Big data puts Victorian planning systems on the map

By Melissa Coade

Wednesday July 14, 2021

Richard Wynne
Victorian housing minister Richard Wynne (AAP Image/Luis Ascui)

A new planning platform named Digital Twin Victoria will be capable of modelling different project scenarios to test the feasibility of proposals and troubleshoot project issues across different agencies and sectors easier than ever before. 

Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne announced the $35.2 million project to develop the online platform on Tuesday. 

“Once this platform is established, real-time data can be collected at an astonishing rate and absorbed into the Digital Twin to support informed planning decisions and share important information with communities,” Wynne said. 

The online platform, which is based on a pilot platform that was created for the Fisherman’s Bend urban renewal project, will allow stakeholders like planners, engineers and builders to create digital representations of the real world by bringing together data and information. 

Some of the digital recreations the platform will be able to replicate include utilities infrastructure, farmland and cities models, and even bricks and mortar finishes.

Land Use Victoria is leading the development of the platform, and will bring together state-derived rich 3D and 4D spatial data, artificial intelligence and sensor data to visualise and model places virtually. The mission statement of the project is to use ‘open data, technology and algorithms to create real world outcomes’.

The project will focus on six core government capabilities including data, platforms, skills, analytics, governance and community engagements. 

The CSIRO will be hosting Digital Twin Victoria as the state government’s partner for the project, and the platform has been built using TerriaJS technology for the agency’s Data61 arm.

The minister said he expected the platform would offer efficiencies to the planning and construction process, which would benefit Victoria’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“With the convergence of big data and advanced technology, Digital Twin Victoria will enable us to do in minutes and days things that used to take weeks, months and even years,” Wynne said.

According to Land Use Victoria, thousands of open datasets derived from government agencies across all jurisdictions have already been added to the platform, which will be available for use by the end of 2021.

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