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.
The UK Government as part of its building information modeling (BIM) initiative has said repeatedly that it expects the big payoff of a digital model, estimated at more than 40% savings, will be during operations and maintenance, typically representing 80% of the total cost of a facility. Companies such as BAM who do Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) projects report significant benefits from full lifecycle BIM + geospatial. But there is little if any quantitative evidence supporting this conjecture. I have asked people from Finland familiar with the very early BIM developments in that country if there were studies of the benefits of BIM for operations and maintenance, but apparently the BIM focus there has been entirely on design and build.
Crossrail with a budget of £14.8 billion is the biggest engineering project in Europe. It involves 42 km of tunnels beneath one of the most densely populated parts of Europe. It has wider tunnels and its 40 stations have longer station platforms than the Tube has. Crossrail trains are expected to start running next year and the full network should be open by 2019.
But the most interesting aspect of the Crossrail project is a 3D digital model with associated asset data that has not only been used during design and construction, but is intended to be used for operations and maintenance. Crossrail appears to be the first major project that may be able to provide support for the conjecture that the biggest benefits of BIM are for operations and maintenance.
The Crossrail model is comprised of spatial and non-spatial data with links between the two. The spatial data is made up of more than 250,000 3D BIM models as well as as-builts, together comprising a few terabytes. As construction of each facility is completed as-builts are collected by point-cloud survey using laser scanners. The point clouds captured in the survey are compared to the design and divergences that need resolving are recorded for fixing. The detailed asset data and documentation add an additional 5 terabytes. This represents one of the World's largest BIM model. A critical aspect of the spatial database is that all assets are geolocated so that workers can query a particular location of London on a map and then navigate to the Crossrail assets there.
The model is intended to become a crucial tool for monitoring, operating and maintaining Crossrail’s systems once the railway is running. Sensors monitor various aspects of the railway's operation and remote-controlled devices can change operating parameters from a central control room or from a handheld device. Managers can view this information within the 3D model and can zoom in on an area which needs attention. Crossrail is testing low-power wireless smart sensors called Utterberries that can monitor strain, temperature, humidity, acceleration, and other aspects of a facility. Utterberries weigh 15 grams and are smart - they have an ARM processor on-board and can operate for more than a year on one charge. One of the coolest capabilities of the digital infrastrucure is an augmented-reality interface which allows workers to hold an iPad up to a wall or floor and see a view of the infrastructure (electricity, water, and communications) under the floor or behind the wall.
Urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon. According to the World Bank, 54 percent of the world's population lives in urban areas today. By 2045, the number of people living in cities will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion, adding 2 billion more urban residents. With more than 80 percent of global GDP generated in cities, urbanization can accelerate economic development, but it has to be managed in a way that decreases energy intensity (energy per unit of GDP).
Smart city technology is becoming an essential element in the development of the world's megacities. For example, the new Indian government's budget includes an allocation for initiating the development of 100 smart cities. Songdo IDB in Korea and Fujisawa in Japan are two smart cities already under development. China has 36 smart cities in development and a low carbon model city in Tianjin. Singapore plans to become a smart nation by 2015. Iskandar is Malaysia's first smart city. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) incorporates smart city concepts.
According to a recent report, the global smart cities market is forecasted to grow from $410 billion in 2014 to $1.1 trillion by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.5%. This includes smart homes, intelligent building automation, energy management, smart health, smart education, smart water, smart transportation, smart security, and related services. Most of this activity is expected to occur in Asia and the Middle East.
Technologies and trends such as smart cities, smart grids, sensor webs, the Internet of Things (IoT), facilities and asset management, indoor and outdoor navigation, energy performance modeling and real-time, “big data” analytics are important for urban planners. In these technology domains, open standards encourage the sharing of information. The OGC Urban Planning Domain Working Group intends to discover requirements for open spatial standards in information systems involved in the planning, design, use, maintenance and governance of publicly accessible spaces.
According to the IPCC urban areas accounted for 67 – 76 % of energy use and 71 – 76 % of energy-related CO2 emissions in 2006. Cities are going to have to adopt a leading role in transforming to efficient, non-carbon energy, if we are going to be able to achieve a sustainable level of economic development.
