Transforming Ayacucho into a digital city
Author: Renata Barradas Gutiérrez
Digital cities initiatives aim to collect valuable data and capture all surroundings in urban settings to generate smart models, supporting decision making processes and facilitating the delivery of new urban services. The mobile mapping, reality capture, airborne and asset management solutions provided by Hexagon Geosystems' Division are used in cities around the globe helping to digitise urban centres.
Aware that 3D models help to inform the perception on reality and provide a georeferenced digital base for operations in a city, Patronato Pikimachay, a non-profit organisation, approached C95 Creative, a leading global architecture and design firm, to create a smart digital city model of Ayacucho, Peru.
Ayacucho’s smart digital city project
C95 Creative specialists started the 3D digital modelling of this Peruvian city in 2017. To undertake a precise digital survey that would be the basis for a digital city model, the project collected georeferenced point clouds with images from 150 blocks in Ayacucho’s historic centre. Using a combination of Geosystems solutions, data from a 50-kilometre trajectory was collected in three days and the entire project deliverables were completed in six months.
“A valuable data base for smart cities is essential during the decision making of future urban interventions. We have been able to generate data bases of great value for cultural heritage, cataloguing, restoration and refurbishment works. We will keep exploring and looking for new ways of applying this technology in our sector with Leica Geosystems," said Irene Ibisate, architect and director for the smart city Ayacucho project at C95 Creative.
Beyond the speed of obtaining and processing data, the quality and precision of the point cloud with overlaid images allowed C95 Creative to:
- Create a 3D model of the entire city centre
- Complete a catalogue of the main city elements
- Develop a study of the current situation and conservation state
- Do a cultural heritage value and conservation study
- Produce updated 3D cadastre and geometric data base of the city with real dimensions
- Generate videos and images of the city to serve as reference for future intervention works.
"To create in BIM [Building Information Modelling] a reproduction of an entire city in a few months was a great challenge. Thanks to the precision and speed obtained with Leica Geosystems products, we have been able to capture reality with complete data in a short amount of time," said Ibisate.
Given the limited time for data collection and great extension of the site, scanning had to be fast. Reality capture systems from Geosystems increase the flexibility and mobility of professionals to map, geo-position, capture and extract features over LiDAR or photogrammetry measurements in restricted areas with millimetric precision in an extremely agile and effective way.
To capture the entire centre of Ayacucho, C95 Creative started the data collection with the Leica Pegasus:Two. With this mobile mapping sensor platform, data from a 50-kilometre trajectory was collected in three days. Laser scanning was done with the Leica ScanStation P40, to increase the level of detail of the pedestrian areas and squares with cultural heritage assets.
“It would be impossible to do this type of project with traditional solutions and tools. The speed and precision that Leica Geosystems products have allowed us to work remotely with a total knowledge of the site,” said Maria Pascual, BIM director at C95 Creative.
The data was processed and exported as imp.pts to Autodesk Revit, a BIM software. Leica Cyclone 3D point cloud post processing software, was used to post process the point clouds. To create a BIM model, the team worked with Leica CloudWorx and Leica JetStream software, allowing the better modelling and inclusion of the point cloud within the Autodesk Revit model.
"To establish the point clouds as the database was the only way to pursue a project of this magnitude. To make our BIM model through powerful products like JetStream helped to speed and invigorate this process. Projects end up with an added value due to the quality and precision obtained from these latest tools, which allow to create a large data base available in different formats and platforms,” said Pascual.
Beyond cultural heritage value
Urban planners, construction companies or government officials need to have a more dynamic perception of a city with georeferenced data that mirrors reality to produce any application or service and guide any future interventions.
3D models allow to document, manage, renew or maintain the assets in a city. To meet UNESCO’s standards and have the historic centre of Ayacucho declared as a World Heritage Site, recovery and maintenance works need to be made. A digitalised city model would be the cornerstone to create more sustainable and efficient urban environments critical to social and economic development.
The 3D models delivered by C95 Creative will be the base for any architectural intervention within the area, guiding the cultural heritage evaluations and reconstruction of protected city elements, which could degrade through time.
Beyond the cultural heritage value, the deliverables have also been used for other purposes, such as:
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) of Ayacucho
- Previsualisation of plans
- Urban simulations
- Touristic applications
- Urban improvement analysis
Unleashing the full potential of reality capture
C95 Creative takes design to the smallest detail. One of the international leading firms in the AEC sector knows quality tools matter, so it has been using Leica Geosystems products for a long time.
“C95 has found with Leica Geosystems reality capture solutions, the perfect tools for its BIM work flow. The Pegasus:Two allows to generate data of big areas in a short amount of time. The P40 is used for interior design, rehabilitation, restoration, refurbishment, engineering and architecture for its scan precision and speed. It is used together with the BLK360 to generate data of different landmarks of a site and obtain as-built models. In addition, the point clouds are used for any kind of digital surveys, data collection for simulations, reports, VR and AR,” said Pascual.
To stay relevant, improve processes, keep increasing the quality, and give an added value to all its projects, C95 Creative keeps introducing Geosystems state-of-the-art technologies and processes in its works.