Video: Bentley Systems reality modelling enhances US Papal visit to Philadelphia

Probono work and latest Acute 3D digital mapping technology from Bentley underpins Pope Francis's recent visit to Philadelphia in September.

When Pope Francis made his historic visit to the US in September, infrastructure software specialist Bentley Systems stepped in to help event production company ESM with vital planning work to digitally model the whole of the city of Philadelphia in record time and with unprecedented detail. 

Having a detail digital map of the city was vital to enable effective coordination between Philadelphia’s many public services, as well as the U.S. Secret Service, Pennsylvania state agencies, and the local Philadelphia Catholic Diocese.

This coordination was made more effective and timely through Bentley’s reality modelling technology, as well as services provided by a legion of Bentley staff who volunteered their time for free to make the Papal visit a huge success.

As this video describes, a three stage process was used to create a detailed and highly flexible model:

  1. Bentley’s Context: Capture software was used to build a highly detailed, photo-textured 3D “reality mesh” model from 28,000 digital photographs, with unprecedented geometrical accuracy. Base imagery was provided by Pictometry, high-resolution aerial photography was taken by helicopter by AEROmetrex, and ground footage was captured by Bentley volunteers –including building facades, street views, and the inside of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
  2. Engineer in context: The highly precise 3D model was populated with 2D and 3D maps and designs, resulting in a 28GB dataset. The dataset was used to communicate the details for the 56,400 temporary structures, main and secondary stages and event seating, 33 miles of security barricade perimeter, special U.S. Secret Service security requirements, impact of local road closures to pedestrian traffic flows, and more.
  3. Enliven the engineered environment. Bentley’s Lumen RTsoftware was used to add motion and additional content to simulate the expected operational experience, a great help to decision makers.The team added moving people in crowds, vehicles flowing in traffic, dynamic sunlight conditions, and seasonal trees and plants.

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