Augmented Reality makes underground spaces visible

Augment IT supports Future Cities Laboratory (FCL)

We have contributed our Augmented Reality expertise to Future Cities Laboratory’s Digital Underground showcase presented at the Urban Lab exhibition 'Underground: Singapore's Next Frontier', organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) was established by ETH-Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and operates under the auspices of the Singapore-ETH Centre. Digital Underground, a collaboration between Singapore-ETH Centre, Singapore Land Authority and the Geomatics Unit of the City of Zurich, aims to develop a roadmap for the 3D mapping of existing and future utility networks in Singapore.

Seeing the unseen

Visitors experience seeing the unseen by using an app running on an iPad. Existing and future utility networks in Singapore are mapped in 3D. An accurate 3D digital map of the utility network and underground components will help planners to understand these dense and complex networks. Such a digital map could also shed light on the management of the utility networks such as their ownership and operation, in order to ensure legal compliance, efficiency, and resilience of these systems.

The exhibition 'Underground: Singapore's Next Frontier’ at the URA Gallery was officially launched by the Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, on 30 May and is open to the public until 29 June 2018.

The showcase and the exhibition were shown in Channel 8 News on TV in Singapore (in Chinese language).

The great potential of Augmented Reality for underground structures

The use of underground space has largely been developed on a first-come-first-served basis. Over time, this hinders further expansion and optimal use of underground space. By planning and safeguarding the space upfront and with the help of technology, the potential of underground space can be unlocked and it can be used more efficiently.

When digging up streets or excavating construction pits for maintenance purposes, there is often significant damage to power supply or telecommunications lines due to insufficient position information. Retrieving information about underground utilities and locating utility networks underground would be of great help to planners, engineers and architects as well as field-workers. Imagine yourself: viewing energy and drainage lines in real-time thereby saving cost and time. Wouldn’t this be an asset?

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