A 3D-pilot in a village near Groningen

02 October 2019 - Published by Evite van Winkoop
Buildings in some parts of the province of Groningen have been damaged by earthquakes resulting from the extraction of natural gas. In the small village of Ten Post, part of the municipality of Groningen in the Netherlands, this means that some houses need to be demolished and rebuilt, while others need to be structurally reinforced. As part of this process Ten Post wants to give citizens the ability to see and influence how the village will be rebuilt - before construction starts. A 3-D model of the village will help with this rebuilding process.

New designs for replacement buildings will placed into this 3D model of the village - they can then be revised or modified in response to feedback. The benefit of this new approach is that residents living in the area can get a very good, early view of proposed building changes and they can participate in the earliest design stage of the rebuilding process – as can policy makers. Residents will be able to see the plans for the new village, to ‘walk through’ it, and to even look under the ground. Ten Post’s 3-D model uses standard formats, which means it can also be used for virtual-reality and augmented-reality applications.


The 3-D model of the existing village will be created using a technique used called LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging).  An airplane flies 300 meters above the town and takes a LiDAR scan of the area from a height of 300 meters. This scan consists of a lot of dots (see the picture above). A traditional aerial photo can be superimposed on this scan (this process is called a 3-D mesh), and digital models of new buildings can be added to this neighbourhood model and then adjusted in response to community feedback.


This pilot in the small village of Ten Post is the first in Groningen municipality to use this technique. This 3-D model will provide a whole new dimension to the participation process for the redesign of the village, and we can immediately tell people about new plans for the community as they are developed and revised.