• 11/16/2016

'Land of Ideas': Award for Professor Thomas H. Kolbe and Prof. Richard Bamler

Intelligent 3D City Models and Satellite-Guided Ground Movement Maps

The project "Smart District Data Infrastructure – Intelligent 3D City Models" by the Chair of Geoinformatics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has been selected as one of the 100 award winners in the "Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" competition. The project "Satellite Guided Ground-Movement Map for Germany," with the participation of the Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, was also among the award recipients.

The Chair of Geoinformatics at TUM is one of the laureates in the 2016 "Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" competition.
The Chair of Geoinformatics at TUM is one of the laureates in the 2016 "Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" competition. (Photo: Deutschland – Land der Ideen/photogenika.de)

The Chair of Geoinformatics at TUM is one of the laureates in the 2016 "Landmarks in the Land of Ideas" competition for its project "Smart District Data Infrastructure – Intelligent 3D City Models". Professor Thomas H. Kolbe accepted the award on November 11 at the Center Day of the Leonard Obermeyer Center (LOC). The LOC brings together the competence of over 60 researchers at 5 TUM Chairs in the field of digital planning and construction.

The project by the geoinformatics specialists, which was recognized by the "Land of Ideas" competition for its "CommUnityInnovation – A Model for Success" theme, provides an answer to the question how smart three-dimensional city models can help metropolises simulate future developments and develop solutions.

The Smart District Data Infrastructure (SDDI) brings together all the information, sensors and applications by a variety of different disciplines into a common semantic 3D city model based on the international CityGML standard. But this 3D model offers much more than a pretty visualization: It is both an interdisciplinary data hub and an important basis for most simulations and analytical tools.

For example, it uses a virtual model to correlate the energy requirements for buildings, their structural condition, as well as socio-economic indicators such as the number of residents. It is also possible to simultaneously view the effects of planned renovation projects with regard to several areas of impact including the environment, mobility, energy, and social. Rather than replacing existing information systems, the SDDI intelligently networks them based on international standards.

Tracking Ground Movements Down to the Millimeter

TUM’s Chair of Remote Sensing Technology collaborated in another of the award-winning projects as a partner of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The cooperation with the DLR and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) was recognized for the "Satellite-Guided Ground Movement Map for Germany." TUM Chair Professor Richard Bamler is also the Director of the DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute.

The scientists developed a method that allows them to identify ground movements over a vast area with great precision down to the millimeter. For this, they use so-called persistent scatter interferometry (PSI) to analyze ESA radio satellite data, thereby mapping how the earth’s surface rises and sinks over the entire area of Germany.

The BGR intends to use this new method to show the effects of energy storage, geothermal energy, mining, gas and oil production, as well as volcanic and tectonic movements. It can also be used to detect underground cavities that could pose a danger to structures, bridges, or houses.

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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