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Above photo: Professor Sisi Zlatanova/ Credit: UNSW

Above photo: Professor Sisi Zlatanova/ Credit: UNSW

UNSW Sydney launched its first research centre for 3D digital mapping of buildings and infrastructure

As geospatial science advances, the technology is improving city planning and public space management. The study of urban landscapes and how people use buildings is increasingly a topic of interest to policy-makers, field experts and academics alike.

In January, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney set up its first Geospatial Information Centre under the Faculty of Built Environment to focus on 3D digital mapping of buildings and infrastructure.

According to the press release by UNSW Sydney, the objective of the new research centre is to advance the data of buildings in Sydney to the third dimension, in order to improve accessibility, safety and emergency response procedures of urban structures in Sydney.

Heading the research centre is leading geospatial scientist Professor Sisi Zlatanova. Professor Zlatanova is an expert in 3D mapping of public space. She has also worked across disciplines including city analytics, landscape architecture and city planning.

In her new role at UNSW Sydney, Professor Zlatanova will lead her team of experts to investigate the production and management of 3D digital models for large public buildings at UNSW and in Sydney’s CBD.

According to Professor Zlatanova, in the press release, the team’s first projects will look at navigation between indoor and outdoor space, how people enter and exit buildings, 3D analysis of shadowing, and underground infrastructure, including pipelines, cables and electric wiring.

The collected data will then be used to create 3D digital models using standardised systems such as CityGML, which allows the data and 3D digital maps to be stored, reused and exchanged.

The application of 3D digital models of building is diverse, ranging from improving facility management to mapping urban heat islands. Up-to-date 3D indoor models of buildings will also promote safety management of public spaces.

Prior to her appointment at UNSW Sydney, Professor Zlatanova served Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands where she led multiple research projects in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for crisis response, and set up training schools on 3D modelling in universities in China, Russia, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria and Spain. She has published over 300 scientific papers and edited or co-edited 20 books.

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