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Singapore Government showcases 3D urban mapping on newest commercial district

By Kelly Ng | 16 July 2014

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The Singapore government is using a smart 3D mapping tool to run large scale simulations to guide the planning, design and development of its newest commercial area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) told a gathering of 15,000 geospatial professionals yesterday.


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Using the Jurong Lake District, an up and coming 70-hectare largest commercial area outside the city center, as an example, Eugene Lau, Executive Architect, Conservation and Urban Design Group and Victor Chua, Senior Systems Analyst of the Information Systems and Geospatial Group showed how simulations can help city planners visualise different building forms and their impact to surrounding environment.

For instance, planners can conduct shadow studies on proposed developments to determine how public spaces can be shaded for better comfort.

“We can map population density and render it like a heat map over the district, or simulate traffic to see how the development will affect traffic in the entire region,” said Lau.

“We plan to preserve a number of views and the 3D city model helps us check if these views are obstructed as we plan new buildings in the area. For example, the pagoda should remain visible from the train station. The line of sight is shown as the yellow area on the map so buildings in between these landmarks do not exceed the required height,” he continued.

Lau and Chua were speaking at the 35th annual Esri User Conference in San Diego USA yesterday, demonstrating how URA is using Esri’s CityEngine to transform 2D town planning data into interactive 3D city models.

In a separate press statement, URA’s Director of Information Systems, Applications, Goh Siow Chong said, “As the land use planning authority of Singapore, URA constantly seeks new ideas, innovative technologies and smart solutions to make better planning decisions and overcome challenges.”

“Our collaboration with Esri Inc. and Esri Singapore is a fruitful experience. Esri brings on board their expertise in advanced 3D geospatial technology, enabling us to create 3D simulations of various planning scenarios to better plan for a more liveable and inclusive environment.”

Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramotedham said using GIS technology to enable a greater understanding of future developments is key to ensuring Singapore remains one of Asia’s most dynamic urban centres.

“As one of the world’s fastest growing cities, it is important that Singapore leverages smart technologies to ensure ongoing developments can meet the needs of citizens now and in the future,” said Pramotedham.

URA’s approach to using 3D GIS technology is incredibly progressive, and serves as a benchmark and inspiration for other countries around the world.”

“The fact the URA was invited to deliver a presentation to more than 15,000 of the world’s leading GIS professionals is testament to the outstanding and industry-leading work they are achieving in this field.”

URA and Esri will continue to develop the software’s localised rules and building templates to build up the 3D model base, overlay rich GIS layers and over time, create a rich 3D city information model that could be useful for multiple purposes beyond urban planning.

Read also:
Singapore, Esri sign agreement on 3D smart city technology
GIS is more important than ever to solve today’s world challenges – Esri President
Bangkok, Thailand residents to pay electricity bills via mobile by 2014

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