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Terra Magna: at the time of the 3rd dimension

Road traffic simulation

Most geographic information systems (GIS) available on the market at the moment are products that only consider two dimensions.  Within the next few months, the Star-Apic Company will propose to introduce its users to the third dimension.  The innovative Terra Magna project was launched for this purpose in 2008.  It will be completed in mid-2010.  It is labelled by the Cap Digital and Advancity competitiveness clusters and is composed of about ten partners including CSTB.  "An inquiry with regional communities confirmed that only 2D GISs were used in most cases, says Bruno Hilaire, a CSTB engineer.  The aim of Terra Magna is to create a "3D data warehouse" and a complete suite of tools all using the standard CityGML format.  Its main applications relate to simulation of towns and urban activities".  The two main topics are regional development and sustainable urban development.

Regional development and sustainable urban development

The common database generated within the framework of Terra Magna based on the CityGML format will include richer semantic information than conventional GISs; configuration of road networks, precise distribution of green spaces, etc.  These data usually require extra enrichment by a simulation specialist.

Terra Magna opens up a broad range of possibilities for regional development and sustainable urban development.  A single example is the evaluation of air quality in a district.  Information contained in the “data warehouse” (X, Y, Z coordinates of buildings, outline of roads, traffic conditions, presence and phasing of traffic lights, etc.), can be retrieved to simulate traffic at a given location and observe its impacts.  Emission of pollutants, acoustic nuisance, etc.:  maps showing all these different parameters can be produced for different heights above the ground, for any time of the day taking account of wind speeds and traffic speed.  "Terra Magna will be a genuine aid to regional communities in their decision making.  With Terra Magna, it will be possible to project into the future and propose urban development solutions."

Specific solutions can be studied, for example the choice of plant species to be planted at a given location as a function of their growth or the installation of noise attenuation screens at key locations in a district.

Wind movements in the zone = current lines
Simulation of carbon monoxide pollution

Terra Magna, in short

  • Star-Apic is a company specialised in the development of graphic software and geographic information systems for professionals.  It is the spearhead of Terra Magna, and is composed of private companies and research laboratories, each at the state-of-the-art in its own field, including Thales, Bionatics, Spaceyes, Dryade, IGN, Ecole centrale de Paris, INRETS, ENTPE, CIRAD and CSTB.
  • Two pilot sites, the Cergy-Pontoise urban community and the Paris region town planning and urban development institute (IAURIF), are participating in Terra Magna.
  • Terra Magna is financed by the State, the Ile-de-France region and the Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Hauts-de-Seine, Val-de-Marne and Val-d’Oise Departments for an amount of 2,283,000 €.