In preparation for COP21 in Paris, all of the major developing nations have committed to decreases their energy intensity. For example, India has just released its commitments (INDC) to reducing emissions prior to the Paris COP meeting. The challenge for India is tackling climate change while at the same time improving the standard of living of its third of a billion poor.
According to Navigant worldwide 96 cities that have committed to becoming 100% renewable. These include Vancouver, Canada and San Francisco, California. According to the annual ranking by the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) Vancouver is the world's fourth greenest city. According to the GGEI the top three greenest cities are Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Stockholm. The countries corresponding to these cities (Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden) also rank high, in the top 5 country rankings. Canada is 12th. The Nordic cities have achieved their high standing with the help of their respective national governments, whereas Vancouver has achieved its high green ranking on its own with little help from the federal government. Two years ago the Dutch Ministry of the Interior initiated a joint project with the Municipal government of The Hague (Den Haag) to reduce and stabilize energy usage and costs in downtown Den Haag. The study area is roughly about a square kilometer where the buildings are large and owned for the most part by the National and Municipal governments.
Most of the world's electric power utilities have adopted a smart grid strategy at some level. This can involve distributed renewable energy (DER), reduced emissions from existing fossil fuel generation and various energy efficiency programs. Navigant Research has just released a report that investigates the fundamental shift in the way cities manage energy and their relationship with electric power utilities. It focusses on DER, demand management, EV vehicles and charging infrastructure and energy efficiency. The major technology suppliers according to Navigant are ABB, Accenture, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Hitachi, Huawei, Itron, Oracle, S&C Electric Company, SAP, Schneider Electric, Siemens, SSN, and Toshiba.
Navigant Research projects that the global smart energy for smart cities technology market will grow from $7.3 billion in annual revenue in 2015 to $20.9 billion by 2024. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4%.
It should be noted that this analysis does not include energy efficient buildings the market for which Navigant has estimated in a separate study to be $307.3 billion in 2014 growing to $623.0 billion in 2023.
Worldwide there is increasing demand from building and infrastructure owners for service provision throughout the entire life cycle of a building or infrastructure. This represents a distinct break with the design/build tradition which has dominated construction for years. At the Year in Infrastructure conference in London, a dominant theme was the growing recognition of the importance of full lifecycle management of infrastructure. I found it symptomatic of the direction of the construction industry that fully one third of the 54 finalists for the annual Be Inspired Awards involved mapping, rehabbing, retrofitting, replacing and managing existing infrastructure. This is my classification of these Be Inspired finalists;
Patrick MacLeamy, Chairman of buildingSMART and CEO of HOK, has been pushing a very simple message about the U.S. construction industry for years. Buildings are too expensive, are too inefficient to operate and maintain, and don't last long. As a result the U.S. construction industry is falling behind the Nordic countries, the U.K. and Singapore. His solution is a full life cycle approach to construction. Information has to be shared between owners, designers, contractors, operations and facilities management over the entire life cycle of the building or infrastructure.
Over 50% of the cost of maintaining a building is operations and maintenance which is comprised of administration, maintenance and repairs, and restoration projects. In several countries BIM has become essential for design and construction. But many including the UK government believe that the full value of BIM can only be found during the operational life of the building where the majority of the life cycle costs occur. The UK government has said that "the 20% saving refers to CapEx cost savings however we know that the largest prize for BIM lies in the operational stages of the project life-cycle".
Road and highway infrastructure
Highway construction is being transformed, due in part to the arrival of autonomous vehicles. I've blogged about the startling (at least to traditional construction contractors) vision of the future of highway construction of the Chief of Surveys at the Oregon Department of Transportation (DoT) which targets the full lifecycle of highway assets from planning through design and construction and operation and maintainenance. Some large construction projects are already being designed, built and operated and maintained with a full lifecycle perspective.
Industry surveys report that up to 80 percent of a utility's resources and budget can be spent on operating and maintaining existing utility infrastructure. Surveys also show that aging utility infrastructure is a top priority for most utilities.
Be Inspired Awards: Mapping, Monitoring, Rehabbing, and Replacing Infrastructure
One of the projects focused specifically on full lifecycle data management for highway construction. The project, which was submitted by the Roads Directorate, Denmark, is for the $ 580 million 39-kilometer Herning – Holstebro highway which includes eight interchanges, four railway crossings, and five bridges. The important achievement of the project was to create a digital workflow with meaningful requirements for sharing data among disciplines and across the entire project lifecycle. The project was a finalist for the year's Be Inspired Award for Innovation in Roads.
