southern state of India is vetting a proposal to prepare a 3D GIS-aided map of the pipelines in the distribution system of the city of Kochi. The maps will help KWA to get a correct picture of the distribution lines that crisscross the city and also help in tracing any defect, leakage or any other disorder in water and sewage lines. The proposal comes in the wake of a recent study by the Non-Revenue Water Management unit, Kochi, which revealed that only about 50% of the total production of drinking water at the Aluva water treatment plant of the KWA reached the public.

Hindu Kush Himalayas glaciers’ data released

Russia Russia, China join hands for satnav systems Russia plans to sign an agreement with China this year to place ground stations of global navigation satellite

ICIMOD Director General, Dr David Molden

The International Centre for Integrated. Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has released four decades of Hindu Kush Himalayas glacier and river basin data. The data was released during the second International Conference on ‘Cryosphere of the Hindu Kush Himalayas: State of Knowledge’ organised by ICIMOD with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the United States Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 13

Australia/Oceania News NSW location intelligence strategy released New South Wales has released its Location Intelligence Strategy. At present, Government datasets that incorporate location-based information cannot be easily accessed and analysed with reliability. There is too much duplication of effort collecting similar data, too little reuse and too few linkages across key datasets which is costly and inefficient. The new strategy announced seeks to establish a coordinated approach. This will be done through five strategic initiatives: build awareness, capacity and capability, integrate governance and coordination across all location intelligence providers, identify and manage government location-based data, link NSW government data to location, and leverage whole-of-government location platforms and services.

3D seismic data collected for South West Hub Project

of the South West Hub carbon capture and storage (CCS) project currently being coordinated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP). The six-week survey was conducted in order to create a detailed three dimensional map of the geology in the region. The result of the survey will help the department to formulate next steps for the South West Hub project. The results of the survey will be publicly available later in the year, following processing and interpretation of the data collected.

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NEW ZEALAND LINZ offers aerial imagery under open licence

UAS’ airworthiness requirements studied Northrop Grumman has collaborated with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, to study ‘airworthiness requirements’ for operating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Australia. The collaboration involves developing solutions for safely and efficiently operating UAS in all airspace environments with a particular focus on larger systems the size of small commercial jets.

ICSM releases draft of Cadastre 2034

After six weeks, five vibroseis trucks and more than 7,000 geophones, the 3D seismic survey of more than one hundred square kilometres of Harvey and Waroona Shires is complete. The survey was part

cil, in the definition of the future state of the Land Parcel and Property theme in the ANZ Foundation Spatial Data Framework.

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) has released its draft national strategy on cadastre. Cadastre 2034: Powering Land and Real Property provides a national response to how the Australian cadastral systems must evolve to meet changing societal demands, rapidly evolving technologies and environmental challenges. This strategy will assist ANZLIC, the spatial information coun-

Screenshot of the website where imagery can be downloaded by public for free use.

New Zealand’s most current aerial imagery, covering 95% of the country’s landmass has been made public by Land Information Ministry. The imagery will be available online through LINZ Data Service. “Releasing publicly held aerial imagery for reuse has the potential to create cost savings for the public sector and generate economic benefits for the private sector,” said Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson. The imagery can be used to improve productivity in agriculture and forestry, construction, engineering, disaster recovery planning, and land and asset management. The decision of making aerial imagery available is in line with the government’s goal to make more publicly held data accessible to as many people as possible.

Africa News GHANA



New Datum and projection system launched

Egysat monitors Ethiopian dam construction

Open Source Geospatial Foundation joins GLTN

Ghana is adopting a new projection system called Ghana Transverse Mercator (GTM) and the ellipsoid coinciding with International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRRF). Addressing a forum on Land Administrative Project (LAP 2) in Accra, Minister for Lands and Natural Resource Alhaji Inusah Fuseini disclosed that the new Datum has been named as Ghana Geodetic Datum. He added that a National Geodetic Reference network would provide support for land surveying, mapping, engineering surveying and related application.

Egyptian authorities have told media that will monitor the construction of Ethiopian Renaissance dam through its recently launched satellite Egysat. The Ethiopian hydroelectric dam is one of the main conflicts between Egypt, which fears a decreased flow of the Nile river, and Ethiopia, which claims its right to use the waters of the river across its territory. The satellite will not only track the dam but will also monitor the Kongo River basin to assess the effectiveness of a proposed project to link the Kongo and Nile rivers. The information provided by it will outline negotiations with Ethiopia.

OSGeo, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to support the development and promote the use of open source geospatial software, has joined Global Land Tool Network (GLTN). GLTN is an alliance of global regional and national partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reforms, improved land management and security of tenure through the development and dissemination of pro-poor and gender-sensitive land tools. The foundation also provides financial, organisational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community.

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Product Watch

CCS900 Compaction Control System for bulk earthworks Trimble has unveiled a new GNSS-based machine control solution to improve efficiency of bulk earthworks and landfill compaction operations. Installed on a four-drum soil or landfill compactor, the Trimble CCS900 Compaction Control System allows a machine operator to make more uniform and efficient passes, report compaction production data in the field, and ensure target compaction is reached with minimal fuel usage and machine wear. Key features •  The system tracks compaction passes in real time with easy-to-read colour mapping on the in-cab display. •  Using CCS900, landfill owners can ensure that cell space is optimised, voids are eliminated and layers are compacted to their target density more efficiently. •  With real-time mapping, the operator can avoid unnecessary passes that waste fuel and cause additional wear on the machine.

KUMONOS for measuring concrete cracks safely and accurately Leica Geosystems and Kansai Construction Survey Company have released the KUMONOS system, a safe and easy-to-use concrete crack monitoring system using the Leica Viva TS11 Total Station. The system allows users to accurately measure and monitor crack widths of tunnels, bridges, dams or building facades from a safe distance without the need of expensive scaffolding or elevated work platforms. Key features •  It records all target points with accurate and reliable pin-point EDM and quadruple axis compensation. •  The KUMONOS office software automatically draws each crack in a CAD drawing.

16 / Geospatial World / June 2014

iXU 150, the smallest and lightest aerial camera Phase One has unveiled its new integrated digital medium-format aerial camera. The iXU 150 is built with a 50MP CMOS sensor offering 8,280 pixel cross-track coverage. The sensor offers 68% more capture area than the sensor in any full-frame 35mm DSLR. Quality captures are now possible across its full range from ISO 100 to 6400, at a capture rate of 0.8 seconds per frame. Its light weight and small footprint make it very suitable for UAV integration, mapping and multiple camera configurations for oblique or wide coverage with synchronised shutter release. Key features •  Direct connectivity with FMS, GPS/IMU. •  USB 3.0 connection to host computer. •  Optional RS-232 connectivity for camera control. •  Internal storage: support up to 128 GB CF card.

GeoPlanner for ArcGIS enables resilient design Esri has launched a Web app called GeoPlanner for ArcGIS that brings the power of geodesign to land-based planning. It is a JavaScript-based application that requires no plugins and has been designed to run in Web browsers on both desktop and standard-sized tablet devices supporting a minimum 1024 x 768 resolution. GeoPlanner for ArcGIS incorporates each aspect of a complete planning workflow — project creation, data identification, comparative analysis, and reporting — into a single Web-based application. The app helps planners create and report on alternative planning scenarios to make geographically-informed decisions.

JUMP-25, a long

endurance UAV

Arcturus UAV has launched its new JUMP line of aircraft that offers vertical take-off and landing. The new JUMP-25 and CAT-25 UAVs will integrate Cloud Cap Technology’s new TASE500. The TASE500 is said to exceed the capabilities of L3 Wescam MX10. In addition to the TASE500, the new air vehicles will be capable of simultaneously carrying other payloads such as the WGS Europa SIGINT package and the Artemis SlimSAR. This marks the first time that a Tier II UAV has offered this level of high-performance, multi-payload capability.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 17

Corner Office

‘Scan-to-BIM will become a reality in 3-5 years’ The common thing between GIS and BIM is the ‘I (information)’, where one explains where things are and the other explains how things can be built and they both have spatial context, explains Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, IPG Product Group, Autodesk.


IM+geospatial together facilitate not only design but also the context and the combination is a great enabler. Autodesk’s Infraworks seems to be focussed on this. Your comment? Our thinking has evolved to a point where we see GIS as a key enabling block for making BIM-for-infrastructure possible. When we talk about ‘design in context’, it is knowing where everything is, knowing what the constraints/regulations are, what the environmental conditions are, knowing what the codes are so one could do procedural designs, certain types of turn radii that need to be factored in. The fact that it is a digital model, it fits very well with the concept of BIM because the common thing between GIS and BIM is ‘I’ (information). One explains where things are and the other explains how things are to be built and they are both spatial in nature. Do you think the concept of BIM would become much more general so that people would start applying it within the context of manufacturing and other sectors or would that be the other way around? In the initial years of technology evolution, people used drawings, which then moved to 3D modelling. Currently, state-

of-the-art in manufacturing represents the concept of digital prototypes. BIM is the digital version of a physical object. Parameterised BIM models can do performance modelling over the full lifecycle of a building. Manufacturing sector calls it PLM and we call it BIM, and both are the state-ofthe-art for the industry. Describing the building in the form of algorithms and letting the computer actually generate the BIM model is the next level of technology evolution. Are hardcore architects and structural engineers insisting on developing tools that use real world coordinate systems because context is essential for design? For large-scale infrastructure projects like stadiums, townships and urban scale projects, we do get such demands. For a new auditorium or a five-storey residential building, it makes sense to use real-world coordinates but I have no evidence to show that people are demanding for it. This could happen in the long term as the Internet of Things catches up, and buildings and smart buildings start creating more pressure to have their BIM know more about the context of the building.

Architects and structural engineers have their own tools and prefer working in silos. Is Autodesk bridging that gap and promoting convergence? It is definitely starting to change, and two-three things are driving that change. One, construction industry is starting to embrace more and more manufacturing techniques. Lean construction is inspired by lean manufacturing. Concepts like pre-fabrication, 3D printing and other manufacturing techniques are being embraced by construction industry to increase efficiency. So, construction is starting to use words like assembly, sub-assembly, modules etc. This is one area which is converging. Model of Los Angeles created using Autodesk InfraWorks 360, to visually explain Even at the software level, service-oriented architectures how things can be built within the context of what is real. Courtesy: Autodesk

18 / Geospatial World / June 2014

The City of Milan, Italy recently used point cloud data to generate a 3D digital model of an 18th century theatre slated for renovation

(SOA) in the cloud environment make it much more possible for one to mix and match software. If someone is designing a structure or designing a piping environment and needs a piece of equipment to be designed, that equipment design process could use an editing experience and they do not have to leave their actual environment. This kind of technology substrate is creating cross-over experiences. I also think the next generation users do not think in silos. The problems the industry is ridden with last 30 years have been created by silos. GIS and engineering industries used to work in silos and that is where the inefficiency lies. As projects become more complex, this approach does not really work. For these domains to work together there are a couple of important requisites. First, there is a need for vendors to play better together. For example, one needs several intermediate formats to make Tekla read Revit data, thus making the whole thing cumbersome. We should just license each other’s libraries. We have done that with Bentley and a few mechanical CAD vendors, and would be happy to do it with others. Today, we can read Bentley BIM directly and vice versa and this is the right thing from a user perspective. Secondly, it is important to have standards. Two hundred years later when none of us are around, if a building needs to be maintained, the data needs to be expressed so that something can read it. Standards are very important for this purpose. The industry has excellent products for designing new buildings but creating a model of an existing building by scanning it is still a challenge. Is this an area of focus for Autodesk? For the past three-four years, Autodesk has been investing heavily into reality computing, which is a combination of LiDAR, photogrammetry and other sensing technologies to

Courtesy: Municipality of Milan

Smart Cities/Interview

GIS and engineering industries used to work in silos and that is where the inefficiency lies. As projects become more complex, this approach does not work capture the real world as digital information on the basis of which one can make decisions. The first step for us has been to give ‘information’ the status of a first class citizen inside our design applications. Until recently, point clouds were orphans but today Revit and InfraWorks use point clouds fluidly and facilitate high performance. The next level up is feature recognition to enable tasks like energy analysis, material substitution and quantity take-off. We acquired a

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 19

Corner Office

A good example of today’s energy modeling capabilities can be found in such tools as the Daylighting Plug-in for Autodesk Revit software which analyses the entire model using Autodesk’s 360 Rendering cloud service in a matter of minutes

company called Allpoints Systems which had infrastructure-based perception engines. These will start showing up in our products. Scan-to-BIM will become a reality in the next three to five years, which we call reality computing. We will scan into BIM so that it is part of the BIM model and turning it into real first class object is the next frontier for us. We are trying to work with new hardware manufactures and give them more of a real-time computing experience and be able to have their information move directly in to the engineering context. A lot of experimentation is going on right now and I do not think it is converging into a pattern just yet. It is definitely receiving a number of hardware experiments that people are carrying like UAVs, handheld scanners, extensions to tablet etc.

About 70% of the cost of a building is in the operations phase and a lot of it is in energy use and maintenance. If BIM can be used to drive these costs down, the pay-off is tremendous 20 / Geospatial World / June 2014

One of the trends that is catching up is modelling for the full lifecycle of infrastructure including construction, operations and maintenance (O&M). Is it within the vision of Autodesk that Revit models could start playing a critical role in O&M? Yes. What we need for that vision to really pay off are the owners who have their skin in the game, and in this case they are the construction companies. There was a time when architecture and engineering professionals were the BIM proponents but now contractors are driving it as they started embracing lean manufacturing concepts. If you look at the economics, about 70% of the cost of a building is in the operations phase and a lot of it is in energy use and maintenance. If BIM can be used to drive these costs down, the pay-off is tremendous. It is within our vision to achieve that and we are looking for a few visionary owners with whom we can work to achieve this. Is there an opportunity for facilities management (FM) vendors to work together with BIM vendors like Autodesk and Bentley or is it only going to be an owner play? Today, the world is getting more and more digital and physical goods are becoming digital goods. Buildings are physical objects too and once they get into the Internet of Things, they start becoming more digital because they will continually output information and that will create the ultimate driver. It gives the owner the ability to know what is going on. We have a digital model against which they can compute and

calibrate and take some real time decisions. That is where the payoff lies. For example, buildings today do not know when to switch on/off lights or air conditioning based on the occupancy of the rooms. If they start using a smart thermostat which adjusts the lighting and heating based on the occupancy and is cloud connected, power can be saved and that is where the future of smart buildings lie. Companies like IBM and Cisco can get into the data centre of the building and use the Internet of Things to analyse the data. Our specific value-add is to understand the digital model of the building and do a cross correlation between the two.

