Singapore reveals its 3D Smart Nation map

The map will help improve risk management, facilitate collaboration and enhance decision-making among Singapore’s public agencies.

By Nurdianah Md Nur
July 1, 2016

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has revealed the first phase of  its national 3D mapping project that supports the republic's Smart Nation vision.

Showcased at the recent Esri International User Conference in San Diego, the map leverages Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to generate 'real' world visualisations of the entire island.

It aims to help improve risk management, facilitate collaboration and enhance decision-making among Singapore's public agencies, according to SLA.

The agency added that the project has also produced more than 100 terabytes of data and products, which can be used by multiple agencies to create 3D maps and models.

SLA's CE Tan Boon Khai said: "We are committed to pushing geospatial and technological boundaries to propel Singapore towards a Smart Nation. This 3D mapping initiative would enable sharing and analysis of geospatial data to improve sense-making capabilities, test-bedding and assimilation of concepts to find solutions to emerging and complex challenges."

Some examples of how SLA's 3D models may be used include:


  • Analysing how the location of where trees are planted may increase a park's shade coverage during the day, thereby increasing citizens' comfort levels and patronage of parks. This type of 'dynamic shadow analysis' can also help Singapore's planners better locate new park benches, rest points and activity areas for the greater comfort of park goers.
  • Enabling property developers to understand how Singapore's weather patterns and an area's existing greenery could assist in naturally cooling-down a built-up environment. This will help reduce energy usage in buildings, especially from cooling load demands.
  • Providing urban planners with greater insight into how new building developments can change or obstruct the visibility of certain landmarks, tourist attractions, or community facilities. For instance, this can help organisers at the Arts and Science Museum determine the best spots for viewing the light show, thereby helping ensure a unique and great experience for every visitor.
  • Effectively using and managing Singapore's underground space to host future developments such as malls and MRT stations.
  • Enabling government agencies to seamlessly share data in real-time in areas such as routing, navigation and field operations. This can be especially helpful when organising large-scale public events, which require meticulous route planning and real-time data knowledge to ensure the smooth flow of the event. 


Commenting on the project, Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramatodham said: "Traditional 2D town planning maps are inadequate to represent our complex environment, but when city planning scenarios are translated into a 3D 'real world' scenario, we can design, build and develop with absolute clarity and precision. By using GIS technology, SLA has been able to truly bring their vast array of data alive in a way not possible with any other tool. As a result, government agencies are now positioned to make smarter decisions regarding the future of Singapore."