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DUKE Project

Project Title   Digital Urban Knowledge Engine
Project Acronym   DUKE
Contractor(s)   CS-SI (FR), NavTeq (NL)

 

Image     Context
             Objectives
                Architecture
          How it works
    Output

  


Context

In 2003, the United Nations reported that 75% of the European Union population was residing in urban areas, 66% in Japan, 80% in the United States, 68% in Eastern Europe, and 42% in developing countries. Planning, managing and controlling these areas is a complex and essential process involving a large number of actors: planners, developers, environmental groups, local and governmental agencies, civil security organisations, defence, etc. In addition, these areas have proven extremely vulnerable to all sorts of threats. Indeed, with such population concentrations (up to 35M inhabitants in Tokyo), any natural or man-made risk can turn in a huge tragedy without proper emergency plans and procedures.
Over the last few decades, society has amassed for this purpose an enormous amount of digital information about the Earth, its cities and its inhabitants. In recent years, technical advances in the field of earth observation, geo-referenced information, and computer graphics have contributed in enhancing the capture, storage, processing and display of such data.

Unfortunately, most of the information available is not directly exploitable as is and needs to be enriched with other sources to be valuable. In addition, all this information must be considered as fundamentally three-dimensional which over-complexify the problem.

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Objectives

The overall objective of the project DUKE is to study, specify, design and implement a system for merging the relevant urban information (buildings, roads, networks, etc.) from different sources available (maps, DEMs, rasters, footprints of buildings, cadastre, 3D models, pictures, GIS, etc.), optimising and storing the resulting database in an optimised way supporting the real-time rendering by a client application.
The system combines a data pre-processor, for converting and compressing heterogeneous data to a form suitable for rapid view-dependent visual data extraction, with an out-of-core querying subsystem that exploit the potential of current commercial-off-the-shelf computational and visualisation platforms.
A packaged prototype has been developed under different versions and validated on user scenarios (partnership with NAVTEQ). Envisaged application scenarios will focus on relevant subjects such as urban planning, security actors training and crisis management.
The final results were delivered to ESA as a plug-in of the Virtual Geo system in order to demonstrate the use of high resolution earth observation data, combined with other sources of urban data (from Brussels city).
Virtual Geo is a CS Systèmes d'Information product to visualise and navigate in large terrain databases. The Virtual Geo project has already identified the creation of urban databases as a major roadblock and a potential area where Earth observation data can be valorised.

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Architecture

Considering both the complexity and the size of the data to handle, which can count in terabytes, the consortium has implemented a fully distributed processing architecture based on CS Vertigo Server architecture, which is at the kernel of the Virtual Geo system.

Image

  • Importers enables the support the loading of various earth observation files, such as rasters, terrains or textures.
  • Exporters enables the export of DUKE Urban Database in other formats such as Virtual Geo or SEDRIS.
  • Gateways will be available to support the interoperability of the system with third-party systems such as Computer Aided Design tools and Geographic Information Systems, thus enabling DUKE to import vector or 3D data created with these systems.
  • Then, a set of preparation tools will be available to enable both the merging and the optimisation of these heterogeneous data within one single geo-referenced urban database. These operations will be processed by the processing units connected to the system.

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How it works

After installing the DUKE main application on the preparation station, the server on its host and the different DUKE processing units on the available computers, the user has at her/his disposal an integrated system to create a complete urban database from multiple sources of data.
The preparation tools enable the user to geo-reference, project or reproject, size and metatag imported data in order to create one single consistent geo-referenced database. In addition, an automatic process is optimising this database by spatialising and compressing the data so that they can be accessed in near real-time by interactive applications through the internet.
Once created, the urban database is available to the Virtual Geo users for instance to prepare rescue plans, train personnel and for decision support and mission assistance during real crisis.

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Output

The developped system enables to convert and compress heterogeneous data to a form suitable for rapid view-dependent visual data extraction, with an out-of-core querying subsystem that exploit current commercial-off-the-shelf computational and visualisation platforms.
The pre-processing system has been plugged into the CS Virtual Geo visualisation solution which allows users of the ESRIN Virtual Reality Theater to seamlessly visualise and navigate in the 3D results.

The DUKE final presentation was held at ESRIN on January 27, 2009.

 

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Page last modified on Wednesday 16 of March 2011 10:58:50 CET by .