Hexagon develops GeoAI solution for wastewater management in Cologne

January 29, 2023

Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial Division announced the successful deployment of a GeoAI (Geospatial Artificial Intelligence) solution to streamline municipal wastewater operations in Cologne. The solution automatically detects changes in sealed surfaces that affect drainage and enables Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln, AöR (StEB Köln) to calculate wastewater charges for private properties more efficiently.

Before the use of GeoAI, the tax assessment process was very labour-intensive. Property owners rarely reported the increase or decrease of sealed surfaces, so the StEB Köln had to record the information manually and coordinate it with the property owners.

With the help of aerial and LiDAR-based data collection and artificial intelligence-based analyses, the GeoAI solution automatically identifies and classifies the property areas. It also detects complicating conditions such as shadows, vegetation and roof overhangs that could interfere with the evaluation. The resulting data is made available in StEB’s corporate GIS via an interface based on the standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

“The core task of StEB Cologne is wastewater collection and treatment, but our responsibility extends to the entire water management of the city,” says Jürgen Becker, deputy CEO of StEB Cologne. “Hexagon has delivered a solution that automates processes and allows us to focus on quality control and improving water management services for the citizens of Cologne.”

Hexagon’s GeoAI solution includes Leica CityMapper-2, a high-performance airborne imagery and LiDAR mapping system, ERDAS IMAGINE image analysis software and Melowntech AI capabilities. In addition to detecting changes to sealed surfaces, the solution can also be used to simulate and assess the impact of heavy rainfall and identify areas suitable for restoration to improve the urban climate.

“Using GeoAI to create a Digital Twin with automated analysis provides powerful applications for municipalities to improve urban liveability,” said Maximilian Weber, Senior Vice President EMEA, Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial Division. “We are pleased to provide the metropolis of Cologne with a solution that can improve both today’s water management services and the city’s climate in the future.”

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