3D Collaboration to Support Newcastle’s Solar City Project

Ordnance Survey has teamed up with Newcastle City Council to demonstrate how 3D mapping can help make Newcastle one of the most sustainable cities in Europe.

The new partnership between Ordnance Survey and Newcastle City Council will demonstrate how 3D city models can provide valuable information to enable effective solar power generation.

Both organisations are members of a European project consortium called i-SCOPE (Interoperable Smart City Services through an Open Platform for urban Ecosystems), which will run for three years and will involve 11 cities across Europe.

Newcastle was a logical city to be selected for i-SCOPE, because of its experiences in a number of projects already undertaken, including solar analysis, 3D modelling and thermal heat loss tracking. The city has also made good progress in becoming a ‘hub’ for the low carbon economy, with plans at an advanced stage in preparing the city to become a ‘Green Deal’ provider. High profile European projects such as i-SCOPE offer extra support to the city’s carbon economy work, providing residents and businesses with new innovative choices, helping them deliver, and meet, their own sustainability projects and objectives.

Under the i-Scope project, Ordnance Survey will be supporting Newcastle through expert technical support and advice on all mapping-related issues to develop 3D urban models of Newcastle. Across the other 10 European cities the 3D models will be used for noise mapping and personal routing in addition to solar power generation. Ordnance Survey will also play a leading role across the project on 3D data standards, and specifically in extending the CityGML standard.

Peter ter Haar, Ordnance Survey Director of Products, comments: “The i-Scope project will provide Ordnance Survey with an opportunity to test and validate the value of 3D city models in a practical way. We anticipate a rich future for 3D data and this is an excellent collaborative vehicle for sharing expertise across a European consortium.

“I am confident that by working in partnership with Newcastle City Council we can demonstrate the true potential that 3D city models can play in creating sustainable urban areas. 3D mapping will enable town and city planning departments, and solar panel installation companies, with a true ‘real world’ view of rooftops and building heights. From this high quality data, users can analyse the pitch and angle of roofs, look at neighbouring building heights and determine where shadows will fall. The 3D city models will ultimately allow effective positioning of solar panels.

“In addition to solar panel analysis, 3D mapping can play an important role in underpinning other critical functions, including flood prevention and town planning. Other potential users could include the emergency services. Imagine the emergency services being able to accurately visualise the scene of an incident before arriving. They would have foreknowledge of points of access, be able to see any obstructions and know the size and shape of any buildings involved. This technology could have a genuine impact on people’s lives.”

For more information about the project, go to www.iscopeproject.net