Digitalised city realised

Digitalised city realised

SINGAPORE - Unveiled earlier this month by The National Research Foundation (NRF), Virtual Singapore will be a 3D model of the entire country that will be developed based on geometric and image data from various public agencies. It will show virtual 3D replicas of buildings, carparks, roads and other above-ground structures. It will also allow researchers, businesses and members of the public to take advantage of its data-rich features.

The benefits

Users can develop solutions and run simulations by creating models and realistic scenarios of Singapore. Examples:

  • Telcos can visualise 3G/4G network coverage areas
  • Event organisers can run simulations for crowd control
  • Contingency planning can be done, to evaluate evacuation measures
  • Municipal services and amenities such as carparks and sheltered walkways can be planned
  • Pedestrian flows can be analysed
  • Science research outcomes can be projected


The project is championed by the NRF, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Infocomm Development Authority. The NRF will develop the project while the SLA will provide topographical mapping data and run Virtual Singapore after its completion in 2017.

Scenario planning

  • Choose paint colours of Housing Board blocks' external surfaces.
  • Locate new facilities such as basketball courts, parks, BBQ pits and carparks.

Community monitoring

  • Track elderly family members who have dementia, or locate missing pets.
  • Conduct neighbourhood watch using shared information to view the closed-circuit television footage of public areas around their neighbourhoods.
  • Plot frequently used paths and spots to propose sheltered walkways, shelters and bicycle kiosks.

Community sharing

  • Contribute and collate information on animal sightings and faulty facilities to alert fellow residents.
  • Share information on energy generation and consumption, and exchange tips to reduce energy usage and cost.
  • Share information on when the recycling companies are coming, and their routes. Translate the information into an app for residents to inform the companies if there are old newspapers or clothes to be collected.
  • Share information on the amount of recyclables consumed.
  • Measure perimeters, areas and even volume of any building.


By the numbers:

2017: The year Virtual Singapore is set to be fully completed.

$73m: The amount of money the Singapore National Research Foundation spent on the project, which consists of the 3D city model and collaborative data platform.

This article was first published on December 15, 2014.
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