Advanced 3D GIS catalyzes the rebuild of Christchurch


Beginning in September 2010, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was devastated by a yearlong series of large earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.0 to 7.2. The inner city underwent such extensive damage that the entire area had to be cordoned off, restricted only to those directly involved in the site’s recovery.

Now, just three years later, the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) has announced a readily actionable recovery plan, complete with blueprints, set to launch by the end of the year. How did they do it? With a little help from one of the most advanced 3D geographic information systems (GIS) available today.

The Canterbury Earthquake Reconstruction Authority (CERA) fast-tracked Christchurch’s reconstruction planning and management process by adopting an advanced 3D GIS system called Key 2 Virtual Insight (K2Vi). Developed by a global spatial information technology provider called AAM, K2Vi is a 3D visualization and simulation solution that brings 3D GIS to life.

According to AAM’s website, “The simulation ability of our system brings the fourth dimension, time, into play, changing geospatial data from a descriptive tool into an analytic tool. The system, Key 2 Virtual Insight (K2Vi), allows decision makers to rapidly assess a wide range of scenarios, options, and responses to make fully informed and effective decisions.” This cutting-edge platform has assisted Christchurch with everything from urban strategic and development planning to asset management and situational awareness.

K2Vi Results in Christchurch

When disaster first struck Christchurch, many residents were concerned that red tape and the current economy would lead to long delays in the rebuild of their city. However, with help from the K2Vi platform, Christchurch has reached its rebuilding phase of recovery so efficiently that builders, engineers, and other workers are now flooding the area and increasing demand for Christchurch rental properties.

In its Key Canterbury Indicators document released on Aug. 20, New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment provided clear confirmation that Christchurch has experienced a serious rise in its number of prospective renters, reflecting the city’s sudden influx of reconstruction professionals.

Luckily, the shortage of rental vacancies has not gone unnoticed. In light of the recovery progress provided by K2Vi, Christchurch real estate companies have stepped up their own technology game to give returning residents affordable renting opportunities. One Christchurch real estate agency, Cowdy & Company LTD, refocused its dedication to maintaining accurate, always up-to-date online Christchurch rental property listings, allowing people to easily locate available rental homes in the area.

Leaping Into Advanced 3D GIS

The decision to utilize K2Vi in Christchurch’s recovery plan wasn’t surprising, since the platform had already proven itself in other locations around the world. Hong Kong officials, for example, used K2Vi to produce a 3D digital city model that facilitates complex analysis and planning of Hong Kong’s densely populated urban spaces.

In addition to its proven results, the K2Vi platform is chosen by city planners because its developer continually works with users to improve functionality. The most recent version of K2Vi was released in July 2013 with an enhancement that allows users to analyze extremely large datasets. This enhancement will be available to Christchurch authorities for future urban planning projects. It’s an exciting time in advanced 3D GIS technology, and Christchurch and K2Vi are leading the way forward.

Written by Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is an SEO and Social Media specialist living in Seattle, Washington. Drew writes words that people enjoy reading every moment they are awake.

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