Courtesy: Autodesk

Is energy modelling a big area for Autodesk? Energy analysis is still in its infancy. There is a divide between people who want to do a very quick estimate and people who want to do detailed analysis. We have been improving the analytical model in Revit and today energy calculations on Revit are way more accurate than they have ever been. Now, our work is to speed up things on energy analysis. The EnergyPlus analysis engine has been converted into programming language ‘C++’ and is available in open source. We will continue to enhance that and use the cloud to speed up the results so that people can do quick analysis. The US Department of Energy describes EnergyPlus as a code that lets you know ‘what if’ scenarios and combine and solve multiple variables. Autodesk has acquired start-up companies like Pixlr (online photo editing service) and Socialcam (mobile social video service). Is Autodesk moving into consumer space or is it acquiring such technology because consumer idea is driving

Autodesk is seeking to inspire the business use of applications initially developed for consumers, such as Autodesk SketchBook for mobile devices.

everybody’s IT these days? About 95% of Autodesk is focussed on B2B applications, be it AEC, manufacturing, film and games. The consumer market started off as an inverse experiment. We started off with the idea that any IP developed for businesses can be used for consumers and vice versa. SketchBook was the first experiment in this regard. We thought professionals can also use and work on the applications like Pixlr or Socialcam. So, we started off with the professional segment, moved into consumer space, which again fed the professional segment. This cycle keeps us alive. This is not a revenue driver for us, but is adds to our learning. To some extent, we do get new customers and next-generation customers like students and supports our branding activity. Initiatives like the Maker and Instructables are encouraging do-it-yourself (DIY) culture. Will this trend have implications for professionals in manufacturing and construction? The Maker trend is the fundamental change happening in how products are made. We are already seeing this trend in consumer devices. For instance, the famous Pebble Watch, jewellery, prosthetics, casts etc are being developed using the Maker methods. The cost of developing an enterprise-class application for us was $12-15 million in the year 2000. Today, that would cost only $50,000. So the cost of developing software dropped dramatically and app stores are providing low and inexpensive way to get the software to the market, reducing my sales and marketing costs. I have a different challenge on how to get my app found on the app store, but that is a digital challenge. A parallel thing is starting to happen in the manufacturing world. On the one side, we have virtual markets like eBay, where one can buy all the products. On the other hand, the means of manufacturing have become cheap as one can go to the local tech shop or 3D print or find people who do shortterm manufacturing. So, instead of having a factory, you just can use these means, reducing the cost. So just like Maker, one can come in the middle with an idea and intermediate between the customer and the manufacturing shop. The Maker movement inspired the creation of infrastructure like Etsy, Kickstarter and many tech shops. Now that infrastructure is being used to generate real products and there are more hardware start-ups today than ever before, so there are incubators that are building hardware. Manufacturing is leading the way in this, construction will definitely follow. Right now, construction is not following the Maker trend as much as lean manufacturing is, which is the last step of industrial revolution version of manufacturing. But in the long run, it will.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 21

Cover Story / Smart Cities

Smart and Future Proof Whilst there has been a focus, with increasing urbanisation, on making our cities smart, a balance needs to be drawn as to what really will make our cities future-proof. With the badge of smart cities comes greater automation, intelligent routing and transportation, real-time monitoring and integrated city management. In a world which promises new data-rich digital interaction, what role can and should geospatial play — what can the discipline and overall industry bring to the table in terms of background, expertise and experience — not simply from a technical or technological stance? How can we ensure that diverse data can be integrated and then used reliably — to deliver a more sustainable and resilient environment, with greater energy efficiency, less waste, improved flow of people and resource, and transparent communication with citizens to enable appropriate choices in response to the city dynamic? By Anne Kemp, Atkins

22 / Geospatial World / June 2014


ore than half of the world’s population live in cities today, which is expected to touch 75% by 2050, with a global population of around 9-10 billion people. A lot of this urban expansion is projected to take place in developing countries, but the impact will also be significant in established economies. These cities place huge demands on our natural resources and are causing extensive re-thinking on our needs for energy, water, waste management, and the environment on a global basis. Clearly, there is a need to consider our strategies for developing existing and future cities to ensure sustainability. Supporting this growth means creating in the next 30 years as much infrastructure as was constructed over the past 150 years. The required rate of acceleration is immense, and the current systems and approaches will not deliver this need. The risks — environmental, societal, economic — are substantial; risks that lessons from the past will not be learnt,

There is a mesh of wicked problems to untangle here, which will require adaptive leadership. In the UK, there is a GCSE geography exam called “Sustainable Decision-Making”, not a bad indication of what should be delivered within the BIM-Geospatial sphere to the Future Cities concept.

So what are Future Cities?

and that the wrong drivers will be at play. The long-running catalogue of ill-conceived ‘visions of the city’ is well described in David Pinder’s seminal work (2005), where utopia — and the ultimate well-being of society — have been poorly conceived, and inappropriately constructed. Concerns around over-simplification, group think and ill-directed implementation are topics which appear frequently in texts such as Taleb’s (2012) Anti-fragile, Heifernan’s (2011) Wilful Blindness and Scharmer amd Kaufe’s (2013) Leading from the Emerging Future. Exemplary cross-organisational decision making, long-term adaptive thinking and integrated but responsive, resilient ecosystem (aka future city/region) management will be required. There is a real danger in the area of activity around BIM, geospatial and asset management, that process and technology will take the dominant role — and that people — and for instance, the value of practical wisdom — will not be realised.

A study and report titled Future Proofing Cities published by Atkins ( ) in 2013 focuses on utilising and developing the capabilities of cities to respond to the risks associated with climate change, resource scarcities and damage to ecosystems, in a way that catalyses inclusive urban development. The study looked at 129 cities across 20 countries in Asia and Africa, categorising the cities into five typologies based on the most significant environmental risks they faced, and how they would cope socially, environmentally and economically. The results are seven broad recommendations, which, if implemented, would see cities tackling the risks to their long term prosperity. The report calls for leadership at all levels of government, international funding agencies, academia and the private sector to support, and that will require skills to be leveraged from across the infrastructure, engineering, environment, planning, design, economics and social science professions. Rollo Home, Product Manager for Ordnance Survey, UK, holds that Smart Cities encompass the network of networks, the Internet of Things, Big Data, predictive analytics — all potential enablers to address the problems that future cities face. He points out that cities are now widely regarded as the economic drivers for entire regions, with London (cited as the fifth largest city economy in the world) creating 22% of UK’s GDP (2012). Equivalent to the total GDP of Sweden, this means that London and other cities are now competing against each other — for flow of resources and people — not only within regions but across the globe. According to Home, for those cities to compete, they need to deliver more (a higher quality of life) for less (attractive tax base) by, for instance, consuming less energy while providing better services, and a lot more digital services. And that is where Smart Cities kick in; as an enabling technology. Rollo and a team of volunteers are managing a series of events — the Geo:Big5 ( — for the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) to celebrate its 25th year — which will lead to a series of white papers and a Foresight Report (of which the author is editor) to be released for 2015. AGI has recently held the first two events — Future Cities and Open, leading on to BIM and Asset Management, Big Data and Policy — and are already gaining much insight into the challenges and opportunities for the industry.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 23

Cover Story / Smart Cities Where geospatial is not being used, but could

3.5 bn

The total number of people or 50% of global population now live in cities


Share of global urban population by 2030, which is likely to go upto 75% by 2050

$57 trn

Investment required in infra by 2030 to keep pace with urbanisation, according to McKinsey & Co


of the world’s energy is consumed by cities, which also contribute to 80% of carbon emissions


Of the world’s population already live in areas with water scarcity

24 / Geospatial World / June 2014

According to Home, the assumption is that better use of data is the key to unlocking some of these problems. He points out that many conferences spend a lot of time debating what a smart city is, and that data and open access is really important. “But the how is left as a black box. No-one seems to be talking about geospatial at all. It is seen as being something at the end of the process — ‘we need a map, we will go and get one’. But if you want a network of networks, and to build in purpose, this takes time, which is why Ordnance Survey is keen to engage in the debate to establish what people need this data to provide”. Home argues that geospatial is the only common referencing that transcends all these different networks — an x, y, z is abstract but absolute enough to be used by just simple coincidence, against which we can then build complex inter-relationships. Moreover, you can build linked data which can identify common assets which are managed as close to their data source as possible, but still within a common framework. “Users do not need to worry about the providence of the asset data, they just need to make explicit links to features via the reference framework and the data is unlocked. This is what geospatial can provide,” he adds.

So what is the role of geospatial?

There are many areas where a geospatial approach can benefit and add value in both future proofing of existing cities and planning and developing the smart cities of the future — around effective planning, decision making, enabling efficiencies, enhancing communication and management. Atkins has been working with government clients across the Gulf region to help them plan and design their urban infrastructure in a way that enables sustainability and integration with existing and planned elements of the built environment. Richard Budden, who heads the Atkins geospatial team in the Middle East and has recently joined its Global BIM Strategy Group, says the use of spatial technologies including GIS and BIM are making a major impact in which this is done. For instance, for one Middle East client, Atkins has been coordinating with the stakeholders responsible for designing and implementing key transport infrastructure, to meet some immovable strategic deadlines. This has brought a whole host of coordination and integration issues to light that the team has been working collaboratively with all parties to resolve. Budden observed; “The crucial first element in doing this successfully lies in understanding where the infrastructure is planned to exist both spatially and temporally; understanding where it will go and when it will be built. Geospatial tools harnessing locational and construction-scheduled data enable us to make sense of this, and lift the issues out of flat drawings and spreadsheets and present them to decision makers in a way that is easily understood.” This then enables solutions to be considered holistically, which is highly important in such a complex construction environment, and informs the process of developing mitigation, re-programming or re-design measures as a solution. In the UK, the Technology Strategy Board is driving a lot of thinking and some sizable budgets. For example, the £24-million Glasgow project which is exploring and demonstrating best practices in this area. At AGI’s Future Cities event, Councillor Gordon Matheson (leader, Glasgow City Council) stressed the council’s commitment to opening up their data to public access through the portal where 85 datasets are currently published (including planning applications) that includes

data from Ordnance Survey and the MET office. The focus is very much on putting the data into the hands of the citizen, as seen in the example of the customised city dash-board. The Councillor was keen to stress that while technology is great it is simply an enabler and it is the approach and political will that holds the key. Glasgow has a clear desire to be a global reference point for future cities. Homes explains that Ordnance Survey is working with Glasgow to provide a suitable licensing model to support these downstream applications (http://www.ordnancesurvey. Glasgow is essentially acting as licensee for someone else — quite a novel concept — but if it works out, OS hopes that it will be able to roll this out to other local authorities and cities.

Volumes within a tunnel design for spatial coordination OHLE Volume

Signage Volume Signalling Volume

Communication Volume Water Main Volume Drainage Volume

Kinetic Envelope Volume

Note 1: Volumes are organised by discipline around the periphery of the tunnel (eg. catenary volume, evacuation walkway and emergency accessway, etc.). Note 2: Soft volumes shall also be taken into account for spatial coordination. Such items as the ‘kinetic envelope’ should be provided and owned.

BIM & Geospatial: How the twain do meet

If it is understood that BIM is about the purposeful management of information across the whole life cycle of an infrastructure project — within the overall context of the portfolio or system within which it serves and operates, (based on the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) definition – see uk/topics/BIM/ICE-BIM-Action-Group), and the interface and integration of BIM and asset management as described in the joint Institute of Asset Management and ICE paper (http://www., it becomes clear the geospatial and BIM have been inter-twined for a long time. This is discussed in more detail in an earlier paper (Kemp 2011) “BIM isn’t Geospatial – or is it?” and in particular the on-going frustration that if people could be less rigid about different disciplines and technologies, and roll up our sleeves and use the best tools available to get the job done, there could be lot faster progress than what has been seen of late. A recent example was presented at AGI’s Future Cities’ event by Scottish Water and Kemeling Consulting on an asset visualisation project which allows much better visualisation of sections of the Scottish Water network giving benefits of both improved repair efficiency and improved transparency with local communities as to why work is being undertaken. The project has so far informed around £1-million worth of repair work. Crossrail continues to provide some of the best examples of integration of traditional approaches of design and construction

with those of BIM and geospatial, with experiences now being carried across to projects in TfL and HS2. The Highways Agency and Environment Agency, in embracing BIM within the UK Government’s mandate for all publicly funded projects by 2016, have realised that to do this within the infrastructure space they need to integrate this with their asset management strategies which employ geospatial technologies. This trend is seen in the utilities sector, such as the water companies. In the field of energy masterplanning, geospatial technologies are being used to support smart grid analysis and visualisation, but another interesting development has been the use of social scrapping, to analyse spatially social media and twitter feeds across time to monitor the level of satisfaction of energy supplies for populations across a region to assist early stages of planning and design. Another example is that of community-based Landslide Risk Reduction (Anderson and Holcombe, 2013) and continued research around informing policymakers and the local populace about the nature of landslides and how to take proactive action — using geospatial technologies to enable analysis and promote clearer communication.

Challenges in the way

In line with Kemp (2011), ARCADIS Netherlands, a large engineering firm involved in projects which integrate geospatial into the design process, thinks that the three main

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 25

Cover Story / Smart Cities

Glasgow Future Cities Team at AGI Geo Big 5: Future Cities Event

barriers to the integration of civil engineering and geospatial are semantics — different terms used for the same things by geospatial analysts and civil engineers and designers; Different topology — geospatial uses point, lines, and polygons; CAD/ BIM uses splines, nurbs, and other parametric curves and treats polygons in a different way; and data formats and standards — geospatial data is stored in shape files, GML, and CityCML; CAD/BIM uses DWG, DGN, RVT files and IFC (Geospatial World, March 2014). Within the scope of Future Cities, some further challenges emerge: Common standards: Collaboration is the key to integrating geospatially enabled tools and processes into the disciplines that are currently in use. Collaboration needs common standards to operate most effectively and there is still work to do to establish these. The UK BIM Task Group has provided a focus for such activities in the UK, and both the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and BuildingSmart International are continuing to work together to integrate across the building and infrastructure space, with a new col-


Of the world’s remaining natural areas could be lost by 2050


Of global food production is highly dependent on oil

26 / Geospatial World / June 2014

laboration with w3C and OGC in the spring of this year. Communication and collaboration: Organisations need to collaborate to leverage the maximum benefit from their efforts. Communication is key to this and providing platforms and forums for active communication enhances collaboration and leads to more effective and less disruptive action. Base data: The availability of good, up-to-date base data — whether topographic, land use data, or transport orientated — is a constant and ongoing challenge, not least the accurate recording of underground utilities. These issues were discussed during a roundtable discussion organised by AGI as part of the Geo-Big 5 and Foresight Report activity. The common framework described by Rollo Home, and the joined up activities of OGC, BuildingSmart and W3C could go a long way to addressing this — but more support and funding across the industry is needed to facilitate this.

Future opportunities

It is clear that it is data that forms the basis for the geospatial industry, and developments and innovation in areas such as BIM, big data analytics and cloud storage are making more and more data available to us to interrogate, analyse, and make sense of. By integrating geospatial information with other data and applications we can visualise scenarios, extend our insight, make informed decisions and address a whole host of issues that enable better planning and development. For instance, for water management, we can utilise a sophisticated networks of sensors and apply analytical processes to support better-informed water policy and management decisions. And the use of GPS and RFID sensors can provide seamless communications, incident response management and desktop mapping for emergency response, as reflected in recent strategic developments across the UK water industry.

Final reflections

Whatever one’s discipline, it puts a particular lens on reality. That is ok, provided one is conscious of that — and that there IS a bigger picture. Geographers of all people are in a good position to understand that but getting that alignment of understanding requires a common language, or at least a way of conveying the bigger story, and the diversity of data and information revolving around that story in a way that is accessible to all parties. Perhaps this is actually at the root of the role that geospatial has to play — our heritage in mapping, such that a wider audience can understand the world around us — even whilst GIS is now engulfed by location-enabled smart devices and apps. At the same time we should not lose sight of the analysis, the mining, the interpretation and the integration of any informa-

Smarter Cities: Turning Big Data into Insight City Planning and Operations

Transportation Analytics 50 hours

$1 trillion

of traffic delays per year are incurred, on average, by travellers.

global annual savings could be attained by optimising public infrastructure: McKinsey

30 billion

people all over the world travel approximately 30 billion miles per year. By 2050, that figure will grow to cover 150 billion miles.

$57 trillion

in infrastructure investments will be needed between 2013-2030: McKinsey

Water Management 60%

of water allocated for domestic human use goes to urban cities.

