USGIF GotGeoint Blog USGIF promotes geospatial intelligence tradecraft and a stronger community of interest between government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals focused on the development and application of geospatial intelligence to address national security objectives.
More than half of the buildings that will be standing in the year 2030 are already built, and the urgency to improve the efficiency of existing buildings as a means to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions is growing. Autodesk has just announced a “retrofitted” Guide to Sustainable Design. The newly renovated Guide is designed to let building industry stakeholders select their profession and then walk through virtually all phases of a design or renovation/retrofit project to see how design choices affect energy efficiency, water efficiency and carbon emissions. The Guide to Sustainable Design illustrates sustainable design principles and technologies for more energy-efficient buildings and environmentally conscious infrastructure projects.
It has been reported that an employee of Dell has gotten Chrome OS, which Google released to open source Nov 19, to run on a Dell Mini 10v netbook. I blogged earlier that Ed Parsons has Chrome OS running on his Aspire One netbook.
The UK Government has announced its intention to explore ways of making all Ordnance Survey maps freely available online from April. The Free Our Data campaign has worked for over three years to convince the government to "abandon copyright on essential national data, making it freely available to anyone, while keeping the crucial task of collecting that data in the hands of taxpayer-funded agencies". The UK prime minister said that it was his intention by April to complete negotiations on the free online provision of Ordnance Survey maps down to a scale of 1:10,000. The online maps would be free to all including commercial organizations who in the past have had to acquire expensive and restrictive licenses. This measure would bring the UK in line with many other national governments around the world including the US, Canada, South Africa, Japan, and Brazil as well as increasingly state and provincial governments such as California, and cities such as Vancouver.
I blogged earlier about a study by a team at Cambridge University and commissioned by the Treasury that found that making all OS data free would cost the government £12m and bring a net gain of £156m. Australia and New Zealand have commissioned studies of the contribution of spatial data to the national economy that have concluded that with appropriate government policies the contribution to the GDP, estimated to be on the order of 1%, could be doubled.
Thanks to Mapperz for pointing me to the Guardian article.
According to the Ordnance Survey, OS OpenSpace is intended to promote free and open access to Ordnance Survey data (which is in general relatively expensive) via the OS OpenSpace API to application developers. This means that a variety of organizations including entrepreneurs and commercial organizations can develop applications using the OS OpenSpace API that use OS data without charge subject only to a maximum daily usage restriction. The OS appears to have taken a leaf out of the Google business model, which allows you to develop mashups using Google's API that access Google data (often licensed from commercial sources) free of charge, but does not permit you to download or otherwise access the raw data.
OS OpenSpace applications must be free and open. They must be "publicly accessible on the internet and not restricted or protected by password, username, membership or firewalls", and "cannot be used in the ordinary day-to-day activities involved with the internal administration of a business." Advertising on OS OpenSpace web applications is permitted, but no charge can be made for use of applications developed using OS OpenSpace.
The Clean Water Act of 1972 was to intended to upgrade the US's sewer systems. In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress distributed more than $60 billion to cities to upgrade sewer systems. In 1994 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a
national framework to control overflows, to ensure
that pipes are designed so they are not easily become plugged by debris
and warning the public when overflows occur. In 2000, Congress amended
the Clean Water Act to further limit overflows.
According to the New York Times, in the last three years more than 9,400 of the US’s 25,000 sewage systems have violated the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes and elsewhere, according to data from state environmental agencies and the EPA. More than a third of all sewer systems including San Diego, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Philadelphia, San Jose and San Francisco have violated environmental laws since 2006, according to a New York Times analysis of EPA data. In New York the sewer system overflows just about every other time it rains. Similar problems occur in other municipalities such as Newport, Rhode Island.
In Ottawa it was reported that the equivalent of about 265 Olympic swimming pools full of overflow sewage entered the Ottawa and Rideau rivers from the City of Ottawa during the 2007 rainy season. Rainfall between April and November 2007 was slightly above average in volume and intensity. An estimated 730,000 cubic metres of sewage mixed with stormwater overflowed from 18 pipes between April 15 and Nov. 15, 2007. That represents two per cent of all sewage in the part of downtown served by combined sewers. As a rule of thumb municipalities east of the Mississippi have combined sewers, one sewer system for sanitary and storm sewers. West of the Mississippi, most municipalities have separate sanitary and storm sewers.
According to the EPA and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), $400 billion in extra spending is needed over the next
decade to fix the US’s sewer infrastructure. The ARRA stimulus bill has set aside $6 billion to improve sewers and other water systems.
At Autodesk University next week Asa Reese of Parsons is going to talk about a DeKalb County, GA project to double water treatment capacity using innovative bioreactor membrane (MBR) technology.
Thanks to Chris Maeder for pointing to the New York Times article and the Newport, RI video.
One the important impacts of the current economic downturn is a massive increase in infrastructure spending by all levels of governments as part of economic stimulus spending. One of the most important drivers for new infrastructure investment is the creation of a more sustainable infrastructure for energy, water, transportation, communications, and buildings, as the foundation for a new energy efficient, sustainable world economy. An essential part of this worldwide infrastructure transformation is creating a high quality digital model that will enable us to operate and manage the new sustainable infrastructure efficiently.This is a summary of a recent article published in Geospatial Today (10/2009).
