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Middle East: 3D city models for urban planning

Monday, January 14th 2013
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According to a recent news, the low-flying planes fitted with cameras, sub-contracted by Rolta India Ltd. , would be seen hovering over skies in the Middle East over the next few months clicking snapshots of the landscape. These shots will be used to create 3D digital models of cities, which will also capture intricate details of even insides of buildings. 

AP Singh, board member and principal advisor, Rolta said, “These models would be the foundation for the city planners to carry out sophisticated analyses for town planning, disaster management, emergency response and traffic management.”  
 
The intelligent map-making procedure involves three phases. First, the snapshots of a location either through satellite imagery, mobile mapping, laser technology or the LiDAR technology.
 
While aerial shots are taken either by satellite imagery or low-flying planes fitted, the inside views of buildings are captured with LiDAR technology. In the LiDAR technology, a rough data of the inside of a building is captured. The result is a point cloud (that is a cloud image of the entire structure). This data will be used to create 3D model. The latest laser technologies can capture the inside of oil refineries housed in old buildings and which do not have proper maps available. 
 
While this is the basic format to create 3D models, what is being demanded today is a fusion platform. For this, companies develop their own software products, like the Rolta Geospatial FusionTM, which can integrate diverse data on a single map. To carry out 3D modelling and data conversion, a highly-trained set of staff is needed. 
 
Earlier, according to an article published in Times of India “NDMC areas now on 3D GIS map” mentioned New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to use 3D-GIS mapping to keep a tab on public utility services like roads, streetlights, sanctioning of building plans, etc.
 
The Telegraph “GIS, 3D maps on state’s horizon” mentioned Jharkhand government has initiated a move to map a major chunk of Ranchi district using GIS and 3D technology to ensure that any future planning exercise is conducted scientifically.
 
In an annual report 2010-11 submitted by Survey of India under the Department of Science & Technology mentioned initiative to create Land Information System and central database for all Govt. Department of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and 3D GIS solution including generation of large scale base map.
 

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