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A digital twin bridges the digital and physical world, it provides a seamless digital replica of the physical world in data and allows it to exist simultaneously. The National Digital Twin Day forms part of a series of thought-provoking events and activities that aim to focus on the variety of work being undertaken at the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB). The digital twin day will shine a light on how digital twin thinking can:

  • Drive more value from data
  • Maximise infrastructure performance and
  • Deliver better outcomes for society

The CDBB Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) has set out a pathway to better information management and guidance on digital twin adoption. The overarching purpose of the DFTG is to steer and guide the successful development and adoption of the Information Management Framework for the Built Environment. Information management is critical to digital twin adoption and realising the benefits from digital twins across the built environment.

The UK already has some of the best geospatial data management in the world. The UK has led the world in showing how opening up geospatial data benefits our built environment economically, environmentally and socially. Geospatial data infrastructures are the backbone to information management about the built environment. This means data infrastructures for collecting, managing and sharing smarter data that provide a foundation to help organisations build digital services and gain insights from data in ways that people can understand and trust. Geospatial data infrastructures power geospatial readiness, a platform for knowledge and insight and then actionable knowledge and value, using a combination of people, processes and technologies.

In the UK there are public, commercial and community led geospatial data infrastructures for the built environment, for example Ordnance Survey Great Britain, HM Land Registry, Greater London Authority, Network Rail and OpenStreetMap.

The UK needs to continue investing in geospatial data infrastructures for information management across the built environment and providing a pathway to digital twin adoption. 1Spatial are helping organisations across the UK and globally to evolve their geospatial data infrastructures for creating smarter data and information for digital twin adoption.

A stepping stone towards digital twin adoption is the design, implementation and management of digital national registers. As stated by Government Digital Service (GDS), Registers provide structured datasets of government information to help organisations and individuals build services on high quality data infrastructure.  Services, for example digital twins using registers can reduce the time and cost of sourcing data from across government, receive data that is ready to use with no need for data cleansing, be confident that services are using the most up to date data. As per GDS guidance, each register only contains data on a specific subject, is kept up-to-date by a subject matter expert from the relevant government organisation and shares a common API that supports JSON and CSV.

Two digital register examples are the Digital National Asset Register (DNAR) and National Underground Asset Register (NUAR). By 2021 the DNAR, led by the Office of Government Property aims to provide a single, trusted view of all public estate assets, supporting better strategic property decision making. The NUAR, led by the Geospatial Commission aims to provide a national digital register of the pipes and cables which run underground, to help reduce the disruption causes when they are struck by mistake. The digital register will allow workers to see underground pipes and cables on mobile phones or laptop computers before they start a dig. This will help to reduce disruption on the roads through better planning and more coordination between infrastructure providers and local authorities.  Both register examples depend upon geospatial data and therefore efficient and effective geospatial data infrastructures.

Geospatial data infrastructures can guide digital twin adoption and maintenance through digital registers, based upon data Collaboration, data Automation and data Transformation principles.

  • Data Collaboration – working with stakeholders internally and externally to collect, manage and share data
  • Data Automation – designing and implementing workflows to collect, manage and share data
  • Data Transformation – making digital data fit for purpose

The above collaboration, automation and transformation principles enable organisations to effectively and efficiently collect, manage and share smarter, built environment, geospatial data. This provides a pathway to digital registers and digital twin adoption and provides those responsible for the data infrastructure to effectively combine and manage the data required to build and maintain a digital twin.

1Spatial look forward to attending the Digital Twin Day and following up this blog article with our thoughts and reflections on the event.  If you would like to hear more about how 1Spatial are helping organisations across the UK and globally to evolve their geospatial data infrastructures for creating smarter data and information for digital twin adoption please join us at the Smarter Data, Smarter World 2019 conference taking place at the British Library on 19th November.

Author: Matthew White. 1Spatial.

Reference Links:

National Digital Twin Day

Centre for Digital Built Britain

Digital Framework Task Group