Seven of the finalists' submissions involved renovation, rehabbing, and retrofit. An outstanding example of a rehab project is the Bond Street to Baker Street Tunnel Remediation Project. This is a London Underground project in the UK. It involved the replacement of the existing elastoplastic concrete lining of a 215-meter tunnel segment on the Jubilee Line with a spheroidal graphite iron lining - all while the line was running at full capacity. This achievement won this year's Be Inspired Award for Innovation in Rail and Transit at the Year in Infrastructure 2015 conference.
Two of the finalists' projects involved replacement. An example of a replacement project was the Decommissioning and Replacement of Del Rio Bridge on US 20 this was carried out by Harper-Leavitt Engineering for the Idaho Transportation Department with minimum disruption to traffic.
Five of the finalists submitted projects that involved monitoring and extracting more value from existing transportation and utility infrastructure including rail, electric substations, electric and water and waste water distribution networks.
An example is a project submitted by SA Water which won the Be InspiredInnovation in Asset Performance Management Award. The project involved integrating a hydraulic model and an operational analytics tool with network sensors to help them optimize their network. These tools enable them to optimize chlorine dosing for different water sources (runoff, desalinization, rivers), minimize electric power costs, and improve water quality by mapping water age across their entire network. SA Water have not only been able to reduce their power bill by A$3 million, but also have cut their network operating costs by nearly a A$ million. It has also resulted in improved water quality. More fundamentally it has given them much greater insight into sources of revenue and the costs of various aspects of operating a water network.
Four of the finalist projects involved mapping and historic site protection. An example is a gas main project submitted by Utility Mapping Services Inc. This project involved creating a 3D map of underground utilities along a stretch of highway with complex utility infrastructure woven through dense commercial and residential areas with limited right-of-way and heavy traffic congestion. Most critically from a safety perspective, there were no utility strikes on the project. As a result the 3D model is credited with reducing construction time from 10 to 7 weeks. Most importantly from a budget perspective, there were no change orders and the total cost of the project came in at 10-15% less than estimated in the absence of a 3D model.
Another example is a project submitted by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Singapore intends to be the world's first "smart nation". Part of this initiative involves developing a virtual Singapore that is intended to be the source of authoritative information about Singapore for use by government agencies. The project involves capturing large amounts of data using multiple rapid mapping technologies including oblique imagery, airborne laser scanning, mobile laser scanning, and terrestrial scanning. The data has been compiled into 3D city model in a single database repository which includes geometry, topology, semantics and appearance. The database relies on CityGML, a standard managed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), for the database schema and for data exchange. The total volume of data is more than 50 terabytes. The database is open and accessible to all government agencies. The most challenging part of the project has been the development of business processes and technologies for ensuring the data remains current. At the the Year in Infrastructure conference in London the SLA the won the annual Be Inspired AwardforInnovation in Government.
At the the Year in Infrastructure conference in London the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) won the annual Be Inspired AwardforInnovation in Government. Comprising only 700 square kilometers for the entire nation, land is a valuable and critical national resource for Singapore and the Singapore Land Authority is responsible for making the most of the resource.
Specifically SLA is responsible for the national land management system and for all geographical information (GIS) management. At the Be Inspired Awards at the Year in Infrastructure 2015 conference in London, I had an opportunity to chat with Victor Khoo and Kean Huat Soon. Victor Khoo is Deputy Director Land Survey at the SLA and Kean Huat Soon is a Senior Surveyor and the technical lead for the project.
Singapore intends to be the world's first "smart nation". Part of this initiative involves developing a virtual Singapore that is intended to be the source of authoritative information about Singapore for use by government. The current priority is a 3D model of buildings and below and above ground infrastructure.
The Mapping Singapore in 3D project is financed 50% by the Government of Singapore and 50% by agencies, primarily the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB). Several government agencies including the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing Development Board (HDB) are already using it. CAAS finds it essential for maintaining aviation glide paths over the city as does the PUB for assessing the impact of flooding. HDB uses it for planning purposes.
