2020 Thematic Problem Statement Call for Innovative Technologies to Enable Safety and Productivity of Intelligent Estates Facilities (Section 2)

Section 2: Challenges for Intelligent Estates Geospatial Data Management (GeoWorks)


Street navigation maps in Singapore today are pervasively in use. Commercial apps such as Google Maps and Waze are popular among drivers for making better travel decisions e.g. routing, travel time, traffic conditions etc. However, there’s a gap in navigating footpaths and indoors in built-up environment like Singapore.

  • Singapore is a dense urban jungle with a large population and high-rise buildings and increasingly more underground spaces.
  • Changes are constant – constructions of new buildings, roads, footpaths and other infrastructures change our urban landscape all the time.
  • Due to the limitations in land size, Singapore wants to improve its mobility options and encourage a car-lite society thus making traversing through our footpaths and indoors a major need.

User Needs

  • Ageing population, where there is an increasing number of elderly who may be mobility impaired
  • Under-served group of people with disabilities
  • Families with young children, who rely on prams
  • New economy has spurred the demand of many last-mile services e.g. food delivery, thus a need to facilitate last-mile logistics – doorway-accuracy
  • General population need better way finding in our dense urban environment via footpaths and buildings
  • Planning and infrastructure agencies need better visibility of mobility

Technology Gaps

  • Various commercial maps are not granular – not all places have building shapes and block numbers indicated.
  • Commercially available maps does not provide the actual footpaths and instead assume the footpaths as traces along the road outlines thus not always recommending the most efficient route.
  • Although systems like Google Maps had announced a Barrier Free Access (BFA) navigation feature in 2019, these are only available in certain cities.
  • Singapore’s OneMap although have existing footpaths and routing through buildings and HDB void decks. But they are not complete and not up to date.
  • Footpaths are to consider steps, inclinations, etc., thus providing suitable navigation route for disabled folks.
  • Due to Singapore’s dense urban profile, positioning accuracy of GPS has a wide range of error due to the ‘urban canyon’ effect and thus resulting in inaccuracies in acquiring geo-position of objects and tracks.
  • Mapping processes can be time-consuming due to lack of data or too much data.

Data Gaps

  • Current datasets on GeoSpace do not contain BFA data, e.g. location of staircases or ramps which are relevant for a person on a wheelchair or PMD etc.
  • Due to changing environment, data for footpaths may not get updated fast enough.
  • Although satellite and aerial imageries are available, tracing of footpaths and record BFA features are hindered by tree covers, cloud covers, sheltered walkways, building features, etc.
  • Footpaths are built by various contractors under different agency jurisdiction, thus these data may exist within the respective agency or may not be recorded.
  • Although building outlines data exist, there is not much information available on the indoor footprint of the buildings.
  • Most building floorplan information are scanned images especially for older buildings, which will need to be converted for use in wayfinding applications.
  • Mapping footpath and indoor data (at a granular level) and keeping them fresh requires massive effort to scale for islandwide coverage.
  • Commercial POIs although available e.g. on Google Maps, they are not complete and depend on the business owner or public to update.
  • Commercial map companies tend not to create data which they do not have commercial interests in and rather rely on Government as a trusted and authoritative source for such data eg LTA provides traffic incidents, bus timings data that commercial maps can use in their map services.
  • Being able to generate this data locally would add to our data resilience and can be used by all government and commercial map platforms.

Additional details

This CFIS is raised jointly with demand drivers like CapitaLand and Singapore Land Authority. We welcome companies and institutes of higher learning to review the problem statements posted in this call. All organizations are encouraged to co-innovate with partners to address the challenges wholly or partially.

Selected organizations will be invited to execute pilots with the demand drivers.  Organizations will be recommended for grants of up to SGD$300,000, if required.

The closing date for submission is 13 Jan 2021 (Wednesday),  3.30pm.

Please address enquires to ask@airmaker.sg

Please see below for the second Section of challenges

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