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City of Greater Geelong consolidates asset capture programs into one single capture program by leveraging 3D panoramic imagery 
City of Greater Geelong, Victoria Australia

case-study-earthmine

Business Challenge
Located 75 km south west of Melbourne, Geelong, with a population of 211,000, is Victoria's largest provincial centre and its fastest growing region.

The City of Greater Geelong had a legal requirement to record an inventory of road signs to comply with the Road Management Act. The city contains 2000 km of urban and rural roads with an additional 500 km of VicRoads arterial roads in the municipality.

Council had also adopted a street tree strategy to increase the presence of street trees in the region and create a maintenance regime for the existing plantings. To manage street trees an inventory of Geelong’s tens of thousands of street trees was needed.

Collecting information on both these asset types by traditional survey methods was considered prohibitively expensive and an alternative approach was needed.

Services Overview
Geomatic Technologies (GT) was engaged to provide a complete end-to-end solution, collecting stereographic street level imagery and hosting this data, as well as delivering an application development platform and spatially accurate results within Council’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and Asset Management System (Hansen).

Data collection was carried out using the GT AIMS (Asset Inspection Mapping System) capture platform, which was mounted on a road vehicle. GT AIMS integrates a 3D panoramic imaging system that employs a unique stereo panoramic camera array to collect high-resolution 360° stereographic imagery with corresponding latitude, longitude and elevation data point for every pixel in every 36 mega pixel panoramic scene.

GT further enhanced the spatial accuracy of the imagery by utilising Victoria’s VicPos Geelong based Continually Operating Reference Station (CORS).

An inventory of road signs was then created by using an innovative technique. Using pattern recognition software that could differentiate between Australia’s road sign types, road signs were automatically extracted from the 3D imagery, thus saving on significant manual efforts.

To facilitate the tree asset capture program a special plug-in for ArcGIS 10 was utilised to develop capture and maintenance procedures using standard ESRI processes. Council’s arborists were then able to capture all the required tree attributes such as tree species, canopy height, as well as tree width, tree condition and tree location (within ±1m) for all of the Council’s street trees.

Outcomes
GT's services provided the following outcomes to the client:

  • Savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars were realised in using the 3D imagery to create an inventory of road signs and street trees compared with conventional on-site survey methods.
  • Council could avail of improved safety outcomes and efficiency gains by giving staff the ability to remotely view, attribute and measure assets without having to go out in the field.
  • Council could consolidate multiple asset capture programs into a single capture program.
  • No data management overheads were imposed on the council as imagery is hosted and delivered over the web.

Images above from left to right
Data collection system. The system generates 3D point clouds from stereographic images for distance and depth measurement. A screen view of the ArcGIS plug-in overlaying spatial data onto the 3D imagery.