Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Explained: What is Mumbai civic body’s 3D mapping initiative?

In a first, a 3D city model of Mumbai has been prepared. What technology and tools have been used, and how much time did it take? What are the benefits of this project?

Mumbai, Mumbai news, Mumbai 3D mapping project, 3D mapping Mumbai, Indian ExpressA view of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai (Express Photo: Pradip Das)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed the first 3D (three-dimensional) mapping of an administrative ward in Mumbai which largely covers Worli area. The corporation has said that the project will help the city in better urban governance, upgradation of infrastructure, disaster management, etc.

What is the 3D mapping that has been done by BMC in Mumbai?

The 3D or three-dimensional mapping is the process of preparing a map of the city’s natural areas like water bodies, open spaces, trees and man-made features like roads, buildings and infrastructure facilities in digital format. This is the first time that a 3D city model in Mumbai has been prepared.

On September 24, the BMC completed a pilot project of 3D mapping of G-south ward, one of the administrative wards in Mumbai, which covers areas like Worli, Mahalaxmi, Elphinstone Road. Now, G-south ward which is spread over 10 sq km has its own ‘Digital Twin’ like many other international cities. Digital Twin is a virtual model that is the exact copy of a physical object. Basically, now each and every small detail like the population, civic facilities, houses of Worli are available in 3D and that can be used in planning of development works.

The 3D map will be uploaded on BMC’s private cloud from where it can be accessible to different departments of the corporation on web application.

The mapping of G-south ward was started on January 26 but it was delayed owing to the second wave of COVID-19. It was completed in the last two months. State Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray, who is also MLA from Worli constituency, has indicated that the 3D mapping will also be done in other parts of the city.

The pilot project was taken up by Genesys International Corporation Ltd, a company which provides advanced mapping, survey and geospatial service.

What are the benefits of this project?

The BMC has said that the 3D model of the ward will help at various fronts, like development plan and master plan creation, detection of unauthorised changes, building plan approval system, detailed infrastructure planning of roads, bridges, flyover planning in 3D, analysis and comparison of two alternative designs, urban flooding modelling. Currently, the planning takes place in two-dimensional maps and its accurate modeling for infrastructure developments or disaster management is difficult.

But to meet the demands of cities in the 21st century, it is important that urban bodies are able to visualise their cities in 3D where they can get 360 degree views, undertake simulations and conduct detailed analysis on the data. Experts said these three dimensional maps have potential to assist city planners in reaching local climate resilience, economic development and housing goals.


Which technology and tools were used in mapping?

For the 3D mapping, Geospatial Technology was used which is a combination of Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Along with this, drones were flown for capturing high definition imagery of the entire area and mobile street imagery vehicles mounted with Light Detection & Ranging (LiDAR) sensors were part of the creation of the virtual model. The geospatial technology further helps in analysis, simulation, visualisation and modelling.

How much time did 3D mapping take?

Depending on the complexities of urban landscape, permissions required for conducting surveys, numbers of features to be digitized, different tools and functionalities to be developed, it takes a few weeks to months to complete the 3D mapping project. The 3D mapping of G-south ward took about two months to complete and it was a pilot project to assess the feasibility of the technology and practical uses.

What is the cost of the project?

The pilot project was undertaken by the BMC with the help of Genesys International Corporation Limited under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund. Since it was CSR funded, the Mumbai corporation did not have to spend any money.

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First published on: 28-09-2021 at 12:34:21 pm
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