Evacuation route planning in Berlin’s underground U-Bahn and adjacent city streets

The Stadtmitte U-Bahn station in Berlin’s centre is one of 173 underground metro stations in the city. This is the access station to Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin’s most famous square. Adjacent to the square sits upscale shops, restaurants and hotels, which attract thousands of people every day, making risk management and evacuation planning imperative to visitors’ safety.

To the city of Berlin, enabling public safety means planning evacuation routes, controlling crowds, assessing risks and avoiding damages to stations. They use reality capture technology to quickly and accurately map above and below ground infrastructure to build accurate 3D maps that allow scenario planning and modelling.

Until recently, documenting underground metro stations, city streets, or other infrastructures was a time consuming and complicated process. This is why particularly in crowded cities, solutions such as the Leica Pegasus:Backpack wearable scanning technology, facilitate the process and make 3D mobile mapping a cost-effective and efficient technology to collect and evaluate data. Point clouds and imagery are used to produce 3D city maps and models with a high level of detail and accuracy.

As a result, public safety officials get a 3D city model readily available on their desktop computer with the ability to review, plan, and create models for:

  • Analysis of existing above and underground emergency evacuation procedures and scenarios
  • Planning of new evacuation routes with best and worst case conditions
  • Unlimited kettling for maximum crowd control and minimum riot damage
  • Unlimited view shed analysis for optimal surveillance and support team placement

3D model with point cloud of Stadtmitte U-Bahn in AutoCAD


Model evacuation routes


City mapping and modeling underground evacuation routs, use scene diagram or point cloud for viewshed

In addition to the above, the wearable scanning and photogrammetry platform also accurately captures critical 2D and 3D city and U-Bahn geographical data of:

  • Existing evacuation/egress routes for analysis and review of obstructions
  • Existing access/ingress routes for analysis and review of obstructions
  • Up-to-date floor plans and elevation models with centimetre accuracy
  • Signage including fire hazards, extinguishers, and exits
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Elevators
  • Stairs
  • Interior doors, windows and building exits

Mobile mapping technology does not only allow for accurate and detailed data capture, but also for analysis and evaluation of the data for planning purposes, risk assessment/management, and scenario modelling, transforming the way in which public safety authorities keep their citizens safe.

Frank Collazo,

Global AE, Geospatial Solutions Division,

Leica Geosystems, AG

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