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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

GISCafe Digital Twin Technology Questionnaire

February 19th, 2019 by Susan Smith

Digital twin technology has been talked about a great deal over the past few years, and is being worked on in various technology segments. At one time it was the province of manufacturing and now it is part of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and data analytics. It is also being explored by numerous industries.

In the Internet of Things, more complex things become connected and have the ability to produce data. So having a digital representation of that data then becomes valuable to IT professionals to create what-if scenarios and have a representation of their systems.

A good description of a digital twin is as follows: “A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object or system. The technology behind digital twins has expanded to include large items such as buildings, factories and even cities, and some have said people and processes can have digital twins, expanding the concept even further. The idea first arose at NASA: full-scale mockups of early space capsules, used on the ground to mirror and diagnose problems in orbit, eventually gave way to fully digital simulations.” – Network World

In our GISCafe Voice Industry Predictions, digital twins were cited as one of the trends to watch in 2019. The digital twin is generally constructed by specialists who research the physics underlying the physical object or system being copied and use resulting data to develop a mathematical model that simulates the real world original model. So the tools involve simulation, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and other technologies that are currently being explored.

Sir John Armitt, National Infrastructure Commission, UK

In the UK, the National Infrastructure Commission is exploring creating a digital copy of the country’s entire infrastructure. This would involve linking smaller digital twins of the country’s cities and towns and infrastructure networks. It is hoped that the UK digital twin would help in the preparation for and response to extreme weather events. This would be a collaborative effort involving both private and public sectors in all corners of the country.

The professional requirements for those interested in developing digital twins are steep – you will need to have very specialized expertise in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning, and other data analytical skills.

Below is a questionnaire on digital twins – please feel free to answer the questions that apply to your organization’s use of, development of, or interest in, digital twins. Deadline for submissions is March 1st. Please include photos (no headshots or logos please), screenshots, videos appropriate to the subject matter. You can send your responses to me, Susan Smith,

  1. What part of the digital twin process is your organization involved in developing or interested in for the future?
  2. What role do sensors play in the gathering of data for the digital twin?
  3. How do you see digital twins assisting in geospatial processes?
  4. How are digital twins being used in the conceptual part of design for digital cities and countries around the world?
  5. Is there a way to enter the data from a real-world counterpart into a digital twin that is standard, or would that vary with the type of technology used?
  6. What are the rules, if any, for developing digital twins?
  7. How does the digital twin aid in predictive analysis and prototyping for geospatial projects?
  8. Another aspect of digital twin experience is the predictive twin, which could model the future of infrastructure, based upon the behavior of past designs of a similar nature. How do you feel the predictive twin would play into the digital twin experience?
  9. Are there situations where digital twins would not be the best approach?
  10. A digital twin would take many years to complete, depending upon its proportions. In the meantime, how do you perceive being able to use the digital twin and its data to the best advantage?

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Categories: 3D Cities, 3D designs, agriculture, analytics, ArcGIS, asset management, Autodesk, autonomous driving, autonomous vehicles, Bentley Systems, Building Information Modeling, climate change, cloud, cloud network analytics, conversion, data, developers, disaster relief, drones, emergency response, Esri, field GIS, geospatial, GIS, government, indoor mapping, lidar, location based services, location intelligence, mobile, mobile mapping, photogrammetry, public safety, reality modeling, remote sensing, resilient cities, satellite imagery, sensors, SmarterBetterCities, smartphones, spatial data, transportation, UAS, UAV, UAVs, utilities

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