In 2021, the State Government announced the initial rollout of the Digital Twin Victoria (DTV) program, a $37.4 million investment in digital twin technology, geospatial data and spatial innovation over 4 years.
The program will effectively create a digital model of the state, assisting planning decisions by visualising the built form outcomes of projects, including state-significant planning and infrastructure developments. This will enable the fast-tracking of planning for cities and regions with local governments able to bring data together to facilitate an understanding of project outcomes.
Urban Design Associate Gokhan Karpat is Ratio’s Digital Twin expert, having been part of the initial testing by the State Government. As an early tester and specialist in design-related programs and technologies, Gokhan regularly prepares highly complex and accurate 3D models, visual impact assessments and urban design documentation, and is well-placed to provide insight into the next phase of Digital Twin.
Early Tester Program
“After being introduced to this new initiative, I enrolled in the early tester program to upskill myself and ensure Ratio was ready to lead the rollout of this next-generational database system.
Since the digital platform offered by this program often intersects with the tools I utilise in my day-to-day work, I became one of the limited industry professionals who participated in the Digital Twin Early Tester Program.
Upon testing the platform, I recognised that DTV has capabilities that extend beyond merely creating a simple digital twin (digital representation of reality) ‒ DTV can produce a comprehensive setting with integrated GIS capabilities supported by over 4,000 accessible datasets.
As of today, Digital Twin is a platform that carries geospatial datasets, including demographic information, buildings, terrains and other sector-specific data, as well as four-dimensional information which supports advanced visualisations, analytics, modelling and simulation.”
Preparing to Launch at Full Capacity
“With the addition of new programs, updated datasets will be ready for use within the next couple of months.
The DTV Program is investing over $4M in new LIDAR surveys across Victoria to support a range of land and infrastructure management activities such as site investigations, flood mapping, vegetation mapping, surface modelling cultural heritage mapping, and land surface change detection.
Vicmap Building datasets will be available in December 2022. This cutting-edge machine learning datasets will provide building heights extracted from high-accuracy LIDAR surveys, well-defined vegetation canopy and all significant roofed structures.
The other key investment is the Digital Cadastre Modernisation project. The digital cadastre upgrade is part of Land Use Victoria’s five-year initiative to transform Victoria’s legacy property boundaries into a data-driven, highly accurate, 3D digital cadastre representation.
Digital Twin will provide us with decades’ worth of information in one place which, for our team, offers us the convenience to access data and high accuracy in undertaking a wide range of planning and urban design tasks.”
“Of note for our particular industry is a tool called eComply, a new online 3D building compliance check that will assess designs against selected planning codes instantly to help the housing permit process.
This tool can run a self-assessment based on several selected planning codes and create a report within 30 seconds. This module will help streamline planning approvals and deliver numerous time-saving benefits across the planning and development value chain.”
How Accessible is Digital Twin?
“Digital Twin is free to access platform and runs complex applications on non-specialised workplace computers. It is designed to be a user-friendly tool which doesn’t require public or professional users to possess GIS knowledge to navigate and interpret the data.”
How can Digital Twin assist my next project? …
“I’m excited about how planning and urban design professionals can utilise Digital Twin’s capacity to deliver an efficient planning permit assessment and approval process and visualise a wider range of spatial data.
A key challenge I often face in my role is simplifying and clearly communicating highly technical and analytical data for different audiences in an unambiguous way and a 3D visualisation tool will help convey these complex concepts. The in-house skills available at Ratio will enable us to communicate our findings and recommendations easily and more effectively.
The Digital Twin system is highly dynamic given its reliance on cutting-edge machine learning technology, which means the system will continually evolve as different custodians with new datasets connect to the program, effectively making it future-proof.”