GeoPython 2020

3D Ground Modelling in the Civil Engineering Industry: An Open-Source Workflow
2020-09-21, 11:00–11:20, Room 1

We present the findings of initial investigations into the use of open-source solutions for 3D ground-modelling within the context of the civil engineering industry.

3D ground modelling is a hot-topic within the civil engineering industry, with several proprietary solutions competing for dominance. These commercial packages have various individual advantages and disadvantages, but a common obstacle to their widespread use is the high cost placed on the user. Here we present initial investigations into an open-source (zero cost) workflow to produce high-quality 3D ground models, in the context of UK industry. We highlight areas for future development and potential barriers to up-take of the open-source workflow.

The open-source workflow includes conversion of ground data in AGS format (UK standard format for ground investigation data) to a simple python data-structure, automated 3D modelling using the GemPy library and visualisation in vtk. It will be shown that the automated procedure produces a reasonable ‘first-guess’ at near-surface geology, but facility for the engineering geologist to interactively edit the result is important to gain wider acceptance in the industry. Other barriers include level of coding ability within the industry, although where expertise exist this could provide a large additional community that could contribute to open-source projects if suitably engaged.