Geo Week News

October 23, 2019

Bentley Systems acquires Orbit GT and Citilabs to bolster digital cities


At the 2019 Year in Infrastructure Conference, taking place in Singapore this week, conference hosts Bentley Systems made a major announcement: the acquisition of two geospatially-focused companies; Citilabs and Orbit GT.

Bentley Systems is the leading global provider of comprehensive software and digital twin cloud services for design, construction and operations of infrastructure, and these announcements – particularly about Orbit GT – are big news for the 3D mapping world. The data and software from both companies is intended to enable engineering-based mobility digital twins as a compliment to Bentley’s existing design integrations and digital cities offerings.

Drawing on Orbit GT’s 3D mobile mapping experience

Orbit GT is known for helping users wrangle large amounts of data from a variety of sources – everything from point clouds to mobile mapping, UAS imagery and indoor scanning. According to Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, Orbit GT is a company with a lot of experience in 3D mapping.

“Orbit GT, a company that have been specialists in 3D mapping for many decades, were the first to make mobile mapping this useful, and to help surveyors handle the enormous data entailed in mobile mapping.”

In a press release, Peter Bonne, CEO Of Orbit GT described the announcement as a step towards the advancement of 3D mapping towards 4D digital twins, e.g., those models that are continuously updated and provide valuable information on over time.

“Today’s announcement offers our team, partners and customers a unique opportunity to take a big leap forward in addressing today’s need for increasingly accurate, versatile, manageable and embedded digital twins.”

Orbit GT’s technology adds to Bentley’s existing reality modeling and point cloud processing software such as ContextCapture and Pointools. According to Greg Bentley, Orbit GT will become an integrated part of Bentley’s toolset, towards the goal of bettering their “mobility digital twins.”

“Advancing the 3D mapping paradigm has always been at the heart of Orbit GT’s activities,” says Bonne, “In adding to Bentley’s digital cities offerings, we will jointly broaden the solutions portfolio and provide unprecedented possibilities for collaboration among platforms.”

Citilabs CUBE simulations and Streetlytics provide crucial transportation analytics

Two products from Citilabs were of interest to Bentley in this acquisition. In the pursuit of modeling cities, transportation data is a necessary input into any city-sized simulation. Citilab’s CUBE simulation software provides predictive transportation technology, helping engineers and planners to design and optimize safe, efficient, effective, and environmentally sustainable mobility systems. Citilab’s Streetlytics provides mobility data and analytics on the moving population within the U.S. and Canada for planners, engineers, and infrastructure asset managers to make data-informed decisions about transportation trends.

Road mobility digital twins bring together a cities’ digital context and digital components with CUBE simulations to model and assure real-world throughput capacity for proposed and existing roadway assets. Streetlytics traffic data will become increasingly available through Bentley’s cloud services to calibrate and validate mobility digital twins.

Michael Clarke, president and CEO for Citilabs, said in the press release that he is excited for the company to become a part of Bentley Systems.

“Our customers and partners will have a fantastic opportunity to fully integrate the planning, design, and operation of multi-modal transportation systems. At Citilabs, our mission has been to enable our customers to leverage location-based data, behavioral models, and machine learning through our products to understand and forecast movement in our cities, regions and nations. Today’s announcement will truly bring together a rich understanding of current and projected travel to improve the design and operation of tomorrow’s mobility systems.”


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