Open Cloud $6 billion

$14 billion

in potable water is lost every year because of leaks, theft and unbilled usage: World Bank

Graphic Courtesy: IBM

tion needed to derive a better understanding, and support better decision making — and that this may be facilitated by location. On the other hand, if the GI community gets too hung up with the location bit, then others will steal a march, if they haven’t already done so. The more important bit is the ability to keep referring back to the bigger picture — allowing specialists the window into their world, but allowing them to see the context in a way which is consistent and reliable. This then is how geospatial should enable intelligent cities. By being a facilitator — bringing into consciousness what one did not know before. Being consciously aware of what the gaps are and who can cover them. By getting a better grip of what the real questions are — have they been surfaced to the right logical level? And how then, should they be answered? This should be the context of better decision-making and better collaborative working. With the right people involved — knowing what is relevant, what is appropriate, what are the dangers, and what are the unknowns? There is a need to be consciously aware that ‘the map is not the territory’, and that our world is not a reality but only a perspective on it. Perhaps a more appropriate alternative to augmented reality is authentic reality. With an emphasis of connection with relevant, reliable, data which can help make sense of complex inter-relationships, whilst being clear about the appropriateness of the data – where there may be bias, or limitations in the


cloud experts support IBM’s industry team alone.

has been invested by IBM in more than a dozen acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives.

way it should be interpreted – a transparency in where it has come from, how and when it has been created – a means of using data in such a way as to throw a spotlight on the reality of the situation in a flexible and adaptive way – to enlighten, to clarify, and enable diversity of thinking and challenge. Dr AC Kemp, Director (BIM Strategy and Development), ATKINS, The author is thankful to Elspeth Finch, Innovation Director, Atkins; Richard Budden, Geospatial Manager, Atkins Middle East; Rollo Home, Product Manager, Ordnance Survey, for their inputs. References

Anderson, M.G. and Holcombe, E. (2013): Community-based Landslide Risk Reduction – Managing Disasters in Small Steps. The World Bank, Washington, DC. BSi (2012): PAS 1192: Part 2 (2013): Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling. BSi, London. Heffernan, M. (2011): Wilful Blindness – why we ignore the obvious at our peril. Simon and Schuster, USA. Kemp, A.C. (2011) BIM isn’t Geospatial – or is it? uk/storage/GeoCommunity/AGI2011/Papers/AnneKempPaper.pdf Pinder, D. (2005): Visions of the City. Edinburgh University Press Limited, Edinburgh. Scharmer, O. And Kaufer, K. (2013): Leading from the Emerging Future – from Ego-System to Eco-system Economies. Berret-Koehler Publishers Inc, San Francisco. Taleb, N.N. (2012): AntiFragile – how to live in a world we don’t understand. Allen Lane, England.

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Smart Cities / Sustainability

towards towards A A Sustainable Sustainable future future Data is overwhelming cities, but today’s design technologies can help them leverage it to build a more sustainable future.


he number of people living in cities will increase from 3.6 billion in 2010 to 6.3 billion in 2050, according to Navigant Research’s 2013 Smart Cities report. The race is on for cities across the globe to provide the economic, environmental and social resources their citizens need to thrive. One resource at no risk of running out is data. Geospatial and real-time information is being collected at record levels as cities, utilities, and property owners strive to improve the performance of their buildings and infrastructure. However, cities have struggled to harness the wealth of data to plan for a sustainable urban future — one that will require building in the next 40 years the same urban capacity we have built over the last 4,000 years. Fortunately, today’s design technologies can help them tap into this resource to meet the challenge.

Data deluge

Significant investment has gone into gathering data as cities have recognised the need to be smarter in how they plan, design and manage their built environment. Navigant Research estimates that the global smart city technology market — information and communications technologies for buildings and infrastructure — will total $110 billion between now

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and 2020. Terrain data has become incredibly more detailed as high-resolution laser scanning has supplanted traditional surveying techniques. And yet, cities, much like the rest of us, are finding themselves increasingly inundated by this data. Scandinavian researcher SINTEF estimated that 90% of all data in the world was generated over the past two years, and it is possible that by 2020 the amount of new information generated will double every 72 hours. But a sustainable city is not just a data-rich city; it must be a knowledge-driven city. From sensors that gather infrastructure conditions to geospatially-located digital pictures, the question is whether cities can process and use this data to make sustainable planning decisions that address current and future infrastructure problems. Geospatial data is particularly important to this end. From infrastructure location to asset condition, it contains clues on a city’s needs and valuable insight for new projects. When coupled with Building Information Modeling (BIM) — an intelligent, 3D model driven process — geospatial data of the built environment can be visualised as 3D city models, and project proposals can be designed and analysed in the context of these existing conditions. Combining the

Courtesy: Autodesk

A model of San Francisco created using Autodesk InfraWorks 360

two serves as a perfect canvas on which a city’s planners and engineers can answer the two fundamental questions of building a sustainable future: are we doing the right projects; and, are we doing the projects right?

Are we doing the right projects?

ject teams have turned to cost-benefit methodologies such as Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) for guidance. SROI is a framework with a $15-billion track record used to quantify a project’s financial, social, and environmental impacts in comparable, monetary terms. But while SROI is an effective means of revealing project value, it can takes weeks and hundreds of thousands of dollars to collect the data and run the analysis. Pairing BIM with SROI datasets and economic smarts produces a supercharged design process that computes a project’s sustainable business case at the speed of design. Known as CBA-BIM, this design process harvests the rich geospatial and design data straight from the model to inform the economic analysis. Consider a stormwater management project. As green infrastructure is added to a neighbourhood design, data on the feature’s size and proximity to buildings is fed to algorithms that calculate the cash value of its water quality and heat island benefits. These benefits can then be directly compared to those of a transportation project across town. With this new paradigm of data-powered design, cities will be able to easily prioritise the projects that meet the most pressing needs and offer the greatest long-term benefits.

Are we doing the projects right?

With tight budgets and the need to build quickly, cities cannot afford projects plagued by cost overruns and delays. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that $400 billion is lost annually from inefficient project delivery, but the same amount can be saved by improving designs, accelerating approvals, and reducing construction waste. For each of these practices, BIM and geospatial data can play key roles. Designing with BIM begins not on a blank canvas, but

Courtesy: Impact Infrastructure, LLC.

Traditionally, cash-strapped cities have selected projects that maximise economic activity with low upfront cost. Yet skyrocketing maintenance costs and environmental damage highlight the shortcomings of this approach. To ensure a sustainable future, cities must prioritise and build the right projects — projects that meet clearly-defined needs and deliver long-term triple bottom line benefits. BIM with geospatial data enables city planners to consider these benefits by providing feedback on the social and environmental impacts of various design choices. As planners sketch new transit lines and draw new swales, they immediately see how much carbon is displaced and water is retained. These non-cash impacts provide a more comprehensive view of infrastructure value beyond just capital cost. However, prioritising projects also requires the ability to compare vastly different projects with seemingly incomparable cash and non-cash impacts. Accordingly, a number of cities and pro- The graph illustrates how monetising sustainability can boost a project’s Net Present Value.

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 29

Courtesy: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Smart Cities / Sustainability

For the Presidio Parkway project in San Francisco, advanced 3D visualisations were created to provide citizens and public officials a way to ‘experience’ the project before construction

a rich city model constructed from geospatial data. As engineers create new project designs, they can run a variety of simulations to understand and improve both its immediate and system-wide impacts. A road, for example, can be analysed and redesigned to minimise earthwork and relieve traffic congestion across the broader transportation network. The more a project is analysed, the greater the project understanding and the better the result. As a design comes together, creating visualisations of the new project is an effective way to communicate project intent and accelerate approvals. For the Presidio Parkway project in San Francisco, the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff shared photorealistic animations and renderings to give citizens and public officials a way to experience the project. By showing the project in context of the familiar San Francisco landscape,

From sensors that gather infrastructure conditions to geospatially located digital pictures, the question is whether cities can process and use this data to make sustainable planning decisions 30 / Geospatial World / June 2014

Parsons Brinckerhoff was able to address environmental concerns and move through the approval processes swiftly. Once projects are approved, project teams can mitigate construction risks by using BIM to walk through the construction process before contractors break ground. As a design model is virtually reconstructed piece-by-piece, teams can identify and resolve conflicts, as well as find opportunities to save time and materials. Conflicts are a common construction issue; underground utilities are struck on average once a minute in the United States. To reduce such risks for the City of Las Vegas, the engineering firm VTN Consulting built an expansive, geospatially-accurate 3D model of the city’s underground infrastructure to serve as a reliable reference for future projects. Designing, communicating, and constructing projects effectively will be essential for cities and their project teams to deliver projects efficiently. As cities become more complex, bringing geospatial data into the BIM design environment will be crucial to make sure new projects integrate seamlessly with the rest of the urban environment.


Tapping the vast potential of geospatial data with BIM will be essential to doing the right projects and doing the projects right. Together, they will be a catalyst not only to help our cities handle the influx of urbanites, but to cost-effectively deliver the sustainable infrastructure we need for decades to come.. Lynda Sharkey, Technical Marketing Manager, Autodesk, Brian Young, Sustainable Infrastructure Program Manager, Autodesk


Smart Cities/Interview

mart systems Need

mart Humans’

The purpose of smart systems is to embed technology into the way the world already functions. However, to successfully implement such a system, a two-way exchange between citizens and technology is a must, believes Michael Dixon, General Manager, IBM Global Smarter Cities


hat is IBM’s concept of smart and intelligent cities? A smart city is any urban area that exploits information to optimise the delivery of city services. We can now monitor, measure and manage nearly any physical system at work in our cities. We have the ability to collect and analyse real-time information on everything, from transportation networks to hospitals to the electricity grid. The uses for this information are nearly limitless. It can be used to empower citizens, build political capital, or develop new business models and partnerships with the private sector. It can be used to model and predict how changes to one system will affect others, decreasing the risks of change and speeding the return on investment. And it can be used to draw the businesses that attract talent, and the talent that attracts businesses. Also, ‘Smart Cities are anticipated to create huge business opportunities across different industries with a total market value of $1.565 trillion by 2020,’ according to Frost and Sullivan’s Strategic Opportunity Analysis of the Global "Smart City" Market until 2025 report. What comprises the IBM Smarter City portfolio? IBM provides integrated software that cities of all sizes can use to gain operational insight across key city systems and apply global best practices. IBM Intelligent Operations software provides a dashboard that serves as the foundation for smarter cities projects. By enabling the integration of data, analysis, and coordination across the city, the intelligent operations center keeps city officials informed, prevents issues, and helps manage a spectrum of events, including everything from a bro-

ken water line that affects an area of the city to a major winter storm forecasting a foot of snow city-wide. Intelligent Operations software is extendable to help support any integration project across the city. City leaders can adopt specific modules for management of different city systems: water, transportation, public safety and buildings. In addition, three new smarter cities management centers for transportation, water and emergency management bring together IBM’s vast portfolio of leading Intelligent Operations software, IBM Global Business Services expertise, and IBM’s broad analytics capabilities. This provides cities repeatable models for urban development. The solutions are a combination of hardware using it via the Cloud, or on premise includes software, services and pre-configured analytics models for best practices in city management. We work in the following areas: «Transportation Management: Provides citywide traffic visibility to help alleviate congestion, improve traffic management, optimise road capacity,

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Smart Cities/Interview rapidly respond to incidents and enhance the travel experience by delivering travel advisories to citizens. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce congestion by 25%. IBM helped the Lyon in France use analytics technology to give transportation engineers real-time decision support on reducing traffic congestion and enabling faster incident response time during any unexpected event. Using real-time traffic data, the new analytics and optimisation technology help officials predict outcomes and analyse different scenarios to resolve problems. «Water Management: Provides the ability to use analytics and decision support to improve flood protection, water quality and integrated water resource management. It also helps forecast future demands on the water supply. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce leaks by 20%. For instance, the Da Nang government in Vietnam was able to address two of the most significant issues impacting life in the city — transportation and water. The solution provided a summary of events and incidents through maps, dashboards and alerts, allowing city personnel to track trends, forecast demand and better manage the city’s infrastructure and assets. «Emergency Management: Provides geospatial intelligence and analytics to help harness information and data streaming in from multiple sources to provide a central point of command for emergency management. It can provide emergency managers with critical information from first responders, scenario planning to streamline and integrate response to emergencies, and advanced communications for first responders and emergency personnel. Some cities using this solution have reduced response time by 25%. For example, following a series of floods and mudslides that claimed the lives of 100 people back in April 2010, the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil announced a significant overhaul of its city operations — a big step in preparing for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. It is collaborating with IBM on a multi-million dollar plan including a City Operations Center that will help meteorologists, geological surveyors, field operations and security work together to dramatically speed emergency responsiveness. The centre integrates and interconnects information from over 20 government departments and public agencies in the municipality to improve city safety and responsiveness to various types of incidents, including locally critical flash floods and landslides. The centre is the first in the world to integrate all the stages of a crisis management situation. How can we reconfigure already complex cities like New York, London or Rio de Janeiro, and embed a whole new layer of technology in their organic urban environments? The purpose of smart systems is to embed technology into the way the world already functions. We can operate in large cities by using sensors to extract information about traffic flows and utility systems like water and energy. Analysing patterns and

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trends then allow us to make predictions. Electricity, for example, we could predict the usage in a given time frame so that we can appropriately manage power production. Or, in the case of traffic, ‘smart’ would not only look at where congestion is at the moment, but also at where it is likely to be in an hour. For instance, IBM worked with Stockholm, Sweden to launch a host of Smarter City initiatives to reduce traffic and pollution, by aligning road demand and supply. ‘ What are some of the challenges you have faced? The first challenge is to have the appropriate level of technological infrastructure to capture the information even as cities grow — specifically, through sensor devices. Many cities have already installed devices like video cameras, traffic sensors and smart meters, but cities also need to make sure that these new subsystems keep pace with its infrastructural development. The second challenge is making sure that the vast amount of data coming from large, complex cities is integrated, appropriately managed, stored and analysed — a very difficult technical task that can be handled with innovative technology and deep expertise. Along the same lines, protecting data is something we take very seriously at IBM, because many large-scale global transaction systems like those used in banking are supported by IBM and similar companies. Another challenge is scale: how can small- and medium-sized cities generate data in a way that allows them to govern themselves better but also makes the development of these systems financially affordable? For that, we are designing cloud computing and shared-service mechanisms that make systems easier for smaller cities to implement. Finally, getting citizens fully engaged in all transformations that take place is not an easy task because there is a lot of available data that must be filtered, summarised and presented in the right way for citizens to be able to access it. There is also a lot of information that citizens can provide that has to be appropriately absorbed by governments and other entities. This two-way exchange and collaboration must be managed effectively. We will never reach the point at which smart systems do not need humans, and we should not aim to get there. The human component is necessary to understand the overall environment of these systems and to lead many of the strategic, higher-level policy decisions. The hallmark of a smart city is having the right people, in the right numbers, working the technology in the right way How will these advancements help us deal with urban problems like crime, water shortages and overcrowding? By helping cities bring together the right resources at exactly the right time, there is tremendous opportunity to provide better

Builidng a Smarter City and State The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston and IBM are working together to transform the region’s physical infrastructure, engage citizens, reduce costs and improve efficiency. Do you know where technology is at work where you live? Buildings


The state of Massachusetts owns 72 million square feet of property. Software helps improve maintenance, space and management across public sector buildings.



Approximately 1.9 million commuters travel by car a day in Boston. Officials examine how big data technology makes transportation more efficient and reduce pollution.



Tens of millions of travellers pass through Logan Airport every year. Software helps the Port Authority better manage maintenance operations for equipment such as air conditioning, doors and escalators at Terminal A.

Physical Assets


Boston has more than 60,000 streetlights and 13,000 fire hydrants. Software helps city officials better manage and maintain physical assets.

Special Events

More than half a million people attend events such as the Boston Marathon and July 4th fireworks every year. Software can integrate and visualise critical information across city departments including fire, police and emergency responders to help coordinate and plan special events.



Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) serves 2.5 million people in 61 communities. USing software, MWRA decreased corrective maintenance and project work orders by 38%.

service to citizens and make better use of limited funds. Advanced prediction systems will help cities better plan supply and demand of resources, goods and services while sharing the information with citizens. For example, citizens will use mobile devices to build their shopping list and supermarkets will know ahead of time the demand for products. In the same way, information about water consumption per region will be linked to the reservoir storage and flow capacity, allowing city operators to better plan for conscious consumption and demand. Overcrowding is another important challenge and there is no magic trick around the space used in a city. What sentient cities can do is better respond and plan to the needs of citizens with more efficient services and better plans for citywide supply chains. Finally, public safety is an essential part of smarter cities and city officers will have the ability to leverage advanced communication, command center and people movement capabilities to promote a safe environment as well as use citizen participation in identifying problematic areas, so public safety plans can be devised and implemented.

energy consumption and water management, thereby reducing costs and overall carbon footprint. The city is currently implementing a city-wide water metre replacement project to allow consumers to identify waste and consider corrective measures. Reduction in water use will also reduce use of both energy and chemicals, resulting in significant savings. In the Smarter Sustainable Dubuque Water Pilot Study, IBM technology helped reduced water utilisation by 6.6% and increased leak detection and response eight-fold. The Canadian city of Cambridge has more than 250,000 infrastructure assets with a total value of $1.6 billion, including more than 300 miles of roads and more than 1,200 miles of underground water mains, sewage and storm pipes. The city is using IBM’s Intelligent Infrastructure Planning to examine millions of disparate pieces of information to perform ‘what-if’ analyses to help make better decisions. Through better project coordination, less time spent on capital forecasting, and improved asset management, the City of Cambridge is expected to save at least $100,000 per year.

Can you give us a few examples where IBM technologies have helped in developing smarter cities? Dubuque in Iowa is one of the few examples in North America of a comprehensive Smarter City project targeting multiple municipal service lines simultaneously. The city of Dubuque is working with IBM to pilot a systematic mechanism to help consumers and businesses make informed decisions about electricity, water, natural gas and oil consumption. The first phase includes two projects to enhance collective understanding of

What is required to usher in this new era more quickly? One of the most important things it requires is bold leadership on the part of city leaders. It will require cities that are willing to take on focused projects and solve specific problems. This could mean a city focuses first on enabling new traffic systems, or solving a water crisis. The main point is it will take focus and dedication and political will to really get things done within the complexity of city systems, while technology innovations are great enablers.

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Credit: IBM


Smart City/Viewpoint

With increasing population, rapid urbanisation and unpredictable environmental changes, a smart and sustainable city is the need of the hour. But what are the challenges and setbacks of developing such cities? Who are the stakeholders who can form such ‘intelligent’ cities? Has there been any progress so far? City authorities answer these questions for us. What makes a smart city really ‘smart’? Vincent Hoong A smart city is more than its sensors, fibre optic networks and other hard infrastructures. It should be one where public administrators, private sector and citizens understand the potential of geospatial information in solving key issues and are capable of interpreting geospatial data and formulating questions. A smart city becomes smart when the data collected can be used among the people, government and private enterprises. Ultimately, it is the people who make a smart city ‘smart’, and are its greatest asset.

Doug Hurdlebrink A smart city is one that learns, responds and adapts to environmental forces, and to the needs and aspirations of its varied stakeholders while charting a course towards improvement, vibrancy and excellence in its core activities. All cities have multi-dimensional missions and responsibilities (such as economic development, education, transportation, public safety, health and well-being, social services and business services). As such, all cities are continually challenged to learn, and then to master what is needed to get ‘smarter’ in each of these areas.

Dave Carter A smart city is a balance between smart systems and smart people. If you only have smart systems and you do not invest in education or the workforce, then it is a false smart city. Manchester is a perfect example of a smart city. We have invested a lot in schools which impart skills to make people smart. We have policies, the vision, and many projects. We organise a creative festival once a year that attracts thousands of people to come to the city and work on new ideas.

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Siegfried Nagl A smart city has to be a little bit smarter than others. It should do everything possible to improve the quality of life of its citizens. By 2050, around 75% of the world population will live in urban areas. There will be around 10 billion people on this planet and we will have to act fast. A smart city not only needs technical equipment and infrastructure, but also requires participation of its citizens. Smart city is a job which every mayor has to do now.

Didier Vancutsem A city becomes smart once it starts using diverse technologies effectively in order to reduce the environmental impact and offer a higher quality of life to its citizens. The city should also implement organisational changes in governance — e.g. politics and society in general. It is therefore a multidisciplinary challenge that brings together the city representatives, the private sector with their technologies and supply, the policymakers, the academics and the civil society.

Photographs from top to bottom:

Vincent Hoong, Chief Executive, Singapore Land Authority Doug Hurdlebrink, Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago, USA Dave Carter, Head of Manchester Digital Development Agency, City of Manchester, UK Siegfried Nagl, Mayor, City of Graz, Austria Didier Vancutsem, Chairman, The International Society of City and Regional Planners, Belgium

How is the concept being implemented in your field? Vincent Hoong In recent years in Singapore, we have attempted to harness the creativity and talent of our people through hackathons. Many public and private organisations have contributed unprecedented amount of data for these events, and hundreds of innovative solutions to improve urban sustainability have been generated. We are helping our policymakers and administrators to leverage the power of geospatial technology to make better decisions. We do this by geocoding all relevant government datasets and making them available on Geospace, the Singapore’s government GIS platform for public agencies to share geospatial data and perform GIS analysis. We have also set up OneMap for delivering geospatial information and services to the public. Tools are provided on OneMap so that public can also build their own applications to leverage on these public information or to share geospatial information they collected themselves.

Doug Hurdlebrink In the field of government technology, there are many ways this concept is being implemented: by collecting, managing, sharing and publishing new, larger and more granular sources of data about the city; by analysing and optimising business processes, and leveraging user-centered technology to achieve better quality, efficiency, cost or performance objectives; by framing problems that can be addressed by analytics and modelling, as a way to explore and test alternative ways of improving services or solving complex problems; and by collaborating with not-for-profit organisations, the private sector, the local community and other parties to gather diverse perspectives, make informed decisions and secure commitments to implement changes.

Dave Carter We have working groups around the three binaries — energy, transport and ICT digital, as well education. We are trying to make the school curriculum more interesting so that students just do not learn how to use the office software but they actually learn how to do coding. We are helping 9–11-year-olds in using codes. Over a period of time we hope to strike a balance between the smart infrastructure and smart citizens. Sometimes a smart city means investing in only technology and expecting some kind of magic with no proactive social policies. Europe’s growth strategy stresses three things; smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. So you could theoretically have smart and sustainable growth which is just for a few but for many people it’s not inclusive. Also, we are not just interested in systems, we want to know how these systems develop. For example, all the information about UK land registry is freely available on the government website. One can take that data and develop a smartphone app out of it. Such kind of open data strengthens having any kind of spatial approach.

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Smart City/Viewpoint

From Left to Right: Singapore has set up OneMap for delivering geospatial information and services to the public; among other things, Chicago’s Open311 system allows users to attach photos to their service requests (This page shows 14 days’ worth of photos attached to 311 potholes in Street requests); Manchester is encouraging projects that are people-centred like the Go ON Manchester campaign to develop ‘digital champions’; Graz City’s geoportal provides all citizens a comprehensive collection of geoinformation within the Graz city area for free. The International Society of City and Regional Planners is a network of professional planners, recognised by the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, involved in the development and maintenance of the built environment.

Siegfried Nagl We are working together with universities, the private and public sectors. Communities are benefitting in several ways — they get to live together in a healthy and peaceful environment and do not need many resources. They have enough industries and creative potential in their cities. Around 25% of our population have an academic degree. Graz has become a global city in the true sense; there are people from 150-160 nations coming to Graz each year and there are over 100 different religions!

Didier Vancutsem Urban planners are the key persons responsible for implementation of smart city concepts. They coordinate the interactions between the different actors and stakeholders from the concept/strategy until the implementation. Communities are benefitting from smart city concepts in the fields of energy, transport, communication, and ICT industries by saving costs, making higher quality of life, better environment, smooth communication between urban parties, etc.

Who are the stakeholders involved? Vincent Hoong Stakeholders in a smart city are the government, people and private businesses. Making geoinformation available and accessible is only one side of the coin. The other side is nurturing and developing ‘spatially-enabled citizens’ who are conversant with geospatial information and empowering them to contribute their own visions of a smart city. The role of private sector would be to process this data and provide it for the public use. With a deeper talent pool of ‘spatially-enabled citizens’,

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cities can come up with even more diverse and innovative solutions to their problems. Governments will need to work in tandem with academic institutions, industry and other stakeholders to develop capacity in geospatial information and technology, and nurture a new generation of ‘spatially enabled citizens’ for our ‘Smart Cities’ of the future. In this geospatial market, data flow has to be multi-directional, between individuals, businesses, government agencies, and also across cities and countries. Hence, to ensure the smooth workings of this market and ensure data interoperability and authenticity, we will need to create a strong policy and legal environment and put in place data policies and standards.

Doug Hurdlebrink Stakeholders are a comprehensive set of suppliers, providers and consumers, and include government, which establishes policies and implements infrastructure for the Smart City; not-for-profits, which provide ideas, innovation, experimentation, funding and services for Smart City initiatives; the private sector, which provides ideas, input, capital, implementation expertise and public support for Smart City programmes; and residents, who provide local community input and feedback to Smart City ideas. Chicago has implemented two different PPP models. One model is outsourcing major operations under long term contracts to private enterprises. Three specific areas are toll roads, parking garages and metered street parking. A second, more recent model is to partner with private enterprises under the umbrella of Municipal Marketing. Recent examples include solar compactors on downtown sidewalks, digital billboards on city property, and sponsoring the bike sharing programme.

Dave Carter Stakeholders are pretty wide here. Politicians are elected to lead, civil servants carry out their duties, and research institutions like the universities work very closely with us. Our role is to focus on small and new businesses, basically start-ups, and we often have competitions, hackathons, apps, challenges where businesses use data to come up with new applications or ideas for services for a small prize. The role of private sector has been terrible as they always put profit first.

Siegfried Nagl Universities and the Austria government are the major stakeholders in smart city implementation process. We also get help from the European Union and private enterprises. We are working closely with the enterprises, the private sector, and the public sector.

Didier Vancutsem Stakeholders can be identified in three categories — consumers, city managers and the global opinion group. Consumers are individuals who live, work, study and communicate. By living in the smart city, they are looking for a better quality of life. City managers are organisations, such as local governments, investors, developers, infrastructure operators. They are interested in the sustainable development of the city and they aim to handle their operations and management related to urban planning, design, construction, infrastructure, operation, software companies and urban environment technologies, which are supporting the user activities.

What are the challenges encountered? Vincent Hoong Most countries developing smart cities are facing similar issue — encouraging public and enterprises to open up and share data with each other. Having lots of data will not be

very helpful if they are kept under lock and key. To unleash the potential of geospatial data, it is not enough to have only government agencies or big companies hold the data. They should also be accessible to anyone who has an interest and stake in contributing towards sustainable urban living.

Doug Hurdlebrink We encountered three major challenges. Resources: there is always a much larger realm of opportunities than there are resources available to pursue them; prioritisation and focus are therefore essential. Change management: change inevitably impacts people’s lives; mitigating negative effects – real or perceived — in order to achieve positive outcomes is a process that needs to be addressed consciously and proactively. Risk: innovation by its nature emerges from imperfect information and seeks to achieve uncertain outcomes. Trying something different requires the willingness to acknowledge and accept risks, and to move ahead in spite of them.

Dave Carter The ongoing economic crisis, 50% cut in our budgets, massive unemployment, skills crisis etc. are few of the major challenges. Also there is a decrease in the number of people setting up new businesses. This is the main reason why we are investing very specifically in skills sector, particularly in schools and universities, and helping people in setting up new businesses. We have also tried hard to make our data freely available but there are some national restrictions on open data.

Didier Vancutsem The main challenges encountered were the lack of governance and dialogue between the different decision making levels, the lack of training and knowledge of the technologies to be used in the implementation, the lack of competences and to think in an integrated way.

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Smart Cities/Case Study

Setting a benchmark

Courtesy: Sustainable Cities

With the principle of sustainability deeply rooted into each if its aspects, Masdar City in UAE is one of the world’s finest examples of a smart city.


ituated in the midst of the rising sand dunes of UAE, Masdar City is one of the world’s finest examples of a smart city. Built in tune with its surroundings, like a modern Arabian city, it is an emerging global hub for renewable energy and clean technologies. It is a community where cutting-edge cleantech research, pilot projects, building materials and technology testing, and construction of some of the world’s most sustainable buildings is currently going on. Masdar City is a low-carbon, renewable energy-powered city where the first phase that has been built is designed to use half the power of other such buildings, less than half the water and extensively uses recycled materials. Power for Masdar City comes through a combination of sources, including photovoltaics, concentrated solar power and the Abu Dhabi grid, while geothermal sources are being piloted for cooling. Energy consumption is reduced through a range of

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passive and active technologies, including smart appliances, metres and grids, building management systems and building design and orientation. Sophisticated, state-of-the-art conservation processes and reuse systems will reduce water consumption, and provide irrigation for landscaping and crop production in the future. While waste will be processed, recycled and composted, transportation within the city will primarily rely on electric buses, electric passenger cars and other clean-transportation solutions, with the design of the city allowing individuals to live and work without the need for a personal vehicle.

Current status

The construction work for the project began in February 2008. Two years later, in October 2010, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology moved from temporary facilities in Abu Dhabi to its permanent campus in Masdar City. To be

completed in stages, Phase 1 will include the Masdar headquarters building, which also will house the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); a second delivery of buildings form the Masdar Institute campus; the 10,000 sqm Courtyard Building, which will be the city’s first commercial building, and other infrastructure. The remaining phases will be completed through 2025. The phasing of construction is planned on a neighbourhood scale, such that finished sections will contain all necessary services and amenities, and will not be impacted by ongoing construction elsewhere. At full build out, the city will host hundreds of businesses and will be able to accommodate up to 40,000 residents and 50,000 commuters.

Guiding principles

Inspired by the architecture and urban planning of traditional Arab cities, Masdar City incorporates narrow streets; the shading of windows, exterior walls and walkways; courtyards and wind towers; vegetation, and — fundamentally — a walkable, pedestrian-focused city. The design provides the highest quality living and working environment with the lowest possible carbon footprint and includes a northeast-southwest orientation of the city. This maximises shade to city streets and buildings and makes best use of the cooling night breeze. ‘Green finger’ parks running through the city not only capture and direct cool breeze into the heart of the city but also reduce solar heat gain in the middle of the city and provide cool pleasant oases throughout the built-up areas. Carefully planned landscape and water features help in reducing ambient temperatures while enhancing the quality of the street. Careful placement of city infrastructure and utilities means that buildings are much closer together than in most modern cities, helping to shade the streets, as well as other buildings — the result is cooler streets and lower cooling loads for buildings. The placement of residential, recreational, civic, leisure, retail, commercial and light industrial areas across the master plan, along with the public transportation networks, ensures that the city is a pleasant and convenient place to live and work. Completed in the first phase, a cluster of six buildings of the Masdar Institute serve as a model of sustainability, which are designed to use 54% less potable water and have less than half the cooling demand of the UAE average. As much as 30% of its power demand is met by a 1-MW rooftop PV array that not only shades the buildings, but also overhangs to provide shading to the streets below. The buildings and surrounding infrastructure feature grey-water, storm-water and condensate harvesting; domestic hot water is provided by roof-mounted evacuated tube solar collectors; fresh air

Podcar at a personal rapid transit (PRT) station

intakes are located at the shaded street level, and the latest low-energy lighting specifications are being used.

