Vic govt to build state's first digital twin

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Vic govt to build state's first digital twin
Source: University of Melbourne

For 30-year urban renewal project.

Land Use Victoria and the University of Melbourne will develop a "digital twin" for the landmark Fishermans Bend renewal project.

The renewal project covers an area of Melbourne adjacent to the CBD and could see up to $30 billion spent on reconstruction between now and 2050.

Digital twins have been gaining in popularity in the construction and manufacturing industries as a means of creating a working virtual representation of a physical asset.

They often incorporate live data streams from embedded internet of things devices, showing the relationship between building systems and ambient temperatures, for example, or on defence aircraft to monitor wear and tear on different components.

Meanwhile, NSW has commenced an ambitious project in partnership with the CSIRO’s Data61 to explore the potential of a digital twin that could one day cover the entire state.

On a city scale, digital twins can illustrate traffic flows and demand for resources like electricity and water throughout the day.

The Victorian Digital Twin project was launched last year by the Office of Strategic Land Assessment and Information (SLAI) within the Victorian Department for Environment, Land Water and Planning.

Now the University of Melbournei’s Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) has come onboard to run the project, which aims to produce a 4D digital map that will track assets and infrastructure, with time being the fourth dimension.

The twin will include key design and condition information for physical assets above and below ground, plus legal boundaries to better manage current and future developments during the 30-year urban renewal project.

The project will be built on Cesium Ion's geospatial platform using FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), in recognition of the fact that, as one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects, different stakeholders over time will need access to the map through their own digital planning and management systems.

CSDILA director, Professor Abbas Rajabifard, said in a statement the collaborative project is set to further Melbourne’s ambitions to be a smart, liveable city.

“The Fisherman Bend digital twin will be a collaborative project across government, research and industry, which will allow us to collect, manage and visualise complex digital information about cities and infrastructures," he said.

"Using geospatial innovations and capabilities, we will enhance Victoria's liveability and Melbourne’s goals as a smart and sustainable city.”

The university also stands to benefit from the digital twin project, having purchased seven hectares of land at Fishermans Bend to build a new campus for engineering, design and IT.

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