We wrote about Spatial Digital Twins Assessment – the Current Situation in the previous blog. In this post, you will learn why a proper technology capability framework is a prerequisite to implementing any digital twin technology application.
WGIC defines a digital twin as a dynamic digital replica of a physical counterpart that provides up to real-time status and performance monitoring from sensors and observations. Spatial digital twins have a specific spatial context providing a holistic, dimensional, location-based representation of assets, infrastructure, and systems. Eventually, it enables the end users to organize large amounts of data, visualize the same in 3D or 4D models and analyze. For a more immersive look at digital twins, read WGIC’s report “Spatial Digital Twins: Global Status, Opportunities, and the Way Forward.”
Representing the leading geospatial companies in the world and being at the center of the geospatial ecosystem, WGIC actively observes the pace of development and implementation of spatial digital twins within its member companies. Most industries are actively investing in implementing digital twin technology. The capability of receiving data from multiple sources (e.g., spatial data, operations, and maintenance data, engineering data, sensor data) and analyzing the same enables a wide range of new applications in design, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, utility, mining, agriculture, and defense sectors.
Tech Capability Stack Recommended by WGIC
A proper technology capability framework is a prerequisite to implementing any digital twin technology application. Figure 1 gives the schematic of the tech capability stack recommended by WGIC. The stack has essential layers, like the data, platform, and application. Various user applications can be built on this framework. The framework is aided and advanced by standards and policy, and security aspects.
Tier-by-tier Use Cases
Digital twin technology, when enabled by its spatial component, revolutionizes how businesses operate. The motivation behind the substantial interest in this technology is that digital twin technology aids in lowering operational expenses and asset downtime and improving overall business efficiency. WGIC’s extensive research, global scans, and surveys highlight the relative importance of spatial data utilization across the use cases presented in the report. Below is the tier-by-tier division of the initial assessment of the twenty-seven use cases.
The first tier refers to applications like metaverse, Augmented Reality (AR), or Virtual Reality (VR), which calls for highly precise spatial and dimensional accuracy. The second tier of applications is mainly on the construction, smart city, and infrastructure side. Sometimes, these digital twins would need spatial and dimensional accuracy, and also, in individual use cases, they might need more dimensional rather than positional accuracy. WGIC observes many evolving use cases in the third and fourth-tiers, the details of which will be assessed in subsequent reports.
Besides tier-by-tier division, WGIC also completed an initial assessment of the use cases and divided the use cases into the following six layers.
- Asset Maintenance,
- Utilities and Communications.
Based on the use case and the layer it belongs to, WGIC provided a description detailing the use and applications of digital twins enabled by geospatial data. It can be best observed in the visual presented below.
Digital twin technology isn’t just a buzzword. Enabled by the spatial component, it brings immense value to the companies implementing them, thus contributing to a more sustainable business. The growing number of use cases is the true indicator of spatial digital twins’ market potential and development.
The original content of the blog post is sourced from the WGIC Policy Report “Spatial Digital Twins: Global Status, Opportunities, and the Way Forward.”
Editors of the blog: Margarita Dadyan and Bhanu Rekha from WGIC