NSW Spatial Digital Twin

The NSW Spatial Digital Twin (SDT) is a program of work that is being led by DCS Spatial Services which will deliver a cross-sector, collaborative environment that will share and visualise location information, in a 4D model (3D plus time) of the real world, in near real time and will support improved decision making.

Spatial digital twins enable users to arrange large amounts of data in one place, to visualise the data in the form of 3D and 4D (3D plus time) models and to understand and analyse the data through detailed analytics. NSW’s Foundation Spatial Data provides the framework to deliver real-world context that enables users to make more informed decisions, saving costs and creating efficiencies.

At the heart of the NSW SDT is a shared data management and delivery platform that is open to the public and private sector allowing for effective collaboration to accelerate the deployment and uptake of smart and connected technologies across the state. It is central to planning, prioritising and delivering infrastructure more cost effectively and more quickly, while also ensuring community engagement. 

The NSW SDT represents a step change in the way that government plans and delivers services to improve the lives of people in NSW and it will support NSW to be a state driven by data insights.

About the program

As part of the Live NSW program, funded through the Digital Restart Fund (DRF), the NSW SDT has been identified by Infrastructure NSW as an enabler of Smart Places and the realisation of the NSW Government’s priorities. It is a part of the future digital form of government which is citizen focussed and outcomes driven.

The program will:

  • Deliver spatial data at quality and performance levels that generate savings and efficiencies right across government and industry.
  • Specifically focus in the first four years on supporting infrastructure planning and delivery as well as emergency management.
  • Provide opportunities for better support and decisions in relation to environmental management and natural resource management.
  • Support effective and meaningful data analytics, and provide opportunities for collaboration across academia, industry, business, and government.
  • Encourage and facilitate engagement between government and community to ensure better customer service.

The platform

The NSW Spatial Digital Twin is a cross-sector, collaborative digital workbench for whole-of-government use, that will visualise location information, in a 4D model of the real world (3D plus time).


Data is shared by data owners (data custodians) in the NSW Spatial Collaboration Portal, a secure platform that facilitates the delivery of NSW Government spatial datasets. The portal allows local, state, and federal agencies to deliver spatial data, asset management and enables the search and discovery of datasets for all NSW citizens.

Visualisation services for the NSW SDT are available to users either within the portal or through the Digital Twin Visualisation Service.


Telecommunications and utilities infrastructure in the Spatial Digital Twin

The NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry on the 2019/2020 bushfires reinforced the need for telecommunications and utility infrastructure data, particularly spatial data that could inform risk and resilience decisions in the location and protection of essential utilities infrastructure in emergency situations.

The key objectives of developing a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure data set are to:

  • Improve the ability of Emergency Services Organisation (ESOs) to protect these vital assets through better understanding of their location, protection arrangements and interdependencies
  • Ensure ESOs know what telecommunications services are and aren’t available to them for operational use, and understand what services are available to the community and
  • Ensure communities have the greatest possible prospect of retaining communications and connectivity, allowing:
    • people to be fully informed on fire progress and conditions
    • people to call for emergency assistance
    • people to communicate with family and neighbours
    • government and ESOs to provide community warnings via emergency alert services
    • access to post emergency services

DCS Spatial Services is currently developing a 3D spatial dataset of Government Radio Network (GRN) telecommunications towers and assets across NSW to assist with emergency management and response.

The project will scale to include all other telecommunications (Telco) utility asset data. In order to provide complete and current Telco data, access and sharing agreements are to be negotiated with Telco providers.