Editor : Martin Simamora, S.IP |Martin Simamora Press

Jumat, 13 Januari 2012

UK “Behind Europe” In 3-D Mapping

The UK is falling behind the leading European nations in implementing a national 3-D mapping framework, a leading practitioner has told E-Government Bulletin. Carsten Rönsdorf, corporate data manager at the UK’s national mapping agency Ordnance Survey, told E-Government Bulletin the UK is “quite a bit behind” several other European countries and parts of the rest of the world including the Middle East, Asia and the US, in creating a national framework using the “CityGML” standard.

CityGML was developed by the International Open Geospatial Consortium, building on its two-dimensional GML (Geography Markup Language) standard. It has applications in a wide range of areas from tourism to urban planning, city management, environmental protection, training and real estate management.

However use of CityGML in 3-D mapping in the UK to date has been fragmented, Rönsdorf said. A number of projects have successfully created 3-D citymodels which are not based on CityGML such as the Glasgow Urban Model regeneration project, a 3-D representation of the city centre and River Clyde corridor, or the “Virtual London” project of the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL.

But “there is a danger that authorities spent a lot of money on a project that serves one particular purpose, and end up with results that are not sustainable – these one-off models often don’t play with some of the other resources they have”, Rönsdorf said.

In contrast, almost every German city has a CityGML model; and the national mapping agencies in France and the Netherlands are working on projects, he said. For Great Britain, his own organisation Ordnance Survey could create a national framework independent of area, allowing other public or private bodies to add in local detail as it developed, he said. Such activity was likely to come initially from the business districts of larger cities: “there might be more money to create nicer looking models for central London, for example.”
The OGC is an international consortium of more than 430 companies, government agencies, research bodies and universities to develop publicly available standards to “geo-enable” the web and wireless services. The consortium’s communications director Steven Ramage said many UK local authorities are already using at least some of the 33 OGC open standards for tasks such as web mapping, though CityGML is a newer standard.

“Glasgow is quite far ahead, but there are other areas where people are using 3-D information for things like planning purposes, noise mapping and 3-D city modelling, looking at things like trees, geological sub-surfaces, building information modelling.

There are lots of potential environmental applications.” Last year the consortium created a category of membership for local and regional government, GovFuture, offering bodies access to best practice materials and resources, Ramage said. “I’m hoping as open data, open source, open government all develops [that UK public sector bodies] understand the need for open standards.”

NOTE: Article originally published in E-Government Bulletin issue 344.

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