Date:
5 August 2021
Author:
Phillipa Martin

Victoria’s digital twin 

Last month, the Victorian Government announced $35.2 million of funding for its Victorian Digital Twin initiative. This follows on from an earlier digital twin pilot at Fishermen’s Bend and a broader Victorian digital twin pilot. 

Currently, the Victorian pilot incorporates over 4000 open datasets from data.gov.au and data.vic.gov.au. Datasets cover everything from tree canopy cover to buildings/planning, including digital plans from Victoria’s Big Build project.  

Benefits of digital twins

City and state digital twins have become increasingly popular as part of digital transformation in government. The digital twin provides an exact replica of an object (in this case a state) that can be used to explore problems, solutions and innovations.  For example, you can:

  • Analyse past data to identify patterns
  • Test future plans quickly and easily with no physical repercussions or real-world costs
  • Model different options/actions to find the best solution

Digital twin applications

Some more specific applications for Victoria's digital twin include:

  • Better and faster delivery of construction projects — the digital twin can demonstrate how buildings will fit/work in existing environments, including accurate 3D representations of shadows cast over the course of a day and compliance with relevant planning laws
  • Better and faster delivery of infrastructure — the digital twin can be used to model and improve roads, energy networks, parks, etc.
  • Traffic management — traffic data can be used to model current and alternative traffic management
  • Land management — such as identifying the number of trees in particular areas and examining past flood patterns to predict future patterns
  • Habitat monitoring — e.g. monitoring seal movements 
  • Monitoring real-time energy production across the state, e.g. current production from Victorian wind farms

The Digital Twin Program

Victoria’s Digital Twin Program is broader than just the digital twin platform. In fact, there are seven streams in the overarching program:

  1. Advanced earth observation  
  2. Enhanced disaster response
  3. Faster subdivision registration
  4. Automated approvals
  5. Digital twin platform
  6. Digital twin utilities
  7. Digital twins for asset management

The project is led by Land Use Victoria and the platform itself is built using Data61’s TerriaJS technology.

Salsa Digital’s take

It’s great to see digital twins gaining traction, with Victoria’s program joining others in Australia (e.g. NSW’s digital twin) and the world (e.g. Singapore's digital twin). Digital twins can provide many benefits to governments and citizens (see our first look at digital twins in Digital twin technology for government for more information). Victoria’s digital twin is already bringing benefits to the building industry and citizens through the eComply pilot. It’s a great example of how digital twins and digital transformation in government can deliver benefits to citizens.