November 20, 2019: The entire town of Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district drone-mapped with arresting 3D details of its terrain, buildings, road network, power and water lines - this is exactly what the Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Centre (KSRSAC) has proposed to complete in six months. Once ready, this town of roughly 60 sqkm area could potentially be a model to be replicated in big cities.
The proposed project has already got an in-principle approval and will formally kick off once all the departments concerned give their go-ahead, a KSRSAC officials said on the sidelines of the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2019.
Merging satellite imagery with drone shots captured from heights of 60 to 80m, KSRSAC’s big plan for Bantwal is this: To create a perfect 3D city model with Level of Detail (LOD)-2 resolution. “Using drones, it is now possible to create perfect transport network maps, power lines, flood modeling and more,” explained a KSRSAC official.
LOD-2 would mean the contours of every building could be mapped, aiding measurements of hollow height, and land use. At the next level, LOD-3, even the interiors of a building could be mapped with arresting structural details. But for now, the Centre’s focus is only on LOD-2.
A comprehensive stereoscopic mapping of Bantwal, the official said, can help gauge the town’s greenery, including the number of trees. Drone footage overlaid with existing data from different departments can also generate high quality videos with data-rich animations. The entire project is estimated to cost about Rs 60 lakh.
Recreating Bantwal digitally with 3D overlays could be a launchpad for similar projects in at least parts of Bengaluru or Mysuru. In many developed cities worldwide, 3D city models have emerged as tools for urban decision-making processes and information systems, planning, simulation, documentation, heritage planning, navigation and mobile network planning.
In Bengaluru, KSRSAC has already helped the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) map its power lines to track outages and plan future network expansions. Currently, the centre is also involved in evaluation of drone-mapped data of the Tumakuru Smart City project.
To source raw map data, the centre had to primarily rely on private firms based in the United States. the matter will now take a dynamic path.