extracted a host of features such as road furniture, signs, houses, and building outlines to produce vectorized maps for GIS-based analyses. The street view, panoramic images, point clouds, and base maps then were published to the GIS Center’s GeoDubai advanced geospatial portal, giving public and private end users the ability to view, measure and study any feature or structure in the city. And at the end of June 2020, the 3D mobile mapping data was integrated with the GIS Cen- ter’s latest smart innovation: Dubai Here, a Web browser system that offers access to geospatial data, including maps of Dubai’s landmarks, commercial and residential structures, parks, trees, bridges, tunnels, and transit network. “What makes the mobile mapping data so effective is that no explana- tion is needed,” says El Mustafa. “Unlike with a singular GNSS survey point, with the MX9 street views, users can see the whole city in front of them, not just a point or polygon. A photo gives 1,000 explanations. And that makes it so much easier to use.” In addition to providing precise panorama and measurable 3D views of the city, the GIS Center is also capturing and mapping the interiors of commercial and public buildings to bring that same 3D view and analysis inside. Using the Trimble Indoor Mobile Mapping Solution (TIMMS), the cart-mounted lidar and camera systems scan and image every room and object in an interior space—including desks, chairs, stairs, doors, plants, sprinklers, and vents—and provide real-world positions of each area of the building and its contents. Integrating the MX9 data with the internal TIMMS data will not only offer end users a holistic view of Dubai’s buildings and landmarks, it will provide the foundation to ultimately create the city’s Digital Twin, a complete 3D model of the whole city. That model, enhanced with Internet of Things technologies and linked to real-time information, will provide the essential information for planning and managing the city and providing effective, smart services. “Data-rich images and 3D maps give decision makers precise, up- to-date and dynamic information to support and effectively manage our core city functions,” says Almheiri. “For example, in emergency response, civil defense can immediately know the height, accessibility and complexity of a burning building’s shape, giving them the knowl- edge to plan the most effective response. Planners can use 3D maps to monitor and assess building ages and develop effective demolition strategies. Engineers can develop road design or maintenance in 3D. This is the kind of data depth and innovation we need for Dubai’s future Digital Twin and, most importantly, to build the smartest and happiest city.” And in the end, that’s what it’s all about for Dubai: being smart and happy. It may have a penchant for creating a city of “ests”–tallest, largest, fastest, easiest, cleanest–but the most important “est” for the Dubai government is being the smartest and happiest city. And that’s no laughing matter.
The most iconic building in Dubai: the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at a height of 828 meters and 160 stories. Photo: Hans-Jürgen Schmidt, Pixabay
The Imam Hussein Mosque, a Shia mosque located near the old Textile Souk in Dubai. Photo: Olga Ozik, Pixabay
MARY JO WAGNER is a Freelance Writer, Editor, and Media Consultant based in Vancouver, BC. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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