The Value of GIS for Smart Cities

By Eapen Jacob

Category:
Technology Trends

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) have become an integral part of our daily lives in smart cities. GIS provides an IT infrastructure that integrates not only every stakeholder but also every smart city process, starting from planning and conceptualization to development and maintenance. Smart cities present a substantial growth opportunity in the coming years, but there are still many challenges to successful smart city implementation.  Many of these issues can be solved through the implementation and integration of GIS. For example, overcrowded cities can lead to a shortfall in further infrastructure development potential. 

GIS for Smart Cities

Platform for Smart City development Life Cycle

A centralized information system based on GIS provides an IT infrastructure for deploying and maintaining data and application throughout every aspect of the city development life cycle. 

Acquire - (Site selection to Land Acquisition & Legal Compliance)

GIS helps identify potential sites for city development, legal boundaries, and helps end users arrive at the right valuation of new or existing sites.  GIS also combines and integrates various types of information for better decision making, and can provide high-end visualization tools that can improve the decision-making capabilities for better site identification, valuation, and final selection. With help of location data, real estate organizations can arrive at the right property valuation by analyzing proximity to road networks, soil conditions, ground water depth, and vulnerability to natural disasters.  

As GIS provides a common platform for communication with government regulators and the public, it has become easier and less time consuming for users and real-estate organizations to meet regulatory requirements. Graphical outputs from GIS can help quickly generate reports that clearly demonstrate how compliance requirements are being met.  

Planning, Design & Visualization

Geodesign framework will be the key for conceptualizing, designing, and planning smart cities, and will assist in each stage of smart city infrastructure development, from site analysis to simulation and evaluation.  Integration of GIS with design tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) will result in better analytics and cost estimation capabilities for smart city infrastructure planning and design processing.  

Mapping of utilities in geo-design framework can manage and map the location of millions of miles of underground and overhead circuits in cities

Construction & Project Management

Integration of GIS with project and financial management software enables more efficient and effective project management.  In addition, GIS also acts as a single point of entry for all construction related documents and files. 

Sales, Marketing & Financial Management

With the help of GIS, city developers can win over intended businesses by creating marketing reports, which highlight the economic potential of new locations or future advancements around surroundings.  GIS also helps residents by presenting a visual representation of all information affecting the valuation of the property and desirability and by providing them more accurate picture of the property’s suitability according to their needs.  GIS helps analyze demographics and market conditions and provides users with accurate details of the property.

Maintenance

Integrating asset inventory with inspection history and work order management with GIS can help maintain critical investments efficiently.

Conclusion

GIS is used throughout the life cycle of smart city, from site selection and design through visualization and construction to maintenance.  The ability to scale across any expanse from an individual asset with a building to a virtually global context cutting across all aspects of the smart city planning and development makes GIS an ideal technology. 

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