G-power all the way

Masdar City is a complex system of systems where design, construction, operation and governance require huge quantities of diverse data types. A majority of data relates to the spatial aspects of city assets or describes some characteristic of an asset. Geospatial technology provides the basis of the city’s information management infrastructure and is used to provide data: repository, discovery, integration, analysis and visualisation services – to colleagues and other information systems. Starting from the city’s masterplan to design, construction through to operational stages, geospatial technology is playing an integral role in facilitating interdisciplinary and inter-project coordination. Masdar needs to ensure that data is treated as an asset and geospatial technologies are used to ensure that maximum ROI is extracted from investment in data collection/production. Besides using geospatial technology extensively in the master-plan stages, the developers also use it to manage the environment of the site during the construction process. The technology is used for site logistics and to make sure that temporary works associated with the construction do not sprawl unnecessarily into the green spaces. Vaibhav Arora, Regional Product Manager, Middle East & Africa, Geospatial Media & Communications

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 39

Smart Cities/Case Study

High on

Low Carbon Footprint Amsterdam takes first stride under the EU TRANSFORM project towards building an Energy Atlas Plus to answer key energy-related questions about the city, on any scale, from a single street to the city as a whole

M.M.Minderhoud or Wikipedia/Michiel1972 CCASA 3.0


ow much carbon dioxide do our cities emit on a yearly basis? And where do these emissions originate from? These are questions that can be answered by using datasets, a clever way of combining data to distil relevant information. They are the foundation on which smart energy cities are built. If we understand the complexities of the energy system, we can start discussing which levers to pull and what results our actions may bring. Relevant data of the appropriate size and scale is often not easily accessible. Then there is a lack of knowledge on how to process data into useful information, or how to use them for effective communication. The various partners of

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the TRANSFORM programme — a consortium of leading European cities, energy and grid companies, and commercial and knowledge partners committed to strengthen their low-carbon energy agendas — in Amsterdam are working towards resolving at least some of these problems. They are compiling the Energy Atlas Plus, a prototype environment designed to share data, link datasets and reveal information. The Energy Atlas Plus supports decision making, building business cases, writing scenarios and establishing strategy. Over the next two years, the TRANSFORM partners, led by Accenture and the Austrian company AIT, will assist the cities of Amsterdam, Genoa, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Vienna and the

Grand Lyon region with their data collection and the design of a decision support environment for energy transition projects. This environment has been named the Energy Atlas Plus and will be tested and developed by processing real user cases.

From separate datasets to the energy atlas

In the city of Hamburg similar data was used in a different way. Rather than focusing on one area to identify its issues, many areas were searched for their potential to launch the projects. So, the issues and the projects were clear, it was the locations that needed to be identified. Hamburg matched data on the social context of the city with data on the use of energy in the city. Those city areas where people were on low incomes but were paying high energy bills, were selected by the city to launch their insulation projects.

been carried out without the knowledge of GIS, which can assign information to a physical location.

Variables in scale and type: looking for opportunities

The spatial and social contexts make up a large part of the atlas, as they have a direct impact on CO2 emissions and the energy system. Examples are the size of houses, the date of construction of houses and offices and the building density of a city. Other relevant indicators would be the ownership of property, available roof surface for solar panels, disposable incomes and consumption patterns, willingness among citizens to invest or launch initiatives, and modes of transport. Different contexts also enable monitoring of how much energy the city uses and in which areas savings could be made, or who would benefit from the production of sustainable energy. People can also see what is already being done in the city in terms of sustainable energy and how they can connect to existing sources or networks. One of the energy-related issues closely related to the spatial context is the use of solar power.

Courtesy: Liander NV

Amsterdam’s Department for Physical Planning has taken its first stride towards the Energy Altas Plus by producing an energy atlas version 1.0, which is a combination of datasets. The Energy Atlas builds on the earlier work carried out by other cities, including the cities of Hamburg, Berlin and New York. It comprises data on three main themes — the (spatial and social) context of the city, the use of energy and the potential for local energy production in the city or region. The Energy Atlas answers key energy-related questions about the city, on any scale, from a single street to the city as a whole. The atlas was developed by collecting separate datasets from various organisations and converting these into map images and infographics. It was not always easy to convince organisations to share their data and the process called for clearly defined commitments and the confidence to trust each other. The local government played a pivotal role in this process, by bringing together different parties and organising meetings in which datasets were directly applied to explore the viability of a number of projects in one of Amsterdam’s districts. The Department of Physical Planning was able to contribute its expertise and support the discussions with the use of map images. There were also a couple of technical challenges which needed to be met. Firstly, organisations often have their own particular way of storing data. Secondly, new data cannot always be converted directly into a spatial representation; first, a manual translation needs to be carried out by linking coordinates to address details. Through this process, data previously used for administrative purposes was converted to map images. This time consuming process could not have

Hamburg: energy & poverty

Map of gas consumption; data from 2012

Map of existing electricity networks

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 41


Courtesy: Waternet Amsterdam and NUON

Smart Cities/Case Study

Map of existing thermal grid

Map of sun potential

Its potential is for a great part determined by the landscape of roofs available. Similarly, the potential for thermal energy storage is also dependent on the spatial context, but in a different way (excess heat or cold can be stored underground in the form of water, to be used in another season). The composition of the soil the energy is stored in and the use of the built environment determines the suitability for thermal energy storage. As a final point, the atlas demonstrates in map images and (validated) numbers that each part of the city has its own characteristics and potential. This means that any energy strategy for the city or the region should have a built-in flexibility to take advantage of these specific opportunities.

developments could lead to different energy choices than one would expect on the basis of the current situation. Being able to assess these scenarios allows for robust decision making. Within the tool, the measures which one selects can be applied to the location. With the use of maps, diagrams and graphs, the tool will subsequently offer quick and simple insight into the impact a measure will have in the selected area, including the CO2 emissions, but also how much stakeholders will have to spend on new energy systems. So the (economic) interests of stakeholders are also taken into account. The insights the tool provides could encourage various stakeholders to align their agendas.

From energy atlas to energy atlas plus: decision support

The way ahead

With regard to the sharing of data, the next logical step up from the energy atlas is an always up-to-the-minute interactive tool to support discussion-making among various stakeholders on possible new projects. TRANSFORM is therefore devising its own decision support tool: the Energy Atlas Plus. To this end, all existing tools and instruments were thoroughly researched. By using the data from the energy atlas, this tool can provide Amsterdam a picture of not only the Zuidoost: business current energy situation case for excess heat of any area of a city, At the TRANSFORM workshop in smart but also the conurban lab Energiek Zuidoost, data from the entributing factors. ergy atlas was used. The maps and the information Moreover, the tool provided the participating businesses with insight into will also offer the the thermal management in the area. Energy specialpossibility to exists identified many different functions in the area trapolate into the which could contribute to the thermal demand future. Developof the area. Their calculations produced a ments in population balanced business case for the use of size, energy prices or excess heat in Zuidoost. projected new housing

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The aim is to make the process of data sharing better, smarter and faster in the future, to share knowledge within the framework of TRANSFORM and to contribute to the discussions on a European level. Meanwhile, participating cities have run up against barriers to sharing data. The reasons are that parties are not clear on the use of sharing, or that availability of data has been contractually restricted or that it proves difficult to give detailed information whilst respecting privacy. In some cities no data may be available at all, compelling us to work with proxy data. The Amsterdam energy atlas is completed and published on The Energy Atlas Plus is still in development, a first version is expected to be ready in mid-2015. The next step will be to test the tool in Smart Urban Labs or at strategic sessions in one of the cities. The basic rule remains that these tests are carried out while projects are underway, so that they can be of instant practical value. Laura Hakvoort, Urban designer at City of Amsterdam; Ruben Voerman, Urban designer at City of Amsterdam; Daiva Jakutyte- Walangitang, Researcher at AIT; and Wolfgang Loibl, Sr scientist at AIT

Smart Cities/Case Study

Intelligent System Lights up the City A Mexican city is all set to implement an intelligent street lighting system which aims to reduce carbon emissions and promote energy savings of up to 40%


large number of cities face significant energy, environmental and climate-related challenges. In order to move towards a smart and sustainable city, San Luis Potosi in Mexico is all set to implement an intelligent street lighting system which aims to promote energy savings of up to 40% and reduce 330 kg of CO2 emissions per year per lamp. Mayor Mario GarcĂ­a Valdez is promoting this innovative and modern computing architecture. The system will have a georeferenced inventory of fixtures and other information layers such as colonies, the city crime rate, high-impact areas (churches, hospitals, tourist areas, etc.) among other socioeconomic variables. This will allow better services to citizens with a smart tool that not only generates significant savings but automatically programmes the system to lower the intensity of lights after midnight. This programming can be done to the luminaires in safe areas by simply selecting them in the intelligent lighting system that operates through cloud computing. The system knows immediately where a luminaire has stopped working. The mobile maintenance services located through GPS can use the machine-to-machine model in order to automatically

The georeferenced cadastral system will enable collaboration with transit systems, public safety and businesses that helps to satisfy the lighting needs as per operational requirement

assign the addresses of the repair unit. The system aims to replace 40,000 luminaires with LED technology, which is known to reduce heat and light pollution. A cadastral map of the municipality of San Luis Potosi will be prepared at a scale of 1:1,000. The maps will integrate the thematic layers allowing for designing of intelligent management of the street lighting. For example, neighbourhoods, blocks, streets, business, crime atlas, parks and public gardens, traffic lights, video surveillance cameras, banks, schools, hospitals, public buildings, universities and land administration, etc. will be integrated in the map. A georeferenced inventory of the electrical infrastructure (transformers, poles, luminaires) will also be developed at a scale of 1:1,000. The georeferenced cadastral system will enable collaboration with transit systems, public safety and businesses that helps to satisfy the lighting needs according to operational requirement and an interface coordinated with surveillance camera systems, risk systems, traffic lights to improve services to the population. The intelligent management geographic system for public lighting will be implemented under an architecture of cloud computing. There are plans for remote management system for point-to-point control of the public lighting network and a comprehensive system for intelligent street lighting. Lighting design and services will be made according to the registry of georeferenciated luminaires, national and international norms and standards, as well as social conditions that ensure citizen satisfaction. The intelligent lighting system will not only result in energy savings of up to 40% but is also expected to improve the appearance of the city. The implementation of the system, controlled by a remote management system, provides an additional 20% of energy saving. It promotes a well-illuminated city in a more intelligent way, which helps in turning it into a safer city. It allows the design of a street lightning public policy, considering the different needs of each district or neighbourhood. The system will also help in accurate control of electricity consumption by a sector or colony, help in asset monitoring, preventing robbery, programming changes, increasing the life of the infrastructure and preventing and scheduling of preventive maintenance, modification, change and growth. Francisco Garrido, Director of Geoware SA de CV, Mexico,

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 43

Smart Cities /Case Study

Improving public transport using real-time data

Dublin integrates data from a city-wide network of sensors with geospatial data for 1,000 buses in real time, enabling traffic controllers to identify and solve the root causes of congestion in the city’s bus transport network


he Dublin City Council (DCC) employs 6,000 people to deliver housing, water and transport services to 1.2 million citizens across the Irish capital. To keep the city moving, the council’s traffic control centre (TCC) works together with local transport operators to manage an extensive network of roads, tramways and bus lanes. Using operational data from the TCC, the council’s roads and traffic department is responsible for predicting Dublin’s future transport requirements, and developing effective strategies to meet them. Like local governments in many large European cities, DCC has a wide array of technology at its disposal. Sensors such as inductive-loop traffic detectors, rain gauges and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras collect data from across Dublin, and each of the city’s 1,000 buses transmits a GPS update every 20 seconds.

on the overall status of our transport network — for example, controllers could only view the status of individual bus routes. Our legacy systems were also unable to monitor the geospatial location of Dublin’s bus fleet, which further complicated the traffic control process.” Because DCC could not see the ‘health’ of the whole transport network in real time, it was very difficult to identify traffic congestion in its early stages. This meant that the causes of delays had often moved on by the time the TCC operators were able to select the appropriate CCTV feed — making it hard to determine and mitigate the factors causing congestion. DCC wanted to ease traffic congestion across Dublin. To achieve this, the council needed to find a way to integrate, process and visualise large amounts of structured and unstructured data from its network of sensor arrays — all in real time.

Tackling traffic congestion

Becoming a smarter city

In the past, only a small proportion of this Big Data was available to controllers at Dublin’s TCC — reducing their ability to identify and address the causes of traffic congestion. As Brendan O’Brien, Head of Technical Services — Roads and Traffic Department at Dublin City Council, explains: “Previously, our TCC systems only offered a narrow window

To help develop a smarter approach to traffic control, DCC entered into a research partnership with IBM Research — Ireland. Says Francesco Calabrese, Research Manager, Smarter Urban Dynamics at IBM Research: “Smarter Cities are cities with the tools to extract actionable insights from massive amounts of constantly changing data, and

The 3 I’s for a smooth ride

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Real-time geospatial data from 1,000 buses across Dublin and their timetables are integrated with a digital map of the city.


Dublin’s traffic controllers use digital maps and dashboards to monitor the status of the entire bus network at a glance.


Traffic controllers can see congestion forming in real time, and instantly snap to CCTV feeds to identify the root cause. The council can then react in real time to deploy traffic-calming measures effectively.

Dublin’s real time passenger information system

deliver those insights instantly to decision-makers. At the IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin, our goal is to develop innovative solutions to enable cities like Dublin to support smarter ways of working — delivering a better quality of life for their citizens. ” Today, DCC makes all of its data available to the IBM centre in Dublin. Using Big Data analytics, new solutions have been developed which also makes deep insights available to the council’s roads and traffic department.

Analysing the transport network

As a first step, geospatial data was integrated from buses and data on bus timetables into a central geographic information system. A digital map of the city was developed, overlaid with the real-time positions of Dublin’s 1,000 buses. “In the past, our TCC operators could only see the status of individual bus corridors,” says O’Brien. “Now, each TCC operator gets a twin-monitor setup — one displaying a dashboard, and the other a real-time map of all buses across the city. Using the dashboard screen, operators can drill down to see the number of buses that are on-time or delayed on each route. This information is also displayed visually on the map screen, allowing operators to see the current status of the entire bus network at a glance. Because the interface is so intuitive, the operators can rapidly home in on emerging areas of traffic congestion, and then use CCTV to identify the causes of delays before they move further downstream.

Taking action to ease congestion

By enriching its data with GPS tracking, DCC can produce

detailed reports on areas of the network where buses are frequently delayed, and take action to ease congestion. “The Technology Centre has provided us with a lot of valuable insights,” says O’Brien. “For example, it created trace reports on bus journeys, which showed that at rush hour, some buses were being overtaken by buses that set off later. “Working with the city’s bus operators, we are looking at why the headways are diverging in that way, and what we can do to improve traffic flow at these peak times. We can now start answering questions such as: ‘Are the bus lane start times correct?’, and ‘Where do we need to add additional bus lanes and bus-only traffic signals?’” Over the next two years, DCC is starting a project team for bus priority measures and road-infrastructure improvements, something that would not have been possible without the ability to visualise its transport data.