State of the World’s Infrastructure
Worldwide there is a growing concern about the state of infrastructure including roads, highways, railways, water and wastewater, pipelines, power, waste, telecommunications, and other types of infrastructure. In the US the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a Report Card on American Infrastructure most recently in 2009. The 2009 ASCE Report Card estimates that a total investment of $2.2 trillion over five years is required to bring US infrastructure to an acceptable condition.
The effort to tackle global climate change is accelerating. The Copenhagen meeting on global climate change will begin to work toward an agreement to replace the Kyoto Accord next month. In preparation for the Copenhagen meeting, China's State Council says China will reduce its carbon intensity 40 to 45 percent by the year 2020 as compared to 2005 levels. President Obama is expected to make a provisional pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Canada's announced goal is 20% reduction in GHG by 2020, compared to 2006 levels. And India and the United States have just agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation on energy security, clean energy, and climate change.
Smart Utility Networks
Global climate change and increasing demand for electric power is motivating utilities to develop more intelligent networks. But a smart grid requires an accurate, up to date digital model of the network infrastructure, and given the state of digital network models and data at many power utilities, this represents a major challenge for power utilities.
One of the fundamental problems utilities are facing is the poor quality of their digital assets. Poor data quality has serious implications for the organization such as delayed and unreliable reporting to regulators which can lead to fines and other financial penalties, poor operations productivity which directly impacts the bottom line, and poor response times for outages. The most glaring symptoms of poor data quality are backlogged as-builts and poor productivity.
To enable engineers, owners and operators of network infrastructure to address the challenges of global climate change, aging infrastructure, aging workforce, and the demand for higher levels of reliability, new technologies are being introduced and adopted. One of the most important that engineers are increasingly adopting is model-driven approach to design, often referred to simply as BIM (building information modeling). Model-based design not only significantly reduces the cost of design and construction for new structures, but also promises to significantly reduce the downstream costs associated with operation and maintenance.
Once the preserve of gamers, 3D simulation technology is now an important tool used by engineers to experience a building or other structure during the design phase, before it is built. 3D simulation relies on many of the same 3D visualization and simulation technologies underlying computer games, and allows engineers to convey their designs more effectively, reduces the risk of major modifications to built structures, and enables optimization of buildings and infrastructure for their full life-cycle including operations and maintenance.
New Design Technologies and Utilities
The implication of these initiatives targeted at more sustainable networks and greater reliability are that our electric, gas, water, telecommunications and other types of infrastructure is undergoing rehabilitation, and in some cases, complete replacement on a massive scale. New design technologies are helping to address issues, providing tools designing new sustainable technologies, for sustainable design, and for increasing design and construction productivity to enable a shrinking workforce to become more efficient. Here's a couple of examples.
In North America alone there are over 13 000 sub-stations, many of which have exceeded their original design life. In 2008, it was estimated that 81% of US and Canadian power utilities have sub-station rehabilitation or replacement projects underway. By using model-based design, modern electrical design tools, and 3D visualization, Duke Energy is dramatically speeding up designing and redesigning sub-stations. Arnold Fry of Duke Energy will be talking about this at Autodesk University.
Water Treatment Plant Expansion
When DeKalb County decided to double their water treatment capacity using innovative bioreactor membrane (MBR) technology, they were faced with a large, nearly one billion dollar project involving over 50 people and 10 disciplines. Parsons, the firm selected to design the water treatment expansion, decided early on to take a model-based design approach to enable collaboration between the different design teams. They also employed 3D visualization tools to ensure that the stakeholders, technical and non-technical, were able to participate in critical design decisions. Asa Reese of Parsons is going to talk about this project at Autodesk University next week.
3D Design and the Millennial Generation
As the older generation of utility workers retires at an increasing rate, utility companies are faced with the challenge of attracting younger workers. The Millennial generation, brought up on Wii's, PSP's, and Xbox's, is looking for challenging opportunities with leading edge technology that not only create a upwardly mobile career path, but also help preserve the environment. The younger generation of utility workers are excited by and feel much more at home with 3D applications rather than traditional 2D design applications. Utility companies are seeing the value in 3D model-based design not only for improved productivity but for attracting and retaining younger employees.
Digital Infrastructure for a Sustainable Economy
An essential part of the worldwide infrastructure transformation is creating and maintaining precise and reliable digital models that will enable us to operate and manage our new sustainable infrastructure efficiently. Integrating precision engineering data, laser scanned point clouds, and traditional GIS data makes it possible to develop a precise synthetic environment that can be used to simulate the inside (utilities, HVAC systems, furniture, elevators, walls, doors, windows, and structural details), outside (aerial utilities, full city blocks of 3D detail, road access), and under (underground water, wastewater, gas, power, and telecommunications systems) of an urban environment creates an intelligent model that can be used for visualization, analysis, and simulation. For example, urban simulation can be used to analyze the load impact of a new building on a utility network, the extent to which solar heating can be used to reduce emissions, and how much daylight will be available in interior spaces at different times of the day and of the year.
The coincidence of technical advances and government stimulus spending motivated by the economic downturn and global climate change is a unique historical opportunity is take advantage of this moment in history to create an intelligent, precision digital infrastructure for energy, water, transportation, communications, and buildings, as the foundation for a new energy efficient and low emissions world economy.