3D Building Models? 3D City Models? No, 3D Data Enriched Country Wide Models!
Author: Andrei Efimov
This blogpost is part of a series of blogposts written by Ordina’s GEO-ICT team. Missed the first part? You can read it here.
The Silver Bullet, Part 2
At Ordina, we decide to undertake the insane task of creating a 3D model of the whole of Belgium, with a focus on buildings.
Why a country wide model?
In the first place, because there is a demand for a country wide model. Many economic sectors of business cases have little use for a 3D model restricted to one building or a commune.
Imagine a national energy supplier, a hypermarket chain or an insurance company. Although they could derive valuable information from a city model, their business is mostly national. So, they need data for the whole country. You could argue that for the rest of the possible customers, such as local authorities, it would be better to use a 3D city model created for their own commune. Maybe that is true, but most likely that is not the case.
In the first place, we believe this is not the case because our modular solution offers the possibility to acquire only the part that a customer is interested in.
Second, a custom city model, created specifically for one customer by a specialized company implies a big cost. A data acquisition flight has to be made and data processing has to be adapted to the customer’s qality needs. Moreover, human resources have to be dedicated to a relatively small project and the project requires local data sources integration should a customer want specific attributes. Even if open data would be used and no flight is required, it would still cost a lot.
Our product, MY3D, might not be unique in terms of coverage, but there are very few similar products available. Not only in Belgium, but in Europe as well.
What is so special about MY3D?
Apart from the national range, there are other nice features of our models. The first is the geometry: all our buildings are solid objects with measurable geometry. By comparison with other products, all dimensions can be measured. Coordinates, the length of each building element, length of wall and roof elements or volumes can be measured and calculated.
In addition, the probably most awesome feature is the huge amount of information that is available for each building. Just as an example, we connect to over 40 different data sources with various types of information to our 3D models. This results in more than 60 building characteristics that are made available with a single click. And, we are still adding new information continuously.
We believe that a national 3D model, with a wealth of linked GIS, legal, address or demographic data is the best solution for many sectors and markets. Offering all this data as a DAAS cloud solution to many potential customers from different sectors, the final price for each user will drop significantly. We will offer more information about costs and prices in our next blog post.
You could wonder about the amount of work and time it takes to create such a product. It must take a lot of effort. And indeed, it does. In a future post, we will explain in more detail about the struggle of processing such huge amounts of data. However, Ordina, as the biggest independent IT consultancy in the Benelux has all the needed ingredients: we have the right hardware infrastructure, use the best software solutions and we have a small but highly qualified GEO-ICT team.