Smart Cities, Digital Twins and Reality Modeling
Smart City design improves the environmental fingerprint of a city and its surrounding area. Planners and technical professionals use intelligent design to assure a high quality of life for all citizens and improve the operation of all elements of the city, whether the city is large or small.
Smart Cities is the concept and process that combines building and building design, places people into the buildings for designated purposes, and integrates the needed services and infrastructure to support the people. Infrastructure is all of the “little” things that make a building or city work including roads, pedestrian walkways, water management, power & energy systems, and communications.
Smart City design encourages intelligent city management.
The challenge is that as people and service requirements evolve, the complexity of building and city design increases dramatically.
To assist in the design, engineers and technical professionals create Digital Twins. Digital Twin models provide the tools that enable planners, architects, and engineering professionals, using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze, predict, plan, and design for dynamic conditions that a city or building must prepare for given any condition or challenge.
Digital Twins allow decision makers to play “what if” on their computers instead of using costly simulations on physical buildings. The use of AI tools and digital twins provide an ideal platform to “get it right” when making mission critical decisions in the construction process. Working with digital twin technology allows technical professionals to do things that would be dangerous or expensive in the physical world.
Applications of digital twins
- Inspections of Structures
- Evaluating new construction as it’s placed in a city for community “fit”
- Predictive analysis by capturing IoT sensor and SCADA data
- Monitoring vehicle and pedestrian traffic
- Analyzing mobile device usage to assist modeling future equipment and technology needs
- Monitoring air quality
- Modeling infrastructure based on varying light and weather conditions
Reality models provide real-world imagining based on actual conditions. The process begins with taking photographs of the desired area, then “stitching” the photos together to create a reality mesh. Using the reality mesh process, 2D photos are used to create a 3D image. A reality mesh image of a building, bridge or city is very realistic. Depending on the computer that you’re using, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between images in a reality model and the real thing. Tools like ContextCapture can be used to simulate every detail of buildings, bridges, and city infrastructure. Reality models can “watch” the impact of hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Reality modeling also allows city planners and engineering professionals to predict what happens as a city grows, when traffic patterns change, or if shopping in specific areas will have an impact on pedestrian safety.