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Three pilots, two nations

By Robyn Francis | Global Engagement Coordinator | Smart Cities Council

A much anticipated session on a topic that has been discussed frequently throughout the week thus far - sharing of use cases. In this session, we looked at three diverse Digital Twin research projects that are currently underway.

Although the projects focus on different use cases, insights and recommendations, they are consistent and cover the themes of user experience, data, platforms and tools, infrastructure and governance.

The three collaborative research projects that were presented in this session:

● AusEnHealth

● Liveable City Digital Twin

● National Digital Twin for Flood Resilience

Kate Williams, Chief Business Officer at FrontierSI, hosts a knowledge exchange session with guests including:

Dr Aiden Price | Queensland University of Technology

Professor Dr. Sisi Zlatanova | UNSW Sydney

Professor Matthew Wilson | University of Canterbury

More on the projects:

Currently, no national digital representation of environmental and health indicators at a spatial scale. The AusEnHealth project aims to enable the ability for policy makers, health managers and researchers to identify vulnerable populations, predict future disease burdens and plan for a changing climate in a coordinated and timely manner.

The solution? To develop a platform that works for government, industry and universities to contribute to an ecosystem of integrated digital twins.

Challenges have included imputation and patchy data, availability across states as not all data is recorded at the same temporal / spatial resolution and finally, analysis and the extraction of value.

The Liveable City Digital Twin project looks at digital twins developed for visualisation demonstrating 3D and real-time data streams, which are still lacking. The aim of the project is to create a demonstration digital twin which embeds analytics within a 3D city modelling framework to address the impact of the urban landscape and building design on urban heat islands, street sharing and walkability.

Deliverables have included algorithms, a spatial schema, a mechanism and interfaces for maintaining up-to-date digital twin data as well as recommendations for follow on development and industry stakeholder recommendations.

The National Digital Twin for Flood Resilience looks at flood risk management and mitigation related to infrastructure and the environment. The digital twin idea is to enable automated generation of flood inundation models and flood risk assessment, based on new methods of machine learning for automated feature extraction.

The roadmap to developing the prototype digital twin includes automated data infestation, generation of model input data, model realisation, hazard assessment, and much more.

What we can learn from these projects

Challenges for data sourcing and management:

We know where buildings are, but floor levels are crucial in a project such as the National Digital Twin for Flood Resilience and this information isn’t always available, getting data for pumping stations and a number of other data challenges. The learning, however, is the need for standards.

Learning about and creation of standards is again about data and how it is integrated. Features of datasets and minimum attributes are important to outline, but often tricky to anticipate to avoid having to develop them manually. Following that discussion, hot topics included governance and the outline of what data is used for what project, and for what purpose.

We look forward to following the progress of these projects and sharing learnings with our community.

Stay tuned for sessions throughout the week, where we’ll unpack a few of these projects further.

A recording of this session will be made available on the Smart Cities Academy website on November 1 2021. Subscribers to the DT Hub will be notified when available.

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