Advice, stories, and expertise about work life today.



We know your inbox is protected space, so we promise to send only the good stuff, twice a month.

Public Sector

Can we fix it? Yes, it's easy to fix, repair and replace government infrastructure with lidar

Bentley Systems brings HERE Mobile Lidar data to life for the engineering and construction industries and helps the public sector manage its assets.

How does a government agency know when a bridge needs fixing?

In the past, that might have involved regular site visits to check for cracks or waiting for problems to be reported by the public.

But issues can easily be missed when authorities are managing huge numbers of assets every day. Field visits can be time-consuming and expensive.

Enter Bentley Systems' Orbit 3DM Cloud. The software program uses HERE data sets including mobile lidar data, maps and street level imagery to create a continuously updated replica of reality.

Everyone from government agencies to engineering and construction companies can use the software to manage their assets, plan future infrastructure and monitor the environment.

Ton de Vries, Senior Director of Business Development at Bentley Systems, explained why this collaboration between HERE and Bentley Systems works so well.

“We have the software and the software capabilities to use those terabytes and sometimes petabytes of data that are generated by those big lidar data sets," he said.

“That's where we team up with HERE. And making those big data sets available to everybody on their regular desktops throughout the world through cloud services also allows feature extraction — recognition of specific objects and features in those data sets like street signs, utility poles, and so forth."


HERE data sets can be visualized easily with Bentley Systems' Orbit software. Image credit: Bentley Systems.

Peter Bonne, Senior Director of 3D Mapping at Bentley Systems, said: “Having that reality brought into your office gives you an enormous number of advantages.

“The number of site visits is greatly reduced when you have the reality modeling data available at your fingertips on your desktop."

Government agencies can use HERE Mobile Lidar data to take an accurate inventory of their assets, then zoom in to specific objects to check their status. AI and machine learning spot when something is wrong, saving time and money and reducing the risk of dangerous site visits.


Repairs can be identified more quickly when HERE data is combined with Bentley Systems' Orbit software.

Bringing data into the day-to-day

HERE Mobile Lidar is available off-the-shelf rather than being commissioned and gathered over months, often at prohibitive cost.

HERE Lidar Data is collected by HERE-owned True Vehicles. This raw lidar data is then converted to industry-standard formats.

It is also colorized using imagery captured by various cameras, to create highly accurate 3D depictions of streets and city areas. It can be ordered on HERE platform.

Bentley Systems Orbit 3DM allows people to visualize it on their own software and integrates with applications that companies and agencies are already using every day.

Ton added: “We have a cloud environment where you can share the data, interpret and visualize it and see the context of the reality in which the lidar imagery goes. But you can also bring that into your engineering and GIS applications such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Bentley, Microstation, etc.

“Engineers and GIS professionals can seamlessly use that data in an environment that they are familiar with without having to do any conversions or import anything."

Other data can be seamlessly added if necessary to create a comprehensive picture.

Mapping the future

Digital twins are being used in new ways all the time.

In Dublin, firefighters use Orbit 3DM for virtual training exercises and emergency planning, with a view to using it for operations in the future.

It has also been used to create visualizations for the public of new proposed infrastructure, including the use of virtual town halls while people have not been able to meet physically.

“There has been a shift in thinking during lockdown that we can do more digitally," Peter said.

That includes the expansion of 5G networks. The combination of HERE Mobile Lidar and Bentley Systems' software allows network planners to explore new sites without having to be there physically.


Time and money can be saved when sites for 5G infrastructure can be explored remotely.

“You can collect the information digitally including full structural analysis, avoiding risks for people, and speeding up the process enormously — not only in terms of time, but also reducing costs," he added.

The software will not replace engineers, but it can bring them the information they need to do their jobs much more quickly than before.

Whether it is a bridge that needs fixing, a new infrastructure project or finding the best location for a 5G tower, HERE and Bentley Systems' Orbit will enhance both strategies and the digital twins for modeling the real world.

HERE platform

Everything you need to build location-based solutions faster

Learn more

Sign up for our newsletter