Chicago is attempting to reclaim itself as a “smart city” but to do that, they must first map the vast underground network of pipes, that has been poorly documented in the past. Do to how poorly documented these pipe systems are, construction crews never know when they are going to hit a pipe that they had no knowledge of being there.
In the past, even gathering information from HBK Engineering, which includes maps and blueprints of the city is not enough to ease the risk of hitting something that no one knew was there. As it is now, the Office of Underground Coordination must pour over old maps to make sure a site is safe for construction to begin, and if something is found, they have to call for specialists to come in and make sure the pipe is not being used before construction continues. This wastes time and money.
Here is where Reconstruct, an EnterpriseWorks startup, comes into play. Chicago is hoping to launch a 3D map of Chicago’s infrastructure. Reconstruct provides a visual data analytics platform for reconstruction efforts.
The process involved recording a video of the visible pipes at a construction site, then computers from Reconstruct use a technique called point clouds to analyze each frame of the video, which can help to create a 3D model of the pipes.
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