Planning for the future

Based on the success of the traffic control project for the city’s bus fleet, DCC and IBM Research are working together to find ways to further augment traffic control in Dublin. “Our relationship with IBM is quite fluid — we offer them our expertise about how the city operates, and their researchers use that input to extract valuable insights from our Big Data,” says O’Brien. “Currently, the team is working on ways to integrate data from rain and flood gauges into the traffic control solution — alerting controllers to potential hazards presented by extreme weather conditions, and allowing them to take timely action to reduce the impact on road users.” In addition to meteorological data, investigations are on over the possibility of incorporating data from the under-road sensor network to better understand the impact of private motor vehicles on traffic congestion. The IBM team is also developing a predictive analytics solution combining data from the city’s tram network with electronic docks for the city’s free bicycle scheme. This project aims to optimise the distribution of the city’s free bicycles according to anticipated demand — ensuring that citizens can seamlessly continue their journey after stepping off a tram. “We can see how our transport network is working as a whole — and develop innovative ways to improve it for Dublin’s citizens,” concludes O’Brien Courtesy: IBM Smarter Planet

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 45

Smart Cities / Case Study

Turning every light

green in Flanders The Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic implements an innovative system to give green light priority to public trams on the roads


he Flemish Region, commonly referred to as Flanders, is one of the three official Belgian regions, covering an area of approximately 13,000 sq km between The Netherlands, France, Wallonia and the North Sea. The Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic is a semi-independent government entity in-charge of building and maintaining the road network in the region. Under the authority of the Flemish Ministry for Mobility and Public Works, the agency manages 6,970 km of regional roads and motorways and approximately 6,700 km of bicycle paths. The agency consists of six ‘vertical’ divisions and three ‘horizontal’ divisions. The vertical divisions jointly design, build and maintain roads and bridges on Flemish regional roads. They also manage and operate the electrical, electromechanical and telematic equipment along the regional roads, waterways, ports and airports. The three horizontal divisions are responsible for coordinating the vertical divisions to make sure that they are all working towards the same goals. Their tasks include preparing mobility policies with regard to traffic safety and to electrical, electromechanical and telematic equipment, building up expertise, and providing technical advice to the vertical divisions on traffic policies, modification of intersections, traffic lights, road signs, and road construction, among others.

The challenge

Within the agency, the Traffic and Telematics Division is responsible for ensuring the correct functioning of the traffic lights installed on regional roads, and for controlling them so that priority is given to the public trams and buses of the Flemish transport company De Lijn (The Line). Until recently, such priority was granted by a system of loops placed on the street pavement at about 300-500 metres from the traffic lights, and connected to them by electric cables. When a tram passed by

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a loop, a signal was sent to the traffic light through the electric cable, and a green light priority was given to the public vehicle. In spite of its efficiency, this system presented a number of disadvantages. Firstly, the loops were very fragile, and

A first assessment of the new system estimates savings to be around €140,000 per year. Annual maintenance costs are also significantly reduced

the system on one tram and five traffic lights in 2008, the agency decided to extend it to 14 intersections and 10 trams in 20092010, and finally to the whole coastal tramway network between 2011 and 2013, including 58 crossroads with traffic lights and 48 trams (plus 20 extra trams during the summer season). Every coastal tram is now equipped with a GPS and a radio transmitter, connecting the vehicles to control cabins which have been placed at each crossroad and are also equipped with GPRS devices. As a tram approaches a crossroad (detected through the GPS connection), it starts sending signals to the control cabin. Such signals, or ‘messages’, contain information on the tram number, line and itinerary and are repeated until the tram has passed the crossroad. Based on such messages, the control cabin is able to give a green light priority to the tram, taking waiting times for other road users into account. When the tram has passed the traffic light, a last message is sent to the traffic control cabin. The design and development of the system (including its pilot phase) cost about 7% of the agency’s yearly budget for reducing public transport congestion, while annual maintenance requires a budget varying from €200 to €400 per intersection, according to the size. “Not only does the new system have social and financial advantages both in terms of investments and maintenance, it is also more reliable in giving green light to trams, since it permits a precise monitoring of the position of the vehicles and of the time it takes for a tram to pass a traffic light”, says Ethel Claeyssens, Director-engineer for routes, Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic.

The result

when they broke they disturbed the operation of the priority system. Secondly, they were fixed to the street pavement and their position could only be changed through infrastructural works that disturbed traffic and added additional costs to the maintenance of the traffic infrastructure. Hence, both their fixity and brittleness made the loops rather expensive to maintain, which prompted the agency to look for alternative solutions to regulate street lights.

The satellite solution

The solution was proposed by Spie Belgium, the same company supplying the old loop system, which developed it in collaboration with the public transport company De Lijn. It consists of a system which allows vehicles to connect to traffic lights through satellite navigation and short range radio. After testing

A first assessment of the new system estimates savings to be around €140,000 per year. Annual maintenance costs are significantly reduced, since the loops detecting trams approaching are now ‘virtual’, and they can easily be moved and maintained with no need for infrastructural works. Moreover, while the previous system only allowed trams to send two messages to the control cabin, vehicles now remain in contact with the traffic light until they have passed the light, hence increasing precision and reliability in traffic control. Tram drivers are satisfied with the new system, since it is always operational and not affected by damages to the loops or the cable as frequently occured in the past. Finally, the increased mobility of the ‘virtual’ loops allows the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic to easily perform tests to define their ideal position with the aim of further improving street light cycles in a smarter and efficient way. Courtesy: Eurisy and the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic

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Smart Cities/ Case Study

Leveraging the Power of Land Administration The Dutch Kadaster enables a smooth information flow of all spatial databases and helps manage the concept of smart cities, which further interacts with the aspects of energy efficiency and climate change


ntelligent and effective land administration systems (LAS) are solid conditions for economic sustainability. A state-of-the-art system enables justified ownership of property, promotes efficient land use planning and allows for innovative approaches in the management of smart cities. In the Netherlands, Dutch Kadaster contributes to the national spatial data infrastructure, which directly influences the management of ‘smart cities’. A city can be defined ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (IT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement.

Smart city concept, energy efficiency and climate

The concept of smart cities interacts with many aspects of energy efficiency and climate change like: •  Energy efficient housing improves living conditions and saves money. This relates to smart city aspects like economy, housing and living conditions; •  CO2 pollution decreases when energy efficiency is increased and more renewable energy is generated. This relates to the smart city aspect of environmental management; •  Efficient transport contributes to reduction of CO2 emission. This can be related to the aspects of transport, mobility, environmental management, economy and IT; •  Buildings are a production factor in renewable energy as they can be seen as potential carriers of renewable energy, generating installations like solar panels or heat pumps. This relates to aspects like urban governance, housing, economy and IT; •  Innovations in energy efficiency and generation of renewable energy stimulate entrepreneurship and employment. The demand for more energy efficient buildings and more renewable energy gives rise to a whole

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new industry. This relates to smart city aspects like economy, people, urban governance and IT. The exact way these aspects interact is influenced by a combination of factors such as market and political forces, private initiatives and local conditions. These factors should be governed to achieve an optimal result as strived for in a smart city approach. This type of governance requires a

Dutch Kadaster The Dutch Kadaster collects and registers administrative and spatial data on ownership of parcels, real estate and other rights involved in the country. It is also responsible for national mapping and the maintenance of several facilities for spatial databases. The available databases include: •  Cadastral key register: Ownership of parcels, real estate and other rights involved. •  Topography •  Addresses and buildings key register: All addresses and characteristics of buildings are collected by municipalities. •  Energy labels: Energy efficiency of buildings. The actual data are collected by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. •  Spatial plans: Spatial plans and zoning plans. The plans are collected by national and local authorities. •  Public restrictions: Restrictions that are registered on a parcel like monument status or soil pollution. •  Cable and pipeline information centre: Information point exchanging location of subsurface cables and pipelines in order to limit excavation damage. •  Public services on the map: National facility for unlocking geodatasets of national importance, making geospatial data available as data services and files. These databases have high reliability and are mostly interoperable. By combining core data of these databases it is possible to develop information packages that can be used in the policy and decision making process regarding climate change and energy management.

Images from the information tool showing the combined national and local government property (left) and the subsurface district heating network (right) in the city of The Hague.

fine-tuned policy process which is supported by an adequate information flow including broadly accepted definitions, standards and success indicators. Land administration systems can provide the core data for this information, and if on a national scale, it might even be possible to upgrade this information flow towards a ‘smart’ country.

Smart city initiatives

Municipalities of Olst-Wijhe and Raalte are searching for effective means to indicate the areas where private owners of dwellings are most willing to take energy efficiency measures. This leads to the following research question: Which neighbourhoods will be most successful in reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in residences and houses? The municipality will then start a communication campaign to convince the inhabitants of these particular neighbourhoods to invest in energy efficiency measures like wall insulation and double glazing. The municipalities have formulated both physical and socioeconomic indicators that predict the chances of taking energy efficiency measures by private owners. The indicators include energy efficiency of houses, CO2 emission of houses, pay-back time of energy efficiency measures and age of residents. These indicators are built upon core data from LAS and other national databases. Used data include ownership of parcels and buildings, geographical location of houses, year of construction, dwelling type, calculated energy efficiency of houses and age of private owner. The indicators were scored and aggregated to the level of neighbourhoods. A final score was calculated from the combined indicators and visualised on a map. The City of The Hague and the Dutch government have joined forces to develop a cost-effective, reliable and sustainable energy supply for their buildings in the area around the central railway station. Their strategy focuses on the joint property of national and local government buildings consisting of 1.000.000 sq mt office space with an estimated electricity consumption equalising 30.000 households. It is considered to outsource the energy management, including locally generated renewable energy, to a private energy service company.

The project needs support of a consistent information foundation for different project stages such as exploring new energy management possibilities, building the business case, political decision making and the necessary tendering process. An information tool was built by combining LAS and other national databases, enriched with data from several ministries, the province of South-Holland and the municipality of The Hague. This web based GIS tool provides all stakeholders access to the information and give them the opportunity to add their own data. The available dataset not only includes information on parcels and real estate owned by the municipality and national government; but also on energy labels, underground grids for electricity, gas and district heating, energy consumption, surfaces suitable for solar panels, heat pump facilities and probability maps for solar, wind and geothermal energy. So far, the developed information tool has been used for a business case study and to support the process of political decision making.


In the Netherlands it is shown in different cities that policy decisions on climate change and energy management benefit from Kadaster’s Land Administration System. Research should be done on quantifying the success of smart cities. What indicators or parameters do we use to measure the success of interferences? LAS can be used to measure the success of smart city interferences. Housing prices and number of real estate transactions are solid parameters. “The higher the smarter”. This, in return, will help policy makers to convince the audience to make cities smarter. The next challenging step will be to upgrade the possibilities of the smart city concept to a regional or national scale. LAS and other national databases have to provide a basic information flow for this reason. At present most ‘smart’ initiatives use locally developed methodology and systems. It is recommended to develop broadly accepted definitions, standards and success indicators to make ‘smart’ countries possible. Martinus Vranken and Kees de Zeeuw, Land Registry and Mapping Agency of the Netherlands (Kadaster),

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Smart Cities / Case Study

An innovative proposal for a linear urban park above the railway line creates highly accessible and usable public spaces in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, a city deprived of open spaces


umbai is a linear North-South city bounded on the East and West by water and divided by North-South rail lines, which carry 7.7 million passengers every day (which is the population of Switzerland, no less!). All peak hour travel is North-South in the morning and South-North in the evening. Mumbai has a green cover of only 1.1 sq m/person in sharp contrast to 31.68 sq.m/person in London. In fact Mumbai has so little green space, that ‘park’ is used to refer to a car park. In a city almost choking with population and pollution, space for green area would be considered a joke. Right? Wrong. The Bombay Greenway project has come up with an innovative way to create 917 acres of urban green space in a city deprived of recreational space. Abraham John Architects, a Mumbai-based architectural and urban planning firm, has proposed ‘The Bombay Greenway’. The Railway into Greenway proposal envisions a 21st century Greenway over the existing railway lines. It allows for a multiplicity of uses that a modern city like Mumbai should expect from its public spaces; the railways double up as a vibrant urban linear park with 114 km of continuous, flat, traffic and stress-free, tree-lined shaded pathways: encouraging cultural and retail re-invigoration, E-W connectivity, environmental restoration and become a green transport and leisure solution. The Bombay Greenway project is

The design of the Greenway allows for a multiplicity of uses

part of the worldwide synergy towards sustainable projects. The project would have some analogies to the Promenade Plantee park in Paris, the High Line Park in New York, and the Cheonggyecheon linear park in Seoul. However, this is designed keeping local needs and issues in mind. Abraham John Architects have used a combination of architectural design and geospatial tools to identify the challenge and design the proposal for highly accessible and usable public spaces that enhance both the everyday commuter and the visitor’s experience of the city. The Bombay Greenway project comprises of several urban planning proposals to enhance the city’s infrastructure. It has extensively used Trimble’s SketchUp solution and Google Maps to create 3D models of their ambitious project. The firm has contacted the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the MTSU, the Western & Central Railways. The project, which is in the conceptual stage and still has a long way to go, already has won the International Urban Planning and Urban Design Competition- Velo-City 2013, Austria. The Greenway is a completely self-sustainable model that will improve infrastructure and become a landmark in the city. The cost of construction would be approximately equivalent to that of an 114km-long, six-lane flyover, but instead of a bituminous or concrete surface, it would have a landscaped surface,

totally traffic and stress-free. The company aims to reduce the cost of construction and operating costs for project owners by utilising a host of geospatial and allied technologies. Geospatial solutions will allow a seamless integration of data from the ‘concept’ phase of the project to ‘pre-build’ to ‘fabricate’ to ‘build’ and ‘operate’ phases. Integrated mobile mapping solutions were used for extensive survey and data collection. With highly productive and accurate real-time mapping solutions, getting the accuracy needed for developing an as-built model were achieved. Aerial imagery, photogrammetry and laser scanning solutions were also utilised for accurate data collection for building the model of the project. Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) were developed which provided millimetre accuracy for the model. The DTMs will further help the contractors in saving time and avoiding unnecessary mistakes. Once the project gets into implementing stage, a great deal of data will be generated, acquired and managed by various agencies, consultants, and data providers. To properly support the common goals and objectives, this data must be complete, easily accessible, accurate and up-to-date. For this, the company proposed embedding all such data into a GIS database which will be accessible to all. This kind of interoperable platform will enable all key players such as the railway agencies, public transport, traffic department, strategy and corporate governance and corporate technical services support sector to visualise and manage their respective data and provide efficient problem solving. The agency-wide access to GIS database will help in visualising data that they own against common vector and image basemaps. The project will take around seven to eight years time from design finalisation to completion. The construction will need to be undertaken in stages and will be delivered progressively from South to North. However, proper project management and the use of geospatial technologies would ensure little or no disruption in either the existing train schedule or road network.

Construction solutions

There are plans to use advanced construction solutions such as machine control amongst others to simplify operations, increase efficiency in the field, and minimise downtime at every stage of the project. Site positioning systems can provide contractors with state-of-the-art construction positioning solutions. Similarly, alignment planning solutions will help in reducing earthworks and other construction costs by refining the alignment within a defined corridor or refining the vertical geometry. Monitoring systems will increase project safety and reduce risk to construction schedule. Unlike most infrastructure projects in Mumbai (flyovers, free-ways, sky-walks, etc.), the Greenway would be self

Aerial view of proposed Greenway project

sustainable. Environmental sustainable features like water conservation and re-use, on-site energy production, smart technology for control of lighting and shading, solar power, faster train services and upgraded railway stations, reduced carbon footprint, inter-nodal retail spaces etc. are inherent in the design of the project. Intelligent water and wastewater management solutions, including 740 crore litres rainwater harvesting potential, can be delivered through integrated software, mobile computing and communications technology.

