Geodata provides the basis, but collaboration is key

Municipal authorities are well aware when autumn starts. In the future, they will also know exactly where in a city each and every tree is located, its height and trunk diameter, and even the amount of leaves it will shed – useful information from a waste disposal perspective.

This is just one example of a geodata-based smart city application that Professor Thomas H. Kolbe can cite. “Smart cities require information from various sources – and geodata provides the structure for this by breaking it down into a spatial representation,” he explains.

Kolbe is a geoinformation specialist at the Technical University of Munich and firmly believes geodata will ensure tomorrow’s cities are pleasant to live in, run both efficiently and sustainably, and provide better services for their inhabitants.

Digital twins for infrastructure projects, 3D city models and smart sensor technologies will be indispensable to cities in the future as the foundation for smart solutions. A further challenge lies in providing the necessary data. This is not as openly available in Germany as in other countries, but it is also vital in preparing cities for the future. Such data is the only way to create platforms that are open to everyone – anytime and anywhere.

INTERGEO 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy (17 to 19 September in Stuttgart), will be addressing all aspects of this complex issue. Eminent keynote speakers will be considering – with room for impartial criticism – how the geospatial sector contributes to cities of the future.

Dr. Juergen Dold (President of Hexagon’s Geosystems division) will be looking at the opportunities offered by digital business models, while State Secretary Markus Kerber (German Federal Ministry of the Interior) will be exploring the challenges and underlying conditions associated with smart cities from a political perspective. Smart city expert Joachim Schonowski’s presentation is entitled: “Smart city: hype, utopia, dystopia – where are we right now and what is our ultimate goal?” The SMART CITY SOLUTIONS platform integrated into INTERGEO has a number of focal points, offering cities and solution providers from various disciplines impetus and inspiration.

As Kolbe stresses, however, geoinformation alone is not enough to create a smart city. “City planners also need to adopt a new mindset, considering many of them are still circulating paper documents,” he points out.

The German Cartography Conference, organised by the German Society for Cartography and Geoinformation, forms part of the INTERGEO CONFERENCE. This year’s slogan is “Playing with an open hand”. Exciting insights into the visualisation of our world of data are guaranteed. Last but not least, around 680 companies, institutions and associations from more than 40 countries are showcasing their services and innovations for the geospatial industry at the INTERGEO EXPO.

INTERGEO is hosted by DVW – the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management. HINTE Expo & Conference is responsible for the management of the specialist trade fair.

Now in its fourth year, SMART CITY SOLUTIONS (17 to 19 September 2019 at Stuttgart Exhibition Centre) is a solutions platform for anyone working to create liveable cities for the future. Given that accurate geodata forms the basis of any smart city, the platform’s integration into INTERGEO creates a unique link and an ideal opportunity.


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