By Jeremy Morley, Chief Geospatial Scientist
‘Digital Twin’ is the new ‘Smart City’. It’s a term that has little consensus on its meaning, but critical importance for those who understand its significance and role in a prosperous future for the UK.
Earlier this month, at the Digital Twin Data Challenge, we saw academics and professionals compete to create a digital model of Bristol: a virtual ‘echo’ or projection of the city, created in digital form.
This isn’t a new concept. From the interwoven narratives of Lewis Carroll’s “Sylvie and Bruno” in 1893, to the 1982 cult classic action of “TRON” bringing software programs to life in an abstract digital landscape, we can fast-forward to 1999 and see Neo ‘living’ in an almost perfect simulation of the real world in “The Matrix”. Dystopian? Perhaps. But that was nearly 30 years ago. Today, this notion of creating parallel worlds is more than a possibility. It’s a reality – and a necessity.
We were extremely pleased to see our own Minecraft project and one of our Partners recognised at the prestigious AGI Awards this month. Recognising the very best achievements in the field of geographic information throughout the year, the awards mark the climax of Geocom, AGI’s annual flagship conference event, which this year ran under the title ‘The Changing Face of Geo’.
We scooped a Best Geospatial Data Visualisation prize for our GB Minecraft map, collected on the evening by Joseph Braybrook (pictured, left), creator of the map. The award recognised the importance of the visual representation of geospatial data to convey a story or message, and the judges were looking for powerful methods of using geospatial data in visualising and communicating a message.
The Association of Geographic Information (AGI) GeoCommunity Conference is taking place this week with good attendance from key players in the geographic industry. Organised around the theme of ‘placing ourselves in the new economy’ and based at a new venue in Nottingham, the very varied and interesting conference programme has led to packed rooms and a real buzz around the event.