Software thinks in seconds. Digital twin platforms should last for centuries.

Nextspace is a platform that futureproofs the digital twins you make, dealing with the inevitability of incremental complexity created by time
Written by
Paul Shale
Published on
November 4, 2022
Screenshot from video. Software thinks in seconds.

We were working on the digital twin PoC for the Puhoi-Warkworth highway extension when it hit home.

The technology we were using had only existed for a couple of years. Moreover, replacement technology was already on the immediate horizon.

In complete contrast, whilst the project stretch of highway was new it replaced a road I first travelled over 50 years ago. The construction contract itself included a quarter of a century maintenance requirement. Beyond that, the road is likely to last at least 200 years before any major alteration is considered and it falls into the infrastructure category whose oldest assets that are still in use are now over4,000 years old.

Welcome to the dichotomy of impermanent software and permanent infrastructure.

Nextspace’s data-first approach produces many benefits. The ability to import any file format and dissect those file formats into the data attributes that matter. The ability to commence with incomplete data, to start without an agreed data standard, upgrade to a new standard down the line, and easily create data schemas for specific applications such as artificial intelligence.

Another resulting benefit of our agile data structure is the ability to integrate future technologies, importing new file formats and exporting to systems that do not exist today. Protecting against obsolescence and delivering the promise of futureproofing.

Not futureproofing visualization technology, or hardware, or data capture processes – but the data itself. Entity “attributes” that matter. The “what”, “when”, “where” of the asset and the relationships between assets. It is this information create insight and trends across time as opposed to the moment in time snapshot of a visual model or one-off data capture.

If the assets you’re digitizing have a life greater than 3 years then the ability to futureproof and deal with the inevitability of incremental complexity over time become critical requirements of the platform you choose to build digital twins on.

With over 25-years’ experience creating digital twins, we know that data-first GUID-management and an ontological data framework remain the drafting gate between digital twins destined to fall into ruin and those that will survive the test of time.

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