Municipality to start 3D mapping of Dubai


Municipality to start 3D mapping of Dubai

3D mapping of the emirate will start this month primarily for government departments to benefit from the aerial imageries of the city’s locales and buildings.

By Sajila Saseendran/senior Reporter

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Published: Wed 18 Feb 2015, 1:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:27 PM

Abdul Hakim Malik announcing the Dubai 3D mapping project (right) during the GIS & Remote Sensing Annual Scientific Forum in Dubai on Monday. — KT photo by Sajila Saseendran

Dubai - After Google’s Street View and Dubai’s 360 project, an indigenous 3D map will provide a whole new and ‘sharp’ view of the city of Dubai.

The Dubai Municipality on Monday announced that it will start 3D mapping of the emirate this month, primarily for government departments to benefit from the aerial imageries of the city’s locales and buildings.

The Director of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department Abdul Hakim Malik said by the end of the year, the 3D map will be ready after processing the aerial images captured by octocopters, drones used for vertical mapping. “This is the first 3D mapping project for Dubai. This will be the first time we will have aerial images with 10cm precision,” Malik said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the GIS & Remote Sensing Annual Scientific Forum, which began in conjunction with the 10th Middle East Geospatial Forum. Covering an area of 1,300 square kilometres, the entire CBD (Central Business District) of Dubai including free zones will be featured in the 3D map, he said.

It will be first made available through Amakin, an intra-departmental web portal used by Dubai’s local authorities.

The department plans to integrate a colour-coded cartographic map with the 3D map and provide it to the public by 2016, Malik said. The 3D images will be much sharper than those in Google Earth, he said, revealing that Dubai, like many other cities in the world, has not allowed Google to take aerial images of the city.

“What you see in Google Earth view of Dubai are not the aerial images that are taken closer to the buildings. They are satellite images.”

Comparing the benefits of the 3D view as against the Street View, he said the former lets the user view a building from all corners even if there is no street or road behind it. “You can get sharp details such as windows, entrances. Inspectors can check the facades, sides and roof of the buildings. If somebody violates the law and sets up a room on the roof, inspectors can spot it.”

However, officials will audit the map to omit certain buildings and locations that are protected for security reasons. Malik said there will not be any breach of privacy since the 3D view will not cover the interiors of the buildings.

The 3D map will be updated every six months to include new buildings and infrastructure. Eventually, it will also be integrated with the Makani smart addressing system.

Firefighters, police and emergency service providers will be able to make use of the 3D view for faster access to buildings, said Adib Tayeb Al Madani, head of the Data Section at the GIS Department.

“It will also help in urban planning, asset management and real estate development. Without GIS 3D mapping, we have to buy 3D stereotypes to see the elevation of buildings, which is very costly and we have to see them through special screens. This project will make it easy and free for all,” said Al Madani.

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