3D mapping technology to reduce landslide casualties in Kuala Lumpur12/01/2016
The diverse and populous city of Kuala Lumpur is central to Malaysia’s economic growth, and features a bustling 247 square kilometre metropolis peppered with high-rise buildings – such as the iconic PETRONAS Towers – residential areas, various modes of public transport and other state-of-the-art infrastructure.[BD1]
As Kuala Lumpur continues to move towards becoming a world-class industry hub, the city’s unique topography – and the accompanied opportunities and risks that come with it – has prompted the local government to look for innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of the city’s development plans.
At present, a substantial portion of Kuala Lumpur’s diverse residential area – 54 per cent – is located among the city’s many hills.
This rolling landscape creates numerous challenges, and since soil conditions vary between suburbs, cases of landslides have not only dampened real estate development, but have also led to loss of life and affected economic opportunities for the city.
In a bid to guide ongoing and future city developments, the city wanted to introduce a system providing developers with information on technical evaluations prior to the issuance of development orders.
To do this, planners from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) turned to Esri Malaysia to develop the Kuala Lumpur Slope Information System (KuLSIS) – a dynamic geospatial solution designed to provide a 360 degree, three dimensional view of the city’s topography.
The system integrates LiDAR and orthoimagery data, together with a range of advanced datasets, to produce a dynamic 3D map-based visualisation of the city that urban planners can leverage when conducting hazard and risk assessments.
In addition, KuLSIS also provides 3D spatial analysis, enabling planners to quickly identify dangerous terrain and prevent the negative effects of a landslide.
This is done by analysing eight key factors: signs of distress, failure history, slope angle, flow accumulation, geological lineament, rainfall, geology and land cover, with the results ranked by level of hazard and risk – from very low to very high.
The analysis provides urban planners with compelling 3D visualisations of locations most vulnerable to geological hazards, and highlights areas unfit for residential and commercial establishments.
In addition to helping DBKL officials and property developers identify ideal locations for specific city developments, KuLSIS has also practically eliminated the previous two-week wait time for terrain data processing.
With data available immediately, local authorities now have the ability to make fast, well-informed decisions relating to the kinds of infrastructure certain areas can support, and what preventive measures need to be put in place to ensure public safety.