The project involves capturing large amounts of data using multiple rapid mapping technologies including oblique imagery, airborne laser scanning, mobile laser scanning, and terrestrial scanning. The data is compiled into 3D city model in a single database repository. The database includes geometry, topology, semantics and appearance. It relies on CityGML, a standard managed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), for the database schema and for data exchange. The project works at the Level of Detail (LOD) Level 1-3. The data is stored in a single geospatially-enabled relational database (Oracle Spatial). The total volume of data is more than 50 terabytes.The most challenging part of the project has been the development of business processes and technologies for ensuring the data remains current. The database is open and accessible to all government agencies.
Victor Khoo is also responsible for developing a 3D cadastre for Singapore which is a separate project at SLA. A 3D cadastre is especially critical for Singapore for several reasons. 85 % of the population of Singapore lives in public high rise buildings. Underground space is heavily used and underground density is increasing. Land developers are being very creative and packaging complex volumetric parcels that include both underground and above ground.
A 3D cadastre has data, legal, system and process dimensions. The legislation required for the legal aspect is already in place. The system and processes are intended to be completed by the end of 2016. With respect to data a 3D GIS is being populated at SLA starting with 2D land parcel data.
Land surveyors are an essential part of the 3D cadastre project. As a first step surveyors are required to use electronic data exchange instead of paper (Singapore mandated electronic submissions for building permitting over a decade ago.) Singapore has decided to support ePlan LandXML as an open standard for the exchange of survey data. In 2013 Singapore joined the ePlan working group which is focussed on developing a digital protocol for the transfer of cadastral data between the surveying Industry and government. The working group was originally made up of technical experts from the eight states and territories of Australia and New Zealand working in the management of cadastral data.
An outstanding issue is the integration of BIM models into the Singapore city model. A number of groups are working on a way of integrating CityGML and the BIM Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standard. An example is the Dutch 3D standard.
Energy modeling for cities
The European SUNSHINE (Smart Urban Services for Higher Energy Efficiency) project has found a data model within the INSPIRE standard that is adequate for energy performance modeling for cities. CityGML has strongly influenced the development of the INSPIRE BU model, both for 2D and for 3D profiles. Many use cases that were considered for INSPIRE BU require a three-dimensional representation of buildings such as a building information model (BIM). Examples are noise emission simulation and mapping, solar radiation computation or the design of an infrastructure project. To allow for that, the building representation in Level of Detail (LoD1 - LoD4) of CityGML has been added to the INSPIRE BU model as a core 3D profile. For large scale energy performance at the urban level, the SUNSHINE team concluded that detailed interior elements of each building are not required. It is possible to work at a simple Level of Detail 3 (LOD3) and just include elements like roofs, envelope walls, and windows.
Land developers are being very creative and packaging complex volumetric parcels both underground and above ground.
Current survey techniques cannot capture accurate 3D coordinates.
The current 2D GIS used to capture and store cadastral information is unable to represent volumetric parcels.
All strata boundaries are not in the cadastral GIS, making it impossible to perform effective spatial planning for national development goals.
Underground space is heavily used and underground density is increasing. Underground lots are getting very close to each other and accurate delineation of boundaries is required.
At the the Year in Infrastructure conference in London the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is one of the finalists for the annual the Be Inspired Awards. The SLA submission describes a SGD 8 million government initiative to create and maintain a high-resolution 3D map of Singapore, more than 700 square kilometers, which is the first step in the development of a 3D cadastre for Singapore. Maintaining a 3D cadastre requires multi-user access to the 3D city model with secure processes for updating the 3D parcel mesh of the city. It also requires maintaining accurate historical records of all changes to 3D property boundaries.
The project involved capturing large amounts of data using multiple rapid mapping technologies such as oblique imagery, airborne laser scanning, mobile laser scanning, and terrestrial scanning. The data was compiled into 3D city model in a single (Oracle Spatial) repository. The total volume of data is more than 50 terabytes. The most challenging part of the project was the development of business processes and technologies for ensuring the data remains current.
INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015, a joint conference organized by the European Commission and Geospatial Media and Communications, has made available its full conference program. Almost 500 presentations are scheduled on topics including building information modelling (BIM), open data, big data analytics, open standards, linked data, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Earth observation, indoor positioning, land information systems for smart cities, urban resilience and sustainability, health, agriculture and others. Some 2000 delegates are expected to attend from more than 80 countries. Top sponsors include Trimble, Topcon, ESRI, Digital Globe, Oracle and Bentley.
