On the reliable generation of 3D city models from open data

Girindran, Renoy (2021) On the reliable generation of 3D city models from open data. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The battle for sustainability will be won or lost in cities. Currently more than 50% of the World’s population reside in urban areas and this figure is estimated to reach 68% by 2050. New and innovative approaches are needed for managing urban areas and this demands the generation of appropriate data for evidence-based decision making. Geospatial technologies play an important role in meeting this demand and it is evident that 3D geospatial data of cities provide richer intelligence than 2D geospatial data. However, presently, there is a dearth of free, high-resolution 3D city models available for use especially in developing and underdeveloped countries, which, it could be argued, is where these data are most required.

This thesis offers potential solutions to generating 3D data using open data and methods – it aims to provide globally replicable methodologies to generate low-cost Level of Detail 1(LOD) 3D city models from open data. Two geographically and morphologically different case study cities were used to develop and test this methodology: the Chinese city of Shanghai and the city of Nottingham in the UK. Two different methodologies for generating LOD1 3D city models are developed and tested, with their suitability for different applications discussed. The first method presented exploits that 2D building footprints are available as open data. However, this availability of 2D footprint data is not complete globally and so the second method presented seeks to generate 2D building footprint data with open data that has global coverage. It uses a method to spatial enhancement satellite remote sensing data (Sentinel-2) (from 10m to 1m resolution) for building footprint area generation, which is then used to generate a 3D city model.

As the idea of Digital Twin is gaining pace, this thesis represents a step in the journey towards Digital Twins of all cities – privileged with data or not. Digital twin is the virtual representation of the real world. Geographic Information System (GIS) creates Digital Twins of the natural and built environments and act as a unique base for integrating many subsequent data. It is concluded that the method presented goes some way to meeting the 3D data gap that currently exists for many cities. The successful use of these methods will depend on the application for which they are employed (e.g. disaster management, climate change and urban climate modelling), which in turn should point to what improvements in data models are required.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Boyd, Doreen
Foody, Giles
Keywords: 3d city models, open data, digital twins, gis, geographic information systems, Digital twins (Computer simulation)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 66899
Depositing User: Girindran, Renoy
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2023 08:57
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2023 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/66899

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