Addressing other issues

Overall weed-control costs can be cut by up to 80% by saving on chemical costs, cutting down on time and labour, and reducing the environmental impact. Advanced optics and computer circuitry are used to sense if a weed is present. For example when a weed enters the sensor’s field of view, it signals a spray nozzle to deliver a precise amount of herbicide. Thermal imaging will also be used to identify heat radiating from the existing railway tracks and buildings radiating, or “leaking”, heat into the atmosphere. This would reduce heat load on the railways and allow for easy and effective air conditioning. Introducing indigenous trees on the Greenway will have a real positive impact on the ecosystem (sound/air/temperature/biodiversity), improving everyone’s lifestyle. The project would provide substantial green space that would be accessible to all Bombay residents. The proposal aims to integrate biking, walking, leisure, arts, entertainment, etc. holistically to permanently bridge the east west divide of the city while keeping people constantly in touch with nature. A cycle sharing scheme would allow a person to walk, cycle and use the train to one’s destination. The design of the bicycle rental system will be integrated with GIS technology, making it user-friendly, dynamic and accessible. Courtesy: Abraham John Architects

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Special Focus/Ground Penetrating Radar



Intelligence Gathering Ground-penetrating radar, or GPR, is the most rapidly developing non-destructive, non-disruptive technology for accurately measuring and geoloacting underground infrastructure. By Geoff Zeiss


n the United States, an underground utility line is hit on average every 60 seconds and damage to the national economy owing to this is estimated to be in billions of dollars. In most municipalities in North America, underground utility lines, for years, have been put in the ground not according to plan but wherever it has been easiest and cheapest to build them. As a result, 2D as-builts of

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underground infrastructure are notoriously unreliable. The result is that in most municipalities the location of underground utilities is poorly known. This and other application areas have created demand for ways of detecting and identifying underground structures, natural and man-made. A number of technologies have been developed to help measure, characterise and geolocate underground structures

including ground penetrating radar (GPR), seismic refraction; magnetometry; electromagnetic terrain conductivity (EM); very low frequency (VLF) profiling — electrical resistivity imaging; borehole geophysical and video logging; crosshole seismic testing; seismic tomography; and microgravity surveys. Among these, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is probably the most rapidly developing field. The development of GPR has occurred in geophysical science and technology domain, and a wide range of scientific and engineering applications are explored. From not even being mentioned in geophysical texts 15 years ago, GPR has become the topic of hundreds of research papers and special issues of journals as a wide range of applications has made the technology a valuable tool in the geophysical consulting and geotechnical engineering industries. While there is no established data on the size of the current GPR market, the annual worldwide market for commercial GPR solutions and software was less than $50 million in 2005 but was growing between 10% and 15% annually, found a Spar Point report in 2005. Going by that, the GPR market would be anywhere between $100 and $200 million currently. Furthermore, the study estimated that the market for GPR associated services was 5 to 10 times the size of the market for hardware and software solutions, which would put the total market size at roughly a $1 billion annually. \

How it works

GPR uses radio waves, which are radiated from a transmitter that pulses a signal into the ground. In the most commonly used type of GPR, the waves are reflected by underground structures back to the surface where they are measured by a receiver unit, amplified and digitised by a computer to record the measurements. Reflection measurements can be a single source and receiver combination or more sophisticated multi-transmit/receive observation. Recent developments have lead to a growing use of the transillumination mode whereby the transmitter and receiver are at different locations. Ground penetrating radar requires a geological environment where radio waves can propagate a sufficient distance through earth materials to be useful. GPR frequencies are predominantly in the 1 to 10,000 MHz range. In general, electrical conductivity determines the depth of exploration. For instance, in case of clay with a lot of water content, radio signals will only penetrate a few feet, whereas in highly resistive granite formations signals can be transmitted through tens and even hundreds of metres of rock and still be detected. There are significant differences between the technologies used for above ground laser scanning and subsurface scanning with GPR and the interpretation of results. Laser scanning typically involves very short wavelengths, which

makes possible high resolution of the order of millimetres. The media in which it operates is air, which is relatively homogeneous and non-absorbing at the wavelengths used. This means laser scanning can record accurately at distances of up to hundreds of metres from the target, but requires optical line-of-sight visibility. Measurements can be easily ground-truthed by tape measure or total station. The result is a point cloud that can be visualised and measured and compared directly with the scanned object. In some cases feature extraction techniques can be used to extract individual objects to form a 3D model of the scanned object. In contrast, the wavelengths used in GPR are longer, sub-metre wavelengths to enable them to pass through soil and rock which limits the achievable spatial resolution. The medium is heterogeneous — it may be comprised of different soil and rock types together with manmade materials. In the United States, penetration depth for GPR ranges from about a metre in concrete or asphalt to seven or eight meters in clay or silt to 100 metres in limestone or granite. The sensor must be relatively close to the object depending on the geology of the ground and the strength of the transmitter. Transmitters in Europe are permitted to be stronger than in the US where the FCC severely limits transmitter power. As with any type of radar, GPR signals must be interpreted. It is difficult to ground truth what has been detected without potholing. With GPR it is often necessary to use all other available information, including existing engineering drawings, above ground visible structures such as manholes and storm drains, and historical records.

Companies in GPR Business The largest manufacturers of GPR equipment are Mala Geoscience (Sweden); Geophysical Survey Systems Inc (US); Sensors and Software (Canada); US Radar Sub-Surface Imaging Systems (US); and Ingegneria Dei Sistemi (IDS) (Italy). There are many specialised manufacturers who focus on particular markets including 3D-radar (Norway); Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (US); Radarteam (Sweden) - use GSSI for data collection; Geoscanners (Sweden); and PipeHawk (UK); Utsi Electronics (UK); Toikka Engineering (Finland); Koden Electronics (Japan); Radar Systems (Latvia); Transient Technologies Company (Ukraine); and K-S Analysis (Germany).

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Special Focus/Ground Penetrating Radar GPR emerged from polar ice radio echo sounding in the late 1960s. The method was initially used for engineering, soil applications and in mining. Nowadays, the technology is used for a broad range of applications such as concrete inspection, underground utility detecting, asphalt pavement inspection, bridge deck and concrete inspection, railroad ballast inspection, geological fault detection and investigation, tunnel scanning, archaeology, road inspection, rebar detection and mapping, landmine detection, snow scanning, borehole inspection, pavement thickness and road condition assessment to name just a few. There are many firms providing GPR services. In the construction sector for example, there are many geophysical services companies specialising in 3D subsurface imaging and mapping, where accurate GPR can provide detailed information about underground infrastructure more cost-effectively than subsurface information is needed before potholing and without disrupting traffic construction excavation. This technology is capable of detecting and identifying non-metallic as well as metallic utilities. ity Location and Highway Design: A Synthesis of Highway The deliverable is a GIS compatible map that provides the pro- Practice that summarised research about how highway deject management team information about underground utilities signers incorporate the location of underground and above for pre-design that can significantly reduce the risk or project ground utilities into their designs. The literature review idendelays and cut costs due to unexpected underground structures. tified the issues influencing the decision to keep utilities in place or to relocate them. Historically, transportation designers ignored utilities Geolocating underground utilities and during design. If the utilities conflicted with the design, highway design they are relocated. As a result utilities are routinely reloIn 2010, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) of the United States published a report Util- cated, often incurring huge unwarranted expenses. An alternative approach is to design the highway in a way that avoids the utilities so that the existing utilities remain in place. The challenge is that accurate data about the location of underground utilities is generally lacking. Between the extremes of relocating all the utilities and designing the highway to leave utilities in place is a workable compromise that meets the highway construction scope and mission, while minimising impacts to utility facilities. With this optimal solution, substantial savings in utility relocation costs and impacts, as well as overall savings to the project budget and schedule can be realised. The survey results indicated that the state DOTs would like to get utilities involved as early as possible in the construction process. The most important reason is to determine as early as possible which utilities potentially will be affected and where they are located. The literature survey showed that there is a general consensus that accurate and comprehensive utility location data helps make better decisions and

GPR uses radio waves, which are radiated from a transmitter that pulses a signal into the ground. In the most commonly used type of GPR, the waves are reflected by underground structures back to the surface where they are measured by a receiver unit 54 / Geospatial World / June 2014

reduces the risk of unforeseen problems with utilities emerging during the construction phase.

Geolocating underground infrastructure

Traditionally, the way to accurately geolocate underground facilities relies on potholing or digging a hole to expose the infrastructure. This is not only expensive, but it is also disruptive. Excavating in roadways requires diverting traffic and also runs the risk of potentially hitting other utility infrastructure. As a result there is an accelerating interest in non-disruptive technologies. GPR technology has been in use for nearly three decades, but it has required a substantial amount of time to develop a sufficient level of understanding of the method and its benefits to be appreciated by the broad user community. Over the last few years the range of applications has expanded greatly and an important application area is mapping underground infrastructure. Today, there is a better understanding of the geological context in which GPR is effective. There is also a much better understanding of the physical properties of soils and manmade materials which determine the penetration and reflection of radio waves. Radar systems with higher power and digital data recording capabilities have been developed. Computer processing power has increased dramatically enabling enhanced digital data processing and 3D visualisation that were not possible until a few years ago. With the development of affordable 3D visualisation, GPR processing is becoming widespread, resulting in major changes in the state-of-the-

practice. In favourable geologic conditions, GPR can provide detailed information about underground infrastructure more cost-effectively than potholing and without disrupting traffic. There is an expanding effort worldwide to accurately record the geolocation of underground infrastructure. Among the leading projects worldwide is a 10-year effort in Lombardy, which includes Milan, to map all underground infrastructure using ground penetrating radar. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed a standard ASCE Standard 38-02 ‘Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data’ for classifying the reliability of information about underground infrastructure: •  Quality Level D (QL D) Review of Existing Records & Information •  Quality Level C (QL C) Surveying & plotting above ground (surficial) features and connecting points •  Quality Level B (QL B) Surface geophysical methods to map subsurface utilities •  Quality Level A (QL A) Non-destructive excavation to expose & survey subsurface utilities, typically by potholing The classification is based on level of reliability of the location about subsurface facilities depending on the means by which the subsurface information was obtained.

Using GPR to geolocate underground infrastructure in Lombardy/Milan

A pilot project was carried out on the site of the Expo

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Uses of GPR Utilities

Locating pipes, cables, manholes, unknown connections


Buried drums, landfill areas and limits and high saturation limits


Wall or layer thickness, reinforcing, cracking, water intrusion and voids


Ground water, soil layers, buried wood, boulders, rocks and bedrock, root mass, disturbed soil


Unexploded ordnance such as mines or IED, bunker and tunnel locations, buried weapons caches etc


Location of artefacts and structure mapping

Law enforcement

Locating contraband, forensic investigation, objects such as weapons hidden in walls or beneath floors

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Milano 2015 event in Milan. The total project area is about 230,000 sq metre. All underground infrastructure including electric power, water, sewers, gas, district heating, streetlighting, and telecommunication, were mapped both from historical records and using GPR. A data model for underground infrastructure was developed for the different types of underground networks based on the Italian DigitPA and the INSPIRE-US utility standards. Most of the data is 2D, but some 3D data has been recorded and used to demonstrate 3D visualisation. Comparison of the historical records with the results captured by GPR revealed significant discrepancies in the historic record including thousands of meters of unknown infrastructure. For known infrastructure, the average error in geolocation was about 30%, but much larger errors of up to 100% were also recorded. The conclusion is that even in Europe the record of underground infrastructure can be highly unreliable. That the exercise identifies underground infrastructure that had been previously unknown to the municipalities provides some financial motivation for municipalities because they tax utilities based on the total infrastructure the utilities maintain within city limits. The data has been made available on the Web via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard protocols and formats (WMS, WFS, KML). An economic analysis of the data has been carried out and the estimated return on investment is about â‚Ź16 ($21.8) for every euro invested in improving the reliability of information of underground infrastructure. For comparison, the ROI in the United States has been estimated to range from $3 to $21 for every dollar invested. Other benefits include improved safety for workers and the public and fewer traffic disruptions. Several critical factors enable a project like this to be successful. A clear legal framework is absolutely essential. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that all stakeholders are involved. In the case of Lombardy this means EU, national, regional, provincial, and municipal governments. But absolutely critical to the success of the project was non-destructive, non-disruptive technology for accurately detecting underground infrastructure. As a result of the successful pilot project, it was made mandatory for all municipalities in Lombardy, which includes about 1500 towns, to map their underground infrastructure using GPR. Geoff Zeiss, Editor-Building & Energy, Geospatial World,

Country Focus/Mexico

Mapping social programmes through A Web-based tool helps the social development ministry of Mexico in keeping a tab on their social and economic programmes and facilitates in effective decision making.



he Social Georeferenced Information System (SISGE) in Mexico was born from the need to consolidate a great amount of statistical and geographical information in the field of social development, generated in the Federal Public Administration (FPA). The geographical development Web tool, created by the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), combines both, statistical and geographical information and allows understanding and analysis of the socio-economic and demographic conditions of the population; distribution of poverty; potential demand and the coverage of social programmes by SEDESOL in order to effectively target and address the strategic action plans and the best way of decision making. Among the functions enumerated in the Internal Rules of Procedure of the SEDESOL, the General Direction of Geostatistics and Registries of Beneficiaries (DGGPB) is designated to design and develop a platform to analyse the statistical and geographical information for the planning, design and assessment of social policy. Thus, when integrating the first statistical and geographical information, it was stated that there was a lack of cartographic base that could facilitate the work of planning, focusing and addressing of the federal social programmes. Therefore, SEDESOL through DGGPB, INEGI and agencies of the FPA created the Specialized Technical Committee on Geographical and Statistical Information of Social Development. Its main objective is to standardise and exchange geographical and statistical information for Social Development. This is how a new cartographic acquis in SEDESOL was born and gave the guideline for the development of geographic systems that allow visualisation and geostatistical analysis. The DGGPB developed the first geographic information system with a social approach in order to fulfill the needs of

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the Milk Supply Social Program (LICONSA), and seeks to improve the location of the selling points in areas where the concentration of poverty is higher. In 2006, Information Week Mexico made recognition to DGGPB and LICONSA for their efforts in the creation of this system as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the country. Due to its impact and functionality in the field of social development, it became the Social Information System, which, currently, is the Georeferenced Social Information System (SIGSE). This system is a stronger version with higher possibilities of geostatistical analysis.

Roles of SISGSE

SISGE is a public System, available at It is developed on a Web platform with ArcGIS Server, using the programming language Visual Basic .Net Java Script, Asp .Net and Silverlight; as well as Oracle as the database manager. The main screen of the system consists of a menu bar, which allows the user to download relevant information

Screenshot of the Georeferenced Information System (SISGE) website

from the system; a viewing area of the main map where layers of georeferenced information are shown; a tool bar that allows to navigate within the main map, the database and seek for attributes of the geographic objects. Finally, it contains a section of modules that allows the users to analyse and do research about the statistical and geographical information. The core of SISGE consists of the statistical and cartographic information of the Population Census and Housing 2010, INEGI, with block-level aggregation for each of the 4,525 urban locations over 2,500 residents or municipal centres. For the rural locations, it offers the information for each of the 187,720 locations with less than 2,500 residents that are not municipal centers. On the other hand, it offers a statistical acquis of about 220 variables associated with each of the urban-blocks. For localities and municipalities, it offers more than 240 variables that describe the population in different demographic components such as major age groups structures, sex, education, literacy, occupation, marital status, religion, head of household, building materials for the house, assets in the house, housing services, conditions and poverty rating, shortcomings and incomes, and social programme coverage from SEDESOL, among others. SISGE includes more than 40 georeferenced layers from different sources. The ones that stand out the most are educational infrastructure, highways, services, social development and different levels of disaggregation of territorial boundaries. This information allows the user to do geostatistical computerise research and analysis trough a set of modules that are part of SISGE. The most important are:   Social Program Module: This module, allows the user to query and display geographical coverage of social programmes from SEDESOL at municipal or local levels. It identifies the lack of coverage of the social programmes, the complementarity of them and the duplicity among them. The module also allows knowing the nominal roll addressed by the social programmes for each locality.   Module of Thematic Maps: In this module, the user can generate thematic maps in order to represent the variables at different levels of aggregation — street-block, AGEB’s Urban (Basic Geostatistical Urban Area, AGEB for its initials in Spanish), location, municipality, federal entity. Use of colours and symbol size allows the user to appreciate the distributions, trends, and makes it easier to read the relation of the variables. These maps also make it easier for the decision-making obtaining a better targeting and addressing of the social programmes considering their population.   Influence Range module: This module allows to have influence in the urban and rural field trough a circle of

SISGE includes more than 40 georeferenced layers from different sources. The ones that stand out are educational infrastructure, highways, services and social development influence or a specific polygon choose by the user, from which the street-blocks and localities intercepted, can be selected generating a sum from each of the variables selected previously.   Priority Areas Module: In this module the user can seek for the ‘Priority Areas of Attention’, the poverty rating and deficiencies. The ‘Priority Areas of Attention’ in the regions, mostly rural or urban, are those where their population shows ratings of poverty or marginalisation indicating the existence of notorious insufficiencies and delays in the exercise of the rights for the social development, established at the General Law of Social Development.   Social Infrastructure Module: In these modules the user can seek the location of social infrastructure programmes and its selling points, storage, branches, shelters, cultural centres, service centres, childcare facilities. Also, the infrastructure attributes and the generation of location maps can be consulted.