The theme of the conference is CONVERGENCE: Policies + Practices + Processes via PPP with a focus on improving coordination among policy-makers, technology providers and users. Including geospatial data and technology in construction, agriculture, health and other industry workflows is an enabler for more successful public–private partnerships (PPP) by facilitating more informed decision making among the stakeholders.
Dr Anne Kemp, Director and Fellow, Atkins, Vice-Chair of BuildingSmart, UK, Chair of ICE BIM Action Group, and Chair of BIM4Infrastructure UK, has published very thought-provoking insights into how the convergence of BIM and geospatial can contribute to the better management of information to help generate the understanding to make better decisions.
Her first assertion “So, let’s put paid to the hang-ups of what is and is not GIS and BIM, and discover what really deserves our focus” is a very good place for all of us to start if we are going to tear down the discipline boundaries that are inhibiting us from moving to a more holistic approach to problem solving in the era of smart cities.
Better outcomes, not BIM or geospatial
Her goal is not to support BIM or geospatial per se, but to use these technologies to improve outcomes. From Anne's perspective the key outcomes we should be aiming at are
CLARITY - Clarity of delivery
TECHNICAL JUDGEMENT - Converging information production with sound engineering judgment and design
ACCESS - Wider, faster access to comprehensible and integrated information
LATERAL THINKING - Enabling reflective, adaptive thinking to incorporate whole life and integrated systems approach within the wider geographic context
INNOVATION - Harnessing innovative technologies and harvesting intelligence from big data
DECISIONS - Fostering instinctive, but rigorous collaboration and better decision making
Data, not documents
The construction industry is based on documents such as drawings. Documents lock data up within a discipline and prevents the wider access that can be used to build up an integrated view of an asset. In contrast digital data can be used, many times, for different purposes, by different disciplines. This requires interoperability and the ability to map semantics across different disciplines.
Assets, not projects
The full lifecycle view of a building, road or airport requires thinking of assets not projects. Anne's perspective is that this is where the convergence of BIM with geospatial provides the biggest benefits. The UK government would agree. The short term objective of the UK Government BIM mandate is to reduce the cost of construction (design, tender, build) by 20%. The longer term objective is by 2025 to reduce the costs associated with designing, building, operating and maintaining buildings and infrastructure by a third. ‘In-use’ data from facilities management (FM) systems, building management systems, and sensors including smart phones provides information on how an asset is actually serving the needs of people, and the patterns of behaviour of people using the infrastructure. This information can be used to optimize building or infrastructure design. A geospatial perspective enables this data to be used not only with individual buildings or infrastructure, but for a whole neighbourhood, town or city.
Ensuring that data is not manipulated to distort decision making is critical to enabling the true data-driven organization of the future. Anne's perspective is that the industry is becoming increasingly dependent on data management professionals. This will require standards and a code of ethics to address challenges of privacy, distortion, and manipulation so as to ensure that data is made available in a way that aids rather than confuses decision making. In the future chief data officers and other information professionals will have even much greater responsibilities - they will be responsible for specifying, collecting, and analyzing the information for decision making that will be critical to the organization's success, even its existence.
Information is not understanding
Malcolm Gladwell in "Blink" points out that “We live in a world saturated with information. We have virtually unlimited amounts of data at our fingertips at all times, and we’re well versed in the arguments about the dangers of not knowing enough and not doing our homework. But what I have sensed is an enormous frustration with the unexpected costs of knowing too much, of being inundated with information. We have come to confuse information with understanding.”
At a recent BIM conference the term “infobesity” came up more than once. A decade ago people were concerned about not having enough data to make informed decisions. Now that we have more data being collected by sensors such as smart meters and smart phones, the problem is how do we make sense from the huge volumes of data that all these smart devices are collecting.
Anne makes the point that when managed correctly, “instant” decisions based on a small amount of data are not just as good, but can be better than those made after analyzing all available data. The "less is more" challenge is to distill the data to just the right subset to enable you can make better decisions faster with less data. Anne believes that this will require more sophisticated visualization techniques to enable insights from patterns in large amounts of data and better collaboration technology to enable a large number of individuals from different disciplines to understand each other (even when using different terms for the same piece of equipment or construction material) and to collaborate fruitfully.
