IBM wants to create a virtual Portland

by Mark R

Last January, at CES, I witnessed a very interesting photo-realistic 3D-city visualization display from C3. I got a chance to view San Francisco from the air through the power of 3D graphics, and IBM is now working on a project that is somewhat similar.

The company’s Systems Dynamics for Smarter Cities is planning on mapping out the city of Portland as mathematically as possible. The end result will be this massive “SimPortland” that is the product of 3,000 equations and constants inspired from the popular Oregon city.

So if you want to see what would happen if you change things in the city, you can see it happen. Like if you want to put in a new road, then run it to the simulator to see how much it will mess with commuter traffic.

Of course, we all know that what is ran through a simulator is often not what happens in the real world, and I’m not expecting this simulator to be 100 percent accurate. After all, is it really possible to account for every variable in an city of millions?

Perhaps this is where we are headed as human beings. One day, the entire globe will be mapped out, and we will be able to see exactly what happens when we mess with the planet. Now that would be a better SimEarth game than the actual SimEarth game.


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