Solving India’s Smartest Infrastructure Riddle

I’m not one for a riddle. I find them a frustration, especially as I’m not that adept in solving them. I do have a riddle for you; the reader. What is a “smart city?”

I know, not a particularly fair question, but one that is going to be systematically addressed at the newly named GeoSmart India Conference (formerly India Geospatial Forum) on 1-3 March, 2016 in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi. This event aims to bring those responsible for India’s infrastructure into a single environment with the aim to improve the lives of those that inhabit this great country. 

It’s hard to talk infrastructure without hearing the terms “smart cities” or “smarter” processes. These terms are spurious at best. Many people can’t actually explain what a “smart city” actually is. What we do know is that infrastructure in India is struggling to cope with rapid urban expansion and levels of population growth that are far exceeding the ability to provide the basics to all inhabitants and something needs to be done about it.

GeoSmart is an important conference for India and for us. Our CEO, Greg Bentley will be a keynote and we all look forward to hearing about some of the latest innovations and news from Bentley. Greg is speaking on the 1 March, 2016 and will focus attention on some remarkable technology that is reshaping the industry by delivering new possibilities on modeling the reality of existing infrastructure with continuous surveying. The acquisition of Acute3D in 2015 has further advanced our “reality modeling” concept, by adding real-world imagery to infrastructure projects by capturing, processing, reusing existing site data with 3D imaging and photogrammetric techniques. Essentially, simple photographs can be turned into 3D models that are automatically generated to give virtual representations of whatever you’ve snapped! I know what you’re thinking, this is pretty “smart.”

This is by no means restricted to single assets, or buildings but can be applied to an entire city and can be used for a variety of reasons. Typically, the industry has been focused on the “how” case for using 3D. Today, the focus is beginning to shift to the “WHY” case for using 3D technologies. These models can work seamlessly within engineering workflows and provide immersive designs with that real-world context to enliven designs beyond what we’re used to experiencing. But we must not look beyond an important component as to why I believe this technology can deliver a truer meaning of smart. This will add geo-context to these models so that topographical information pertaining to these models can be understood, accessed and managed to further advance its potential.

 These exciting developments are forcing great collaboration between hardware and software vendors, users of the products, organizations and enterprises that share ideas and best practices to deliver exemplar projects to the fore. A smart city is one that strives for betterment, for continual improvement to deliver a better service and a better quality of life and adopts the latest innovations to do so in a more efficient and effective manner. So perhaps it is not a riddle after all – we have many of the answers to creating smart cities, right at our fingertips.

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