This means that we will be asking our human or computer information engineers to deliver that essential subset of information to the right people at the right time, and in an intuitively understandable way. Anne suggests that our cartographic and GIS heritage of creating, analyzing and visualizing a view of the physical world as maps may provide a model for future data managers. But, as Anne points out, this will have to be transformed for a virtual environment.
Anne's final point is often overlooked. BIM, geospatial, augmented reality and other technologies are transforming how we view "reality". There are very real consequences for people working in a virtual world. Anne mentions the first case of internet addition disorder (IAD) involving Google Glasses on October 14, 2014 and asks how many of us are already there with our smartphones and tablets ?
Urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon. Smart city technology is becoming an essential element in the development of the world's megacities. For example, the new Indian government's just released budget includes an allocation for initiating the development of 100 smart cities. Songdo IDB in Korea and Fujisawa in Japan are two smart cities already under development. China has 36 smart cities in development and a low carbon model city in Tianjin. Singapore plans to become a smart nation by 2015. Iskandar is Malaysia's first smart city. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) incorporates smart city concepts.
According to the report "Smart Cities Market - Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014 - 2019)", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global smart cities market is forecasted to grow from $410 billion in 2014 to $1.1 trillion by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.5%. This includes smart homes, intelligent building automation, energy management, smart health, smart education, smart water, smart transportation, smart security, and related services. Most of this activity is expected to occur in Asia and the Middle East.
Navigant Research forecasts that cumulative global investment in smart city technologies, including smart grid, advanced water monitoring systems, transportation management systems, and energy efficient buildings, could total $174.4 billion from 2014 to 2023, growing from $8.8 billion annually in 2014 to $27.5 billion in 2023. Navigant forecasts that annual smart city technology investment in Asia Pacific will increase from $3.0 billion in 2014 to reach $11.3 billion in 2023.
What are cities already doing ?
In a recent study by Arup and University College London, Delivering the Smart City, the researchers analysed the spending patterns of eight U.K. cities; Leicester City Council, Manchester City Council, Leeds City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Sheffield City Council, Liverpool City Council, Bristol City Council and Coventry City Council. These are medium-sized cities with populations between 200,000 and 760,000.
This type of analysis has become much easier because of the open data movement in the U.K. which has generated significant amounts of accessible data about government spending and procurement. The analysis showed that the eight cities were spending on average 6% of their expenditure on information technology (IT). That's an average of £23 million a year on IT. Four of the eight spent between 8 and 10% of their budgets on IT. To put this in context the proportion that these city governments are spending on IT is more than many industries and is comparable to the banking and financial services industry which spends on average 8% of operating expenditure on IT.
This research shows that cities are already investing a significant amount on something which is a foundation for smart city technology. IT already underpins many services offered by city governments today including public security and health, transportation, public works, natural resource management, and permitting and licensing.
Other research also shows that city governments globally are spending a significant proportion of their budgets on IT. Gartner analysed the IT spending patterns of 99 local governments across 80 countries in the U.S. and found that that IT accounted for 3.8% of their total operating expenses. U.S. local governments, including 3,200 counties and 19,000 cities, spent approximately $34 billion on traditional IT goods and services in 2013.
According to Gartner national and regional governments in the Middle East and North Africa will spend US $12.2 billion on IT products and services in 2014, up 1.3 % from 2013. This includes internal services, software, IT services, data center, devices and telecom services. Saudi Arabia is investing in various digital government initiatives including King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning multiple smart cities.
City governments are not the only organizations providing IT services to support city operations. For example, installation of 5,000 smart meters in homes and businesses across London involved investment from private companies including EDF Energy, Siemens, Logica, as well as the electricity transmission and network operators, National Grid and U.K. Power Networks, the transport operator Transport for London, and the city government Greater London Authority.
The U.S. spending analysis also showed that local governments, in addition to more traditional IT products and services, are procuring cloud-based services to modernize citizen services and reduce operational costs. An example is online portals for tax collection and business licensing. These IT projects are usually part of wider modernization projects being carried out within departments rather than standalone technology initiatives at the city level.
