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A Singaporean building information modeling project could revolutionize urban planning

Among its many uses, Virtual Singapore can calculate the perimeter, area and volume of a building. (Courtesy of NRF)

Singapore is moving forward with an ambitious project to create a digital 3-D model of the entire city-state, which it wants to use to build a database with information on buildings, civil infrastructure and a great deal more.

Scheduled for release in 2018, Virtual Singapore takes the concept of building information modeling, or BIM, which is typically used for individual structures, and applies it to the whole country. The system will be available to anyone in Singapore for a variety of uses, from state-level environmental and disaster simulations to street-level planning, and even inspecting floor plans of commercial facilities.

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