RealWorld Engineering Consultants Created 3D GIS Models
Bentley’s ContextCapture Improved Collaboration to Save 90 Percent of Total Project Time for RealWorld Engineering Consultants
Modeling New Taipei City
New Taipei City is a special municipality in Taipei and the most populous city in Taiwan. The city includes a stretch of the island’s coastline and surrounds the Taipei Basin. Known as Taipei County before its upgrade in 2010, the city surrounds Taipei and is the second largest special municipality in the area.
RealWorld Engineering Consultants Inc. was commissioned to survey and produce a 3D reality model of a 1,000-hectare area of New Taipei City. The region includes at least 4,000 houses and multiple buildings. The project was completed at the end of August 2017, and the mesh will be used for follow-up urban design planning and review of the city.
Generating 3D GIS Models
RealWorld Engineering Consultants was responsible for the entirety of the approximately USD 265,000 project, from aerial photos and oblique image acquisition to 3D model building at the later stages of the project. The organization was also in charge of delivering the final 3D geographic information system (GIS) platform analysis applications. The project produced high-precision, high-resolution, 3D urban models that will later be used as the basic drawings for the follow-up 3D GIS platform planning analysis. These models will also help build 1,000 hectares of 3D models and provide a 3D GIS platform for relevant employees to conduct analyses.
The area that needed to be documented was sizable, which posed the main challenge for RealWorld Engineering Consultants. Traditional methods would have been arduous and time consuming with so many buildings, but the project team met its deadline using ContextCapture, Bentley’s 3D reality modeling technology.
The project team created the 3D GIS models of the area in New Taipei City with ContextCapture. Users gathered geographic information of the area from aerial photos and point clouds using a wide variety of cameras and input the data into the application. Then, RealWorld implemented ContextCapture, which natively supports several types of positioning data to produce accurate georeferenced 3D models in a full range of GIS formats.
These models improved collaboration among the various disciplines and project stakeholders. The application generated many common 3D GIS platform formats, such as OBJ, DAE, KML, Cesium, and other formats often used. These formats are popular among users throughout the world, making it simple to transfer data in different formats to other design units. The project team could easily share models with each other, no matter the type of 3D GIS platform format. Also, ContextCapture allowed for easy measurement and analysis of model data. The team could save time getting accurate answers by performing precise measurements of distances, volumes, and surface areas directly in the model.
ContextCapture also helped create better 3D model results, which RealWorld then shared with its project stakeholders. When using traditional imaging methods, such as airborne photography and oblique images, to build models, there are often portions of the model that are not visible. This situation is common when there are places where aerial surveys are obstructed. However, ContextCapture can be combined with ground-based LiDAR and aerial photography to produce high-precision models that avoid those holes. The team also used ContextCapture’s high-fidelity imaging capabilities to support precision mapping and engineering, ensuring that all models were visibly accurate for the team’s project stakeholders.
Doing More in Less Time
The project team could use one-tenth of the labor usually required for the manual geometric method to build 3D models. This statistic is impressive because the target area of the 3D models was more than 10 times larger than the target area used with the traditional method, and it was completed during the same timeframe. Compared to traditional methods, the project team saved 90 percent of the total project time.
The ability to create models with both aerial photographs and point clouds helped improve model precision of narrow lanes under the shelters in aerial surveys. The use of ground-based LiDAR with ContextCapture increased model accuracy by 20 to 30 percent. Additionally, the cost of constructing the 3D model decreased by nearly 80 percent using ContextCapture.
Planning for the Future
New Taipei City plans to continue developing new infrastructure as well as to maintain its existing structures. The 3D GIS models created by RealWorld Engineering Consultants will make it easier for future users to use this information. When others view the model skyline or make urban planning analyses, such as for sunlight shadow, they won’t just review them with 2D maps and need to imagine the rest. Instead, they will conduct urban design analyses with real 3D maps and models using the application’s analysis capabilities. This practice will help with designing new urban spaces in New Taipei City as well as with sharing the information with others.
By Chintana Herrin
RealWorld Engineering Consultants
New Taipei City, Taipei, Taiwan
• Survey a 1,000-hectare area of New Taipei City in Taipei, Taiwan and produce a 3D reality mesh of the area using a combination of photos and point clouds.
• RealWorld used ContextCapture to create 3D GIS models by gathering geographic information from aerial photos and point clouds.
• ContextCapture helped create better models to improve collaboration among the various disciplines and project stakeholders.
• The use of ground-based LiDAR with ContextCapture increased model accuracy by 20 to 30 percent.
• The project team saved 90 percent of the total project time compared to traditional methods.
• ContextCapture reduced the project cost of completing the 3D model construction by nearly 80 percent.