UK city governments buy IT products and services from large vendors
City governments in the U.K. tend to purchase their IT products and services from large vendors. According to the UK analysis of eight cities large and middle-sized vendors accounted for the overwhelming majority of IT spending (98%) with small businesses only accounting for 2%.
At the ISO/TC 59 Plenary Week in Toronto this week, a day long collaboration session was organized by ISO/TC 59, buildingSMART, and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). This is a major milestone for the development of standards as a foundation for the convergence of building and civil engineering design and geospatial technology.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. ISO, which is made up of 165 member countries with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, has published more than 19 500 International Standards covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and health care.
BuildingSMART International (bSi) cooperates with ISO. Specifically it has liaisons with two ISO committees; ISO/TC 59 (Buildings and civil engineering works) and ISO/TC 59/SC 13 (Organization of information about construction works). BuildingSMART's main standard Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), which is a standard for sharing BIM in the construction and facility management industries, was adopted as an official ISO standard in 2013 as ISO 16739:2013.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) develops publicly available geospatial interface standards. OGC Standards enable interoperable location-aware solutions for the Web, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. Over the years, the OGC has been building a network of alliance partner organisations, many of whom are standards development organizations in market domains related to the built environment. One of these alliances is with buildingSMART which has an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OGC to co-operate. Recently the joint effort has focused on using BIM for Infrastructure and requirements for interoperability between BIM and Geospatial domains.
In 2008/2009 the AECOO-1 Testbed, which was led by the Open Geospatial Consortium and the buildingSMART alliance, looked at streamlining interoperable communications between parties in the conceptual design phase to get an early understanding of the tradeoffs between construction cost and energy efficiency. Major achievements from the AECOO Testbed include delivery of BIM through open web services (OWS) for multi-disciplinary interative design analysis in real time. [George Percivall personal communication]
In 2012 the OGC, BuildingSMART International, ISO TC 211 and ISOTC 59/SC 13 began discussing ways of cooperating to support harmonization. A Civil Summit held in Waltham, Massachusetts (USA) and Abu Dhabi was organised cooperatively by bSi and OGC. Since then several domain working groups (DWGs) have been formed to identify gaps and work toward cross-disciplinary standards. For example, The OGC 3DIM Domain Working Group (DWG) works jointly with ISO TC 59 and buildingSMART to facilitate the definition and development of interface and encoding standards that enable software solutions that allow infrastructure owners, builders, emergency responders, community planners, and the traveling public to better manage and navigate complex built environments.
Geospatial domain working groups (DWGs)
At the ISO/TC 59 Plenary Week Leif Granholm of Trimble gave a quick but comprehensive overview of the work of the three geospatial domain working groups (DWG) in which all three standards groups are involved.
3D Information Management (3DIM) DWG
3DIM, which used to be called CAD/GIS DWG, is involved in some areas of 3D interoperability that are creating the foundation for moving forward in the direction of modeling entire cities. These include CityGML, which with extensions can model most of the above ground features of cities excluding inside buildings, augmented reality markup language (ARML), 3D portrayal, and a first start at a successor to LandXML (which is an orphan right now) called InfraGML, and Indoor Geographic Markup Language (IndoorGML).
One of the most important initiatives is IndoorGML. Leif Granholm and others foresee that this may be the "the next big thing", as important for navigating indoor spaces as GPS was for outdoors. Anyone with a mobile phone with a GPS or a GPS in their car is familiar with how easy it is to navigate anywhere on the planet - as long as it's not in a building.
There are two dimensions to this challenge. The first is finding a technology analogous to GPS for assigning an XYZ location to people and things in buildings. For example, in a hospital it is often urgent to be able to determine instantly where Dr Morgan is and where the nearest "crash cart" is. In a mall it is important for a shopper to know where he or she is at any given instant, where whatever they are looking for is, and how to navigate between the two. Determining where you are in a building is a technical challenge that is still getting a lot of attention from researchers.
