Karlsruhe, Germany: The potential offered by 3D urban models to cool off cities and towns will be on show at INTERGEO during October 5 to 7, 2010 in Cologne, Germany. “The world’s largest trade fair and conference for geodesy, geoinformation and land management is being held under the motto ‘Knowledge and action for planet Earth’ and is therefore also tackling the challenges of climate change in urban centres,” explained Olaf Freier, CEO of HINTE GmbH and organiser of INTERGEO.
These models also depict the volume of buildings, which enables urban planners, architects and environmental experts to study both microclimate issues and the distribution of pollutants. High-resolution 3D models also enable experts to calculate areas of glazing and, to a certain extent, draw conclusions on the construction materials used.
According to Freier, Large-scale 3D models can be used to extremely good effect when investigating, simulating and depicting climate issues and environmental influences. Even greater potential will be unlocked by a global, digital elevation model that is accurate to up to two meters, such as that being compiled over the next five years by the German TerraSAR-X Earth observation satellite and the recently launched TanDEM-X. Oceanographers, hydrologists and climate researchers will be able to use this to further improve existing models and methods. In addition, Freier announced that the first results will be presented at the INTERGEO conference and that exhibitors will be showing recording equipment, image material and software that is used, among other things, to generate visual results.
Dr. Wolfgang Steinborn from the DLR (German Aerospace Centre) describeed another key aspect: “Geoinformation technology offers processes that span a growing number of levels and enable experts to switch between global and local levels when tackling problems. For instance, satellite images cover the wider context and allow experts to zero in on priority areas, which significantly reduce the outlay involved in taking on-site measurements. New, standardised products from the European GMES initiative for environmental and security monitoring such as the ‘Urban Atlas’ support the assessment of building policies in an international context and help to eliminate errors.”
Further, Steinborn added, “The ‘Urban Atlas’, which will map all the EU’s large urban centres and their surrounding areas by 2011, will enable urban planners to get a better handle on the impact of climate change and to mitigate its consequences.”