Digital Twins, 60 Years Old in 2023
Digital Twins, in the geospatial context, turn 60 in 2023. To get the celebration started, Axim Geospatial (Axim) is releasing the first in a blog series that will culminate with a Digital Twin webinar in early 2023. Our community, the geospatial family, has been creating digital twins, or the key components thereof, since 1963 when the “father of GIS”, Roger Tomlinson created the first recognized computerized GIS, the Canada Geographic Information System, supporting Canada’s land-use management program (reference: https://www.esri.com/en-us/what-is-gis/history-of-gis). Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual representation of the real world - nothing new to all of us GIS professionals. Fast-forward 59 years and the examples are ubiquitous with the biggest change being the rate of technological evolution. You are already designing, building and maintaining portions of a digital twin. The challenge now is to expand upon our definition to include real-time data integration and 3D representations and visualizations. Luckily, the convergence of digitalization, GIS and broader IT innovations provides us the opportunities to put our stamp on delivering geospatial digital twins as a living, breathing system of engagement that have meaningful impact on decision making.