The other dimension is context, typically represented by a 3D model of the interior spaces of buildings. This can show context for shoppers to direct them to whatever they are looking for. For a maintenance person, it is also necessary to be able to dissolve walls, ceilings, and floors to expose the building's infrastructure, electrical, fire, water, HVAC, and so on. IndoorGML is intended the provide a standard for modeling indoor spaces. But it is a more complicated problem. Compared to outdoors there is a hundred times more data indoors. Outdoors there are a relatively small number of data providers; national mapping agencies, national space agencies, commercial data providers like Digital Globe, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, TomTom and volunteered data like OpenStreetMap, and so on. Indoors there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of data providers. Just as every firm nowadays develops its own web site, many foresee that every firm will develop its own 3D presence and map of its space, for example, to enhance its attractiveness to customers navigating their way around the mall using a 3D map. IndoorGML provides a standard that will enable this to happen.
The first version of IndoorGML was approved a week ago.
Development of the next version of CityGML is just ramping up. But unlike the standards development process used in the past which relied on sharing Microsoft Word documents and wikis, CityGML3 will be developed using a novel approach that was successfuly used for developing the GeoPackage standard. One of the major innovations from an OGC perspective of the GeoPackage standard development process was achieved by putting the GeoPackage specification out on GitHub, which made it much more accessible to the developer community than if it had been made available in the traditional OGC way.
The other innovation that CityGML3 will benefit from is a modular approach to standards development. CityGML 3 is actually comprised of 10 sub projects rather than one mega project.
Urban Planning DWG
This is a brand new DWG. Its objective is to identify the gaps and to facilitate the development of standards to enable interoperability between smart city applications. Technologies and trends such as Augmented Reality (AR), Smart Cities, Smart Grids, Sensor Webs, the Internet of Things (IoT), LBS (Location Based Services), Facilities Management, navigation (indoor and outdoor) and “Big Data” Analytics all can play important roles in informing urban planners. In these technology domains, open standards can facilitate the development, publication, discovery, and use of information. The OGC Urban Planning DWG intends to discover requirements for open geospatial standards in information systems involved in the planning, design, use, maintenance and governance of publicly accessible spaces. The DWG already has plans for an OGC Smart City Testbed focused on urban resilience and in 2015 an OGC Smart City pilot.
Land and Infrastructure DWG
A major project for this DWG is to develop a standard called InfraGML for exchanging information relating to highways and roads. By way of background, LandXML is a widely used standard supported by almost 800 members in the roads and highway transportation sector. A number of years ago an unsuccessful attempt had been made to make LandXML compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) Geography Markup Language (GML) standard for geospatial data.
The immediate issue is that LandXML, which is not associated with a recognized international standards organization, has been unsupported for over five years. To address this issue the Land and Infrastructure DWG chartered a LandInfraSWG (Standards Working Group) for LandXML. Its first activity was to reverse-engineer a UML model and documentation (which were lacking) for LandXML 1.2 as a basis for assessing the viability of supporting LandXML as an OGC interoperability standard. A number of deficiencies relative to the OGC baseline were identified. The LandInfraSWG has proposed developing a new standard, dubbed InfraGML, that will encompass a subset of LandXML functionality, be defined by a UML conceptual model, would incorporate GML and most importantly for the future, would be supported by the OGC.
CityGML and IFC common data model
Another very interesting project with important implication for the future of geospatial-BIM convergence is creating a conceptual model of road alignments that will be used in both OGC and buildingSMART standards for roads, railways, tunnels and bridges. This is particularly challenging, but extremely important because it is a first step in developing full lifecyle models for infrastructure from planning through design and construction to operate and maintain. OGC focuses on planning and operation whereas design and construction are buildingSMART’s focus area.
An Urban Planning Domain Working Group (DWG) has been chartered to define the role for Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards within the urban planning discipline. The DWG offers an open forum for the discussion and presentation of interoperability requirements, use cases, and implementations of OGC standards relevant to urban planning.
Technologies and trends such as smart cities, smart grids, sensor webs, the Internet of Things (IoT), facilities and asset management, indoor and outdoor navigation, energy performance modeling and real-time, “big data” analytics are important for urban planners. In these technology domains, open standards encourage the sharing of information. The OGC Urban Planning Domain Working Group intends to discover requirements for open spatial standards in information systems involved in the planning, design, use, maintenance and governance of publicly accessible spaces. Requirements identified by OGC Domain Working Groups are typically used as the basis for standards development by chartered OGC Standards Working Groups (SWGs).