Seeing double: Dassault Systèmes creating Virtual Singapore that mirrors the real world

The virtual city will be used to help predict the outcomes of and possible issues with various scenarios.

January 27, 2016 |

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

By definition, a city is a big place. And, as such, it is hard to stay on top of everything going on within its borders. There will always be outcomes to scenarios that couldn’t have been predicted, issues that arise from small details overlooked in the planning process.

But the city-state of Singapore is trying to rectify this issue and make sure no small details are overlooked again. What is their solution? To create a hyper-realistic virtual model of the island city-state, something they are currently in the process of doing.

With the help of the Prime Minister’s Office and Dassault Systèmes, a multinational software company that is at the forefront of 3D design, Virtual Singapore is well on its way to completion.

Virtual Singapore will incorporate information such as data about the climate, demographics, energy consumption, and building elevation, all the way down to small details like the location of trees.

If you ever played SimCity, a game designed by legendary game designer Will Wright, this probably seems pretty familiar to you. But Virtual Singapore is built for more than just entertainment.

“You can click on a building and see the surface of its roof, how much electricity it consumes. You can simulate how in the event of a gas leak or a bombing, the population could escape based on where people are,” said CEO of Dassault Systèmes, Bernard Charlès, in an interview with Tech Insider.  “We have simulation engines for this.”

Virtual Singapore can be used for more than planning for emergencies or disasters, though. It can also be used to see how a proposed change to the city would affect it. Thus, helping to eliminate those tiny overlooked details that rear their ugly heads later on in the process, when issues become more expensive to fix.

The majority of the data being used to create Virtual Singapore was stored on siloed platforms, but Charlès hopes to eventually incorporate data directly from citizens, such as information from cars or fitness trackers.

Dassault Systèmes projects Virtual Singapore to be completed by 2018.

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