G-tech driving transport planning across countries

G-tech driving transport planning across countries

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Rotterdam: From planning to building information modelling (BIM) to real-time tracking, geospatial technology is enabling the transport sector in a major way. On the second day of the pre-conference session of the Geospatial World Forum here, transport departments from across the world showed how.

Setting the stage, Roshina Howe Teo, Chief Innovation Officer and Group Director of Innovation and InfoComm Tech, Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore, gave a detailed explanation as to how the LTA is leveraging the benefits of various aspects of geospatial technology. LTA is the primary authority which formulates and advises the Singapore government on all transport-related policy, and plans, develops and manages all land transport (road and rail infrastructure) and has adopted geospatial technology in each level of its workflow. GIS data comes from regulatory, traffic, construction and engineering, roads, public transport and each department uses GIS as per their own needs. The LTA uses GIS and 3D modelling maps to ensure safety during roads construction phase, while GIS is used in traffic management and real-time traffic and weather information. Singapore has one of the lowest accident rates in the world and this is because of the LTA’s unique initiative which was to indentify the accident prone zones or black spots. This initiative also earned it the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

The heart of the world’s busiest airport, the Heathrow in London, is 3D information modelling. An airport catering to an average of or 185,000 passengers per day and 476,000 per year, knowing what lies where and the quality of that information is critical for its smooth functioning, said Nigel Stroud, Geometry Information Manager, Knowledge and Information Management, Technical, BAA, Heathrow Airport Authority.

Heathrow”s Map Live system provides Web-based access to geospatial and engineering information about the airport’s infrastructure. The primary reason that access to quality information is important is for safety reasons, but there are also issues related to compliance. As a result, the proportion of events where underground facilities have been hit during excavation as a result of inaccurate location information decreased drastically in the recent years. Map Live is just a year old and it is already getting nearly 1,700 hits. It has external data such a noise levels on top of the GIS layer and the airport authority uses this for paying compensation to nearby residents.

Stroud further said that geospatial data and 3D modelling also enabled it to do space management, helping it to analyse revenue and scope of earning. For future, Heathrow is looking at maintaining real-time aeroplane or even people position on maps.

The California Transport Authority, has collaborated with four other states – Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, has built a Linear Road System (LRS). Oscar E. Jarquin, PLS, GISP, Former GIS Programme Manager, California Department of Transportation, said the benefits are great. Since data and information are readily available from different sources, and improvements can be made related to quality and timeline and efficiency, there is improved analysis leading to more data driven decision support. Further, there is improved communication across agencies.

An ROI study has revealed that the system has led to total savings of $20 million against a total spend of $5 million. Of course, the savings were not realised the first year itself and it was some time before the benefits came in.

Source: Our Correspondent

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