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Geospatial and Smart Cities. Where is the connect?

January 3, 2017


Urban areas are getting crowded each day. Development of self-sustaining cities appears to be an alternate solution to this problem. Technology is playing a major role in self-sustaining cities. These cities are enabling automation and real-time integrated city monitoring and management through a network of sensors, cameras, wireless devices and data centers.


A simpler way to look at these smart cities would be to see them as developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by transcending multiple key areas like economy, environment, mobility, governance, energy efficiency, people and living conditions. Smart cities present a substantial growth opportunity in the coming years. But they have their challenges too as these projects are rather complex with residential and commercial spaces supported by an infrastructure backbone for power, roads, water, drainage and sewage.


Geospatial technology is central to providing a technology platform that forms the backbone of a city. So how is this happening? We asked the question to three of the speakers lined-up for Smart Cities Symposium at Geospatial World Forum in January 2017. Read on to find out what they have to say:


Dorine Burmanje, Chair of Executive Board Cadastre Land Registry and Mapping Agency, The Netherlands


How is the Netherlands gearing up for smart cities?

In the Netherlands we have created an active network of governmental parties, business parties, knowledge parties and – above all – smart citizens. This network is based on knowledge sharing; with the focus on improving the quality of life for all. 


What’s unique about application of geospatial technologies when it comes to smart cities?

Cities themselves determine pace and direction. By organizing living labs in the city, parties can experiment and develop urban solutions. Some cities are faster than others. For example, Amsterdam is a strong contender for best smart cities in the world. Other cities are in a process of defining a vision for smart cities. Learning by doing and facilitating involvement are keys to success.


Geospatial data and technologies are crucial. ‘’Everything happens somewhere’’ is currently the slogan. The result of geodata from sensors is growing. It is a challenge to deal with massive amounts of data between sectors. New technologies, new methods and models are needed, which also lead to new business models. Also, ethical questions will arise about the ownership of data and privacy.


What are the developments at ‘Kadaster for the areas of smart cities?

The Netherlands’ Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (in short “Kadaster”) is a partner with several networks and promotes the use of geodata in smart cities. It also examines the potential of sensor registration, urban land readjustment and 3D technology (with its partners). Besides, Kadaster is a strong supporter to and participant in accessible platforms. Above all, the focus is on quality of life in sustainable cities.


What can the audience expect from your presentation in Smart Cities program at Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad this 24-25 January?


A presentation highlighting the ongoing developments in the Netherlands, focusing on the technology, the instruments, innovation (like 3D) and especially the relevance of partnerships and alliances. Also, the relation with challenges in society as well as the connection with the sustainable development goals will be made.  


John Renard, President – EMEA, Cyient, United Kingdom


What’s unique about application of geospatial technologies when it comes to smart cities? How different it is from applying geospatial in context of Urban Development? 


The growing role of ICT has uplifted the significance of Geospatial technologies to the next level. GIS has become an enabler across the smart city sub system right from the way energy efficiency is monitored to transportation planning, public safety measures, educational establishments etc.


For the past two decades every city has generated huge amounts of valuable data from every operational department whether it be Municipality, Urban, Land, Police, Traffic Control, etc. However, this data is not in the right fit state to provide spatial insights or spatial connectivity nor to say which is where and what is next. Geospatial technologies connects you with real world space and make you understand what belongs where and how cities can measure and monitor every aspect of the data. 


In an urban development context for all sub-systems to work as an integral family, a spatial connect is very much essential and this is possible only by a GIS-enabled Enterprise solution for smart Governance. GIS technology will enable various functions to integrate and visualize enormous amounts of data for better decision-making. Geospatial technologies enable government authorities to provide a new level of service to both business and public.


How is your organization working in innovating geospatial technology and applications for smart cities?


We have been acknowledged for providing innovative, technology driven engineering services, and solutions for the past 25 years across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. We offer proven global solutions which help in improving operational efficiencies, managing city resources better, and strengthening community relationships.


