City Digital develops technology to create new underground infrastructure mapping platform
City Digital, a Chicago-based UI LABS collaboration, has developed the underlying technology components to create a new underground infrastructure mapping (UIM) platform. The platform will generate, organize, visualize, and store 3D underground infrastructure data.
Using the City of Chicago as a test bed for the platform’s development, the pilot team is deploying the new technology to create an accurate 3D map of underground assets, such as water pipes, fiber optic lines, gas pipes, electrical lines, and legacy infrastructure located in city streets and alleys. An engineering-grade, cloud-based data platform enables this critical infrastructure information to be securely stored and shared among the City of Chicago and utilities.
Led by City Digital partners Accenture, HBK Engineering, and the City of Chicago, the pilot team has developed advanced scanning tools; a data capture system; mobile applications for use by construction and utility workers to capture data and update the system in real time; a data visualization application; and business model templates for cities to collect revenue.
As a result of inaccurate or obsolete data on below-ground assets, an underground utility line is hit on average every 60 seconds in the United States, according to the American Public Works Association. State governments have estimated the potential to unlock $21 in value for every $1 invested in underground asset management by reducing accidents, damages, and delays.
Following completion of the initial prototype last year on a Chicago construction site, the newly developed technology components will soon be deployed on a larger construction site in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, demonstrating the platform’s effectiveness in a real-world setting with applicability for other urban environments.
The UIM pilot’s technology and processes were developed by a broad consortium of government, industry, and academic partners at City Digital. In addition to the pilot leads, the team includes ComEd, Microsoft, Cityzenith, Esri, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This next phase of the UIM pilot began in September with a planned conclusion during the spring 2017. Future phases will seek to make the infrastructure work smarter by incorporating underground sensors, as that technology becomes cheaper and more scalable.
Information provided by City Digital (www.citydigital.org).
Bentley ContextCapture enhances use of reality models
Bentley Systems announced general access to the latest release of ContextCapture and ContextCapture Center. This release enhances the accessibility, scale, and quality of reality models that can be produced for use in BIM and geospatial workflows, the company said.
Key capabilities include:
- new multi-resolution mesh support for third-party formats including Esri i3s, Google Earth KML, SpaceEyes3D, OSGB (OpenSceneGraph), and LODTreeExport formats;
- multi-resolution mesh support for ContextCapture’s native 3MX format; and
- a threefold increase from 30 to 100 gigapixels of imagery that can be processed with ContextCapture.
This expansion of multi-resolution format support enables ContextCapture to provide improved quality and performance of reality modeling data within geospatial workflows, particularly valuable for the large community of ArcGIS and other geospatial users. Expansion in processing capacity to 100 gigapixels for ContextCapture makes it affordable and easier to produce larger models and 3D meshes with high fidelity and cm-level precision, even at scales as large as entire cities (kilometer scale models).
“At Christopher Burke Engineering we are always innovating to deliver cutting-edge services to our clients and look to Bentley’s ContextCapture to complement our traditional survey approaches. The software allows us to very easily process hundreds of images taken by drone or hand-held digital camera into a 3D reality mesh that can then be consumed inside Bentley OpenRoads products to speed our civil engineering design work. We are eager to begin deploying this technology on a wide array of projects,” said Christopher B. Burke, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M. ASCE, NAC, president, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
“With this release of ContextCapture, reality meshes are now more accessible throughout ArcGIS workflows as well as Bentley’s native V8i design modeling workflows, including those using OpenRoads, AECOsim, and OpenPlant. Through our advances in integrating reality models of any scale into geospatial workflows, GIS professionals, particularly those using Esri ArcGIS products, can now affordably incorporate high-fidelity models of the real world into their existing GIS datasets,” said Santanu Das, senior vice president, design modeling at Bentley Systems.
Information provided by Bentley Systems (www.bentley.com).
Airbus Defence and Space launches satellite image library for civil engineering applications
Airbus Defence and Space launched One Atlas, a new satellite image base map that covers the earth’s landmasses with professional-grade imagery. Available online 24/7 and refreshed within a 12-month period, One Atlas provides civil engineering users with access to cost-effective, high-quality, and homogeneous imagery, the company said.
One Atlas is ideally suited to support preliminary studies for infrastructure planning; definition and adjustment of early corridor routing; or to visualize, share, and communicate infrastructure impacts, among other things.
The service offers a streamlined workflow, and the costs related to updating, selecting, processing, and hosting imagery are drastically reduced, the company said. Integrated into customers’ systems, One Atlas facilitates sharing of data across teams or partner organizations, with no compromise on security or privacy. It also enables users to plan, map, and locate their teams, assets, or areas of interest, anywhere on the globe, allowing operators to devote more time to their core mission.
Information provided by Airbus Defence and Space (www.intelligence-airbusds.com/one-atlas).
Autodesk simplifies virtual reality for design professionals
In July, Autodesk introduced LIVE for Revit, a cloud-based service that transforms a Revit model into an interactive experience in just one click. In November, Autodesk announced its latest LIVE release, currently in beta, that, with a second click in the LIVE editor or LIVE viewer, toggles virtual reality (VR) viewing on and off. Requirements include a system that can support HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
Two beta preview users offered the following feedback:
Andrew Malanoski of Eppstein Uhen Architects noted that he gave one of the firm’s owners “a quick explanation on how the controller works and a few seconds later he was zooming around the model, having picked up the controls almost instantly.” Before long, Malanoski said, the owner was “performing design critiques on the project (in real time).”
Taylor Cupp, technologist at Mortenson Construction, said that all of a sudden his clients were talking about “spatial relationships and function” and the team was identifying problems they would have missed without the VR capabilities in LIVE.
Current LIVE subscribers automatically have access to the new VR beta. For new users, LIVE remains available on a monthly subscription basis. Autodesk also extended a free trial period to 30 days.
Information provided by Autodesk (www.autodesk.com).