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OS developing a 3D data model in Singapore

GovTech asked Ordnance Survey for expert advice about creating data specifications and a product flowline to generate data.


Supporting the development of a 3D model of Singapore with OS location expertise.

GovTech wanted to better understand and assess CityGML as a 3D information model to represent different city themes. It turned to Ordnance Survey (OS) for expert advice on creating data specifications, and a product flowline and process to do so.

The Open Geospatial Consortium’s CityGML standard was chosen as the model’s foundation. With more than 15 years of experience in 3D geospatial research, and leads on the development of both the Open Geospatial Consortium’s CityGML standard and the CityGML data quality interoperability experiment, OS was in a good position to help.


The challenge

GovTech works with public agencies to develop and deliver secure digital services and applied technology to individuals and businesses in Singapore. It realised a detailed data specification was needed to generate and maintain the data to a high and consistent standard across Singapore.

Some key challenges to this were:

  • Creating a specification that defines data capture requirements based on the CityGML 2.0 standard.
  • Identifying and creating an efficient data capture process for a variety of city themes, including building, vegetation, relief, city furniture and transportation.
  • Testing captured data against the specification to test and report back.

The solution

Ordnance Survey is an Open Geospatial Consortium strategic member and was the first based outside the USA.

OS created a test suite to check data complied with CityGML 2.0 for the 3D digital model of Singapore.

The team identified suitable data capture tools and created a multi-staged process to capture and process data to a very high standard, in a dense, mid-rise urban area with complex building shapes as well as a significant transport infrastructure.

The capture work resulted in a collection of CityGML 2.0 files that could be imported into the open source CityDB database.

The benefits

The specifications developed through this exercise helped to serve as input for the five key data themes (building, vegetation, relief, city furniture and transportation) together with the reference data.

This helped to pave the way for the creation of a comprehensive, standards-based 3D data model for geospatial 3D data in Singapore.