Using AR+GIS, Beijing City Sub-Center Took the Lead in Implementing a District-Wide Census of Underground Pipelines

27 Nov,2023

Open the mobile APP, and a clear 3D map of the "underground venation" of Beijing's sub-center appears. Click on a road at will, and you'll see the water pipes, drainage, street light pipelines, etc. under the road surface at a glance. In 2021, Tongzhou District, Beijing applied AR technology to its underground pipe network system for the first time to complete the census of underground pipelines. The AR technology has helped solved problems that couldn't be detected and figured out in the past. This 3D platform for underground pipelines in Beijing's sub-center (hereinafter referred to as the "platform") that integrates with AR technology is built on SuperMap GIS platform and was selected as China's Annual Virtual Reality Pioneering Application Case in 2023.

The platform solves three major problems

1. Difficulty in data fusion: the underground pipeline data not only includes traditional structured data such as vectors, terrain, and images, but also unstructured data such as construction drawings at the initial stage, real-time sensing of the Internet of Things, video surveillance, and BIM, so data fusion is difficult.

2. Difficulty in 3D modeling: Underground pipeline data sources are increasingly abundant, and the traditional 2D pipeline management model can no longer meet user's actual needs for analysis, expression, and application of pipeline and its big data information. However, the construction cost of 3D models is high. The matching effect between the nozzles and pipelines of the pipe point model is poor, and the business attribute information needs to be entered into the 3D model again from the point and line data sets. As a result, two sets of data need to be maintained at the same time, which cannot be updated in real time.

3. Difficulty in dynamic supervision: underground pipelines are highly concealed and are mainly maintained through daily inspections. There is a lack of monitoring of the operating status of the pipeline network, making it difficult to identify potential safety risks. When a fault occurs, it is not possible to dispatch maintenance personnel who are close to the facility for repairment, the fault cannot be quickly and accurately located, and historical data cannot be effectively utilized. Therefore, there is an urgent need to install "see-through eyes" for the pipe network to meet the needs of daily intelligent inspection.

Technological Innovation

1. This system is the first in China that applies AR visual sensing technology to underground pipeline management*. It superimposes the real environment and the 3D data of the underground pipelines onto the same screen in real time, making the relationship between underground pipelines and ground buildings clear at a glance. It can not only realize intelligent inspection of underground pipelines, but also view the properties of pipelines, manhole lids, valves and other facilities in real time, improving the accuracy of inspection, reducing the risk of accidents, and improving the efficiency of fault alarm and maintenance.

2. Through the multi-source data fusion technology, the data like BIM, Internet of Things, video and other traditional image, vector, terrain data are integrated. This has helped achieve seamless integration of multi-source heterogeneous data and supported the business collaboration and data sharing across different departments.

3. Innovative research and development of 3D pipe points, pipelines and adaptive pipe point symbol technology based on 2D and 3D integration provide technical support for the system in rapid construction of 3D pipelines, massive data carrying capability and application analysis of 3D pipelines.

4. Using BIM+GIS technology, it has constructed refined "virtual pipelines" and surrounding environments, achieving precise location matching between pipeline BIM and large-scale surrounding environments, and improved management efficiency.

In 2020, the system data has covered all underground pipelines within the scope of municipal roads in Tongzhou District, Beijing. The pipelines undertake transmission tasks in 8 major fields and 14 subcategories, including water supply, sewage, gas, electricity, telecommunications, and heat supply, with a total length of 9,900 kilometers.


During the actual application process, the platform provides functions such as road excavation analysis, pipeline aging early warning analysis, pipeline collision analysis, and historical data comparison analysis through the underground pipeline information system. It has provided application support for multiple major projects during the construction of the sub-center. For example, it has provided the pipeline data analysis services for major projects such as sponge city planning and design, construction of public security project, landscape renovation of main roads, and simultaneous renovation of the sub-center and old city, which has ensured the safe operation of the city's lifeline.

In the future, the platform will continue to explore the application functions of above-ground urban 3D data, urban components, underground pipelines and auxiliary facilities, traffic signals and other data, and build a smart city data ecosystem to realize smart response to emergencies. Through the real-time collection and analysis of information about people, vehicles, objects, places, and events, the platform links and correlates data of pipeline safety risks, accidents, etc. to achieve immediate detection and control of complex scenarios. For emergencies that have occurred, the platform can combine big data analysis and algorithm analysis to automatically plan emergency repair routes, formulate optimal emergency repair plans, and dispatch surrounding mobilizable resources at any time.


Tags: AR 3D GIS

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