City seeks digital twin for public building interiors
As original blueprints are no longer accurate, Aurora, Illinois, wants indoor digital maps to update records and increase public safety.
Over the course of decades, municipal facilities in Aurora, Illinois, have changed so much that local leaders say they are “no longer well represented” by their original blueprints. City officials now hope to create a digital twin that will provide a better overview.
In a request for proposals released earlier this month, the city is calling for vendors to map the interior of approximately 80 structures, excluding its public schools.
The city said there is “no cohesive, accurate map” of city hall “as it stands today,” due to the various unrecorded additions made to it over the last seven decades, including having walls and doors added or removed.The city also wants updated, centralized schematics for the rest of its infrastructure, according to the RFP.
Project leaders said they envision 360-degree cameras mapping each floor of every building over a set period — including the city’s police department headquarters and city hall — then stitching together those images to create a digital schematic that ideally will be in 3D but could also be two-dimensional.
Besides updating records and easing work on city buildings, the mapping will also assist with public safety. Aurora said it would like to link the security cameras it currently has installed to locations in its digital twin, and then be able to accurately match live video feeds with their real-world location. Digital links to physical door locks would give officials remote control of access points during emergencies. They also hope to use the mapping to identify the locations of fire extinguishers on premises to speed fire response.
The concept of a digital twin is growing in popularity as governments use them to mirror and predict activities/performance over the life of a corresponding physical twin and increase efficiency. Digital twins have been used to assess smart city initiatives, explore sustainability options and bolster emergency response. Amazon Web Services began offering its IoT TwinMaker earlier this year to help developers more easily build a digital twin.
Respondents to the Aurora RFP are required to outline how they would handle the technical process for imaging a given space, including a timeline for the project and how it would work.
Prospective bidders have until Dec. 13 to apply. The awardee would then receive a full list of buildings it would be required to map and an estimated square footage.