Along with SIGSE, the SEDESOL presents a tool available for decision makers which allow the consultation of statistical and geographical information in the field of social development, with supporting elements for research and assessment of social policy. With this tool SEDESOL has a platform that allows it to know the socio-economic and demographic situation of the community, the distribution of the social needs, the demand and coverage of the social supports and contributes to increase the transparency of the social policy actions implemented by SEDESOL. Courtesy: General Direction of Geostatistics and Beneficiaries Registries from the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), Mexico

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Country Focus / Mexico

‘We Aim to Create Synergies Between Geographic and Statistical Information’ With an aim to coordinate statistical and geographic information, Rolando Ocampo, Vice President, National Institute of Statistics and Geography, explains how the institute provides value-added services and products which further promote the use of geographic information in Mexico.


hat are the objectives of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)? Established around 30 years ago, INEGI is dedicated to coordinate the statistical and geographical information of Mexico. Our institution adopts best practices in the fields of statistics and geography. INEGI changed its legal personality in 2008 after attaining technical and management autonomy. We gather information from all state organisations, municipalities and autonomous

organisations. We have a national council for all the state and autonomous organisations, the senate and the deputies who participate in establishing the National System of Statistical and Geographical Information System (SNIEG). Combining statistics and geography is for better coordination. What geographic products do you produce and what kind of statistical data is added for better synergies? We have collected all geographic information from the states with the help of the SNIEG, and created a statistical framework. SNIEG has 168 layers of information of water, electricity, ecology, roads, geodesy, land etc. To make this more accessible to people, we have created a digital map of Mexico and all the information is overlaid on that. This information is online and available freely to the public. We developed this product with free open source software as we did not want to rely on any particular software. We have maps at different scales of 1:50,000 and 1:20,000. For landuse and vegetation, we have maps at lower resolution, at a scale of 1:250,000. We have also developed a project called GeoPDF, whereby one can select a digital map of Mexico and download it in the PDF version. The statistical, geographic, agricultural and all other information layers that INEGI has collated makes it an SDI. Does INEGI also provide value-added services using this database or is just a data provider? The law says that we must have a directory of all economic units. We can have it in the form of a list, excelsheet or it can be georeferenced. We have created a programme called DENUE (Directory of National Statistics Unit). The tool provides identification and location of 4 million economic units of the country. One can find drug stores, companies, supermarkets, electricity utilities, travel agencies and so on as all the economic activities are georeferenced on a map. People can access all information

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like addresses, number of employees, name, telephone, email etc. We have also developed a new version, wherein business owners can go to the DENUE and update the database with any special offers for people. So, this is one way of adding value to the people. People from big companies such as McKinsey have said they use this information as it is very useful for them. We are also putting structures of houses, whether they have roads nearby, water etc. on the map under the National Housing Inventory. We also produce data in larger/higher scales like 1:1,000, 1:2,000 or 1:5,000 scale for urban areas. All this information is available to the public for free. INEGI is an autonomous organisation. What is the business model it adopts to sustain itself? We are an autonomous body but we have to answer to the Congress and it also authorises our budget. Since it is the tax payers’ money, we are mandated to give all information to the public. We produce all kinds of maps, geospatial information, economical information, pricing index, surveys etc. One of the mandates of INEGI is to promote the use of geographical information. What are the mechanisms through which INEGI does this? One is to develop easy programmes that promote the use geoinformation in schools and universities. We coordinate with the Ministry of Education and give them geographical information needed for the textbooks. There are 31 states in Mexico and we aim to diversify this information all over the country. We also impart training to the students in universities, make presentations about our work and how the information can be used to benefit us. INEGI is also a member of the regional SDI, PC-IDEA. What is its role?? In August 2013 the name of PC-IDEA was changed to UNGGIM Americas and we are very active in our initiatives.

INEGI is mandated to give all information to the public. We produce all kinds of maps, geospatial information, economical information, pricing index surveys etc

The Directory of National Statistics Unit provides identification and location of 4 million economic units of Mexico

Mexico is presiding the UN-GGIM Americas currently. One of the mandates we have is to create an environment to incorporate the Caribbean countries. Currently, there are 24 countries in UN-GGIM Americas and 11 countries in the Caribbean. Is land administration a part of INEGI’s mandate? No, we have an agreement with land administrative offices and we coordinate in their activity. Mexico created an agrarian register and the mandate of the register is to measure all the social land. For that, the government asked INEGI to measure all the social land. So, we created an institute and launched a programme called Procede. We approached ejidos or the social farmer organisations (tillers) to measure the land parcels and the common areas, and have almost 30,000 ejidos with us. Around 52% of Mexico is social land. We gave this data to the Agrarian Registry. The cadastres are the responsibility of the municipalities and we just provide the data, but cannot use it. The administrative responsibility of all cadastral maps lies with the municipalities that fall under SEDATU (Ministry of Social Development). What are the next steps for INEGI? Our next step is to make new information accessible to the public. We are trying to upgrade our software, make information easily accessible, complete 1:20,000 scale mapping and produce information with that map scale. We also aim to modernise all statistical information and link that data to geography. Our main objective is to provide the data, not to do analytics. But in some cases, we did analytics work too, just to show people how to use this information. We have a statistical and analysis laboratory where one can get all the information necessary for making a project. We also have an agreement with the national scientific institute and the National University of Mexico (UNAM) to make some investments in our project.

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Conference Report/Geospatial World Forum 2014

Towards a

GeoSmart Planet Geneva, the worldwide centre for diplomacy, formed the perfect backdrop for Geospatial World Forum 2014 which saw over a thousand participants from 78 countries, 35 partners and six ministerial level participations over five days.


he five days of knowledge intake and experience-rich discussions at the Geospatial World Forum 2014 not only made an impact at the venue but the social media too was abuzz with tweets and status shares; “UN-style convention”, “engaging discussion”, “enriching” being few of the adjec-

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tives used by delegates to describe their experience. The latest edition of the Forum, which had the theme, ‘Geosmart Planet, Resources, Infrastructure and You’, was hosted by Geospatial Media & Communications at Geneva, Switzerland recently. In addition, 48 exhibitors from 16 countries highlighted their brand prowess at a co-located exhibition.

While delegates and speakers equivocally agreed that geospatial technology is ubiquitous, they also stressed that there is still a waning gap between the demand and supply of geospatial technologies across the world which needs to be addressed effectively. Setting the tone for the conference, Bryn Fosburgh, Vice President, Trimble during his inaugural address said converging forces had placed geospatial information at the centre of an evolving ecosystem. He also noted that the declining cost of geospatial technology was opening up new uses for high-accuracy geospatial data. Dorine Burmanje, Chairman Executive Board, Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency, The Netherlands, echoed similar views and added that new geospatial technologies require strong partnerships between the golden triangle — government, private sector and academia, and all three must come forward to make this a success. Juergen Dold, President, Hexagon Geosystems, informed that geospatial technology had evolved into an engine for smart enterprises, driving productivity in decision-making processes by integrating solutions from data capture to creating information. Barbara Ryan, Director, Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat, Switzerland, underlined the use of earth observation data for global benefits while calling for a connect with the private industry, including geospatial and mainstream businesses. Making a powerful statement on the issue of sustainable development, Ryan said the earth will survive without human beings, but is the opposite true? Explaining how geospatial data could integrate into the future of infrastructure, Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President — Information Modelling & Platform Group of Autodesk, said humanity was living in interesting yet challenging times and technology was part of the problem itself, because projects were massive and there was a huge backlog of refurbishment of existing infrastructure in developed countries and construction of new infrastructure in developing countries. While, Michael T. Jones, Chief Technology Advocate, Google, said maps were just pictures and they must come alive to communicate with people, Steven Hagan, Vice President Development for Server Technologies, Oracle, made a strong pitch for Internet of Things and Cloud technologies by saying that they help






Plenary speakers included 1. Amar Hanspal, Autodesk 2. Juergen Dold, Hexagon 3. Jay Freeland, FARO 4. Barbara Ryan, Group on Earth Observations 5.Chris Cappelli, Esri

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 63

Conference Report/Geospatial World Forum 2014

(L-R) Sally Fegan-Wyles, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations and Director-UNITAR; Karam Hasanov, State Committee on Property Issues, Azerbaijan; Alhaji A.B. Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana; Prashant Shukle, Director General, Canada Centre for Mapping; Dr. Shailash Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science, India; Dato Sri James Dawos Mamit, Dy. Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources, Malaysia; and Dr. Abu Twalib Kasenally, Minister of Housing and Lands, Mauritius; and representative of the Commissioner of Establishment, Training and Pensions, Lagos State Government, Nigeria.

1 2


Winners of the Geospatial World Leadership Awards: 1. Johan Bang and Therese Öhman, Future Position X 2. Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble Navigation 3. Dr. Carl Reed, OGC 4. Steve Coast, OSM and CloudMade

64 / Geospatial World / June 2014


governments to check the pulse of things, and ensure transparency and inclusiveness. FARO President and CEO, Jay Freeland, pointed out that everything in the world had three dimensions and the need to capture and visualise the same was growing by leaps and bounds. Several other sessions dotted the forum specifically focused on various industry verticals such as land, agriculture, building and construction, infrastructure development, energy, urban planning, governance, among others, and tried to connect geospatial stakeholders with the industry stakeholders. The session on Land Information System for Smart Cities was spread over two days and was co-organised by the UN Economic Commissions for Europe (UNECE). The conference also witnessed a thought-provoking discussion among the ministerial panel on ‘Geospatial Policy for National and Regional Development’. All the speakers deliberated and echoed the view that geospatial technology is an imperative factor in national development. During his presentation, Prashant Shukle, Director General, Canada Centre for Mapping, said geospatial data should be treated as a natural resource and global currency, and that its true value could be realised only by its liberation and use. In another session, giving an overview of the ambitious Copernicus programme, Dr. Reinhard Schulte-Braucks, Head of Unit, Copernicus Infrastructure, DG Enterprise & Industry, European Commission revealed that the programme has secured a dedicated funding of €4.3-bn for 2014–2020. Providing a perfect end to the conference, the Geospatial World Awards 2014 honoured impeccable works and minds of the industry by conferring 10 leadership awards, 14 excellence awards, 5 policy awards and 8 innovation awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Dr. Carl Reed, CTO, OGC.

And the winners are: Leadership Awards


Geospatial Technology Company 2013: Snowflake Software Geospatial Content Company 2013: Planet Labs Geospatial Solutions Company 2013: eLEAF Geospatial Strategic Merger 2013: Telenav and sKobbler Geospatial Business Hub: Gavle and Gavleborg Region, Sweden National Geospatial Information Agency 2013: Singapore Land Authority Geospatial Business Leader 2013: Bryn Fosburgh, Vice President, Trimble Navigation Geospatial Entrepreneur 2013: Steve Coast, Founder OSM and CloudMade Geospatial Ambassador: Geoff Zeiss, Editor — Building and Energy, Geospatial World Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Carl Reed, CTO, OGC

Excellence Awards Agriculture: e-Pest Surveillance and Advisory System Reinsurance: NATHAN Risk Suite Governance: COMCOL Platform: ICT for Social Accountability in Ghana Public Safety: Safe City Monitoring System Disaster Monitoring: Incident Command GIS System for Improved Disaster Relief and Emergency Rescue Environment Monitoring: Rural Environmental Cadastre — CAR Law Enforcement: Green Wave Operation. Indicator of future deforestation in the Amazon Transportation: Person trip Data Browser and Space-Time visualiser Environment Monitoring: Noise Watch mobile app Business Intelligence: GNAF in 2013 Infrastructure Management: 3D modelisation for the Transports Publics Genevois Infrastructure Planning: LINZ Data Service Cadastral Survey: eKadaster Mapping: Western China Mapping

Innovation Awards Cartography: Kadaster, The Netherlands, for Automatic Generalisation of Topographic Maps’ Mobile Mapping: Horus View & Explore, The Netherlands, for Georeferenced 360° video LiDAR Mapping Systems: RIEGL LMS Gmbh, Austria, for RIEGL LMS-Q780 Big Data: Netherlands Space Office, Astrium Services; and GEO-Information Division, for Dutch Satellite Data Portal Meteorology: Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology for MetEye Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging: Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, US Army Corps of Engineers & Optech. USA, for CZMIL: Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging LiDAR Interoperability: National Research Council, Italy for GEOSS Brokering Framework 3D Terrestrial LiDAR Scanner: FARO Technologies, Germany, for Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330




Policy Awards •  National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda for 4th Rwanda Population & Mauritius Housing Census •  Ministry of Housing and Lands, and Astrium for Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System (LAVIMS) •  3D Ethics Charter Committee, Switzerland, for 3D Ethics Charter •  DOST, Philippines, and National Engineering Center, University of the Philippines – Diliman for Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation •  European Commission, European Centre of Excellence, Salzburg, and European Association of Geographers, for Network and Centres of Excellence for Geomedia in Education and Training’

Winners of the Geospatial World Leadership Awards 5. Geoff Zeiss, Geospatial World 6. Vincent Hoong, Singapore Land Authority 7. Ian Painter, Snowflake Software 8 Ad Bastiaansen, eLEAF

Geospatial World / June 2014 / 65

Picture This

The image clearly shows radar reflections from the ships at sea, appearing like stars in a night sky. The two collections of ‘stars’ are reflections from large-scale offshore wind farms.

Capturing the first look from Sentinel 1A These images over the west coast of the Netherlands are one of the early radar scans by the Sentinel-1A satellite, which was launched on April 3. The satellite’s advanced radar can provide imagery under all weather conditions and regardless of whether it is day or night. One of the many application areas of the data will be the surveillance of the marine environment as well as monitoring changes in agricultural land cover. These images were acquired with the radar operating in ‘stripmap mode’, which provides coverage at a resolution of about 10 m.

The city of Amsterdam and the runways of the nearby Schiphol airport.

The city of Rotterdam, with Europe’s largest port.

2 / Geospatial World / May 2014

As the GeospAtiAl industry evolves‌ We Are evolvinG With it Marching From Mainstream Geospatial to Contemporary Application Driven Conferences south asia 2014

Middle east Middle east

september 2014 Dubai, UAE

november 2014

15-17 february 2015

Muscat, Oman

Dubai, UAE

africa tM

19-20 august 2014 Lagos, Nigeria

3-4 March 2015 Accra, Ghana

latin aMerica


22-25 september 2014

12-13 June 2014

Mexico City, Mexico

New Delhi, India

13-14 november 2014

8-9 september 2014

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

New Delhi, India



asia pacific

19-20 november 2014 Amsterdam The Netherlands

May 2015 Europe



4-5 november 2014

May 2015

New Delhi, India


16-17 June 2014 Hong Kong

25-27 november 2014

17-18 March 2015

9-12 february 2015

Jakarta, Indonesia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hyderabad, India

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