We bring significant value to smart cities with our extensive experience in spatial data management through geospatial technologies, data analytics, asset management, field force automation, IT service management & assurance, embedded systems and IoT. We help cities become smarter and more efficient by supporting multiple city services in the areas of smart governance, smart energy, smart communication, and smart transportation.


What can audience expect from your presentation in smart cities program at Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad this 24-25 January?


Changing energy landscape and emerging new business models are creating the need for Smart Energy solutions. I intend to provide some familiar complexities and interoperability challenges involved in the implementation of advanced technologies and provide insights on how Cyient has been supporting customers across the globe to deploy Advanced Metering Solutions (AMI), Advanced Distribution management (ADMS) and Sub-Station Automation solutions.


I would hope that the audience will get a better understanding of how Cyient grid solutions help monitor, control and protect critical network infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable operations.


Dr. Niraj Prakash, Director Solution Consulting, Oracle.


What’s unique about application of geospatial technologies when it comes to smart cities? How different it is from applying geospatial in context of Urban Development?


Converged Geospatial UI at the command centre covering the entire nervous system of the city including Infrastructure, Environment, Departmental Systems, networking, devices, assets and others.


  • Highway maintenance and construction

  • Water resource planning

  • Emergency response & disaster planning

  • Crime prevention

  • Environmental protection

  • Traffic

  • Utilities

  • Fleet mgt.

  • Multimodal transportation planning

  • Routing and Tracking

  • Map and map data production and dissemination

  • National land parcel and street network database


The most important element is the 3D map data and interoperability across Smart city initiatives and the government departmental systems. The geospatial digital environment supports planning, management, modeling, simulation and visualization related to smart initiatives across the city. 3D Digital information plays a key role in supporting the development and operation of Smart City. Cities to be connected and responsive by setting up open standard GML based 3D models in the areas of Digital Terrain Model, 3D Buildings, 3D Roads, underground mapping, indoor mapping etc. The precise geometry, smart data model, high-resolution provide comprehensive view of the city to various stakeholders of the city. 


How is your organization working in innovating geospatial technology and applications for smart cities?

Our innovations are with Network Graph model to represent physical and logical networks of the city for network analysis of routes, driving directions, network planning, Asset monitoring and others.

RDF Semantic Graph database model for social networks, linked data and integration. Cities can analyze relationships and linkages of Social feeds, analyze skills, resources, etc.

Unified Enterprise Data Platform to manage, store, analyze multi-structured data that provides standard access using Java, SQL/R etc. to analyze data in batch and real-time. 

The innovative platform delivers extreme performance and scalability with improvement in Functions & Operations and Vector Performance Acceleration

Oracle is committed to geospatial standards: Open Geospatial Consortium, SQL, ISO TC-211, TC-204.

What can audience expect from your presentation in Smart Cities program at Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad this 24-25 January?


The Oracle Unified Geospace Cloud Platform as a Complete, Open Standard based, Interoperable and high performing geospatial platform to manage, monitor and operate city as a sustainable and sentient city. This cloud platform delivers:


  • To manage multi-structured data (geospatial 2D, 3D, crowd sourcing data, weather data, traffic data and sensor data) with stringent security and protection

  • Open Platform to enable developers, integrators and service providers to consume and enable new services for govt and businesses

  • Common Services (geospatial maps, query and analysis for 2D, 3D, applications and tools) that can be used by subscribers

  • Deliver Geospatial Data as a Service with multichannel delivery mechanisms

  • Oracle Cloud @City Datacenter to enable City to accelerate time to deployment, increase availability, and reduce business risk.


Smart Cities Symposium, scheduled to take place from January 24-25 2017, will feature 30+ geospatial experts from all around the globe discussing critical elements of smart cities, including smart governance, sustainable urban design and construction, smart utilities, urban mobility and safe city.



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