The iModel.js blog is no more.
We have moved.
The previous blog — along with the whole concept of the iModel —though respectable…was a little too small. Seriously, it was starting to get a bit cramped back there.
Don’t get me wrong, iModels are epic. They get design data (BIM/CAD) from across infrastructure domains and applications into a single format, something that has never been attempted before. This makes the iModel a great foundation for a digital twin…but still an incomplete one. The problem is that most design data only includes stuff that hasn’t been constructed yet. In other words:
It’s a projection of the future.
But what about stuff that has already been constructed?
What about the past?
That’s something we need to address if we want to give people the ability to create a more complete digital twin.
Introducing the iTwin
The iTwin takes into account both the past and the future data of an infrastructure project. To understand this, let’s take a quick trip to the town of Hangyeong-myeon in South Korea. My team was recently asked to create a digital twin of a wind farm close by. Now this was something that had already been constructed. So how would we go about creating this twin?
If we ignore the recent advances in Reality Modeling technology…we would start from scratch by booting up our computers, use a design software to create (likely inaccurate) replicas of each individual wind turbine, and maybe find a passable way to represent the surrounding area.
Or we can fast track this process by flying some picture-taking drones in the area, and quickly generate precise 3D meshes of both the turbines and the surroundings. This reality data can then be passed into our iTwin to create a digital twin!
In this way, an iTwin can be enriched with both the past (Reality) data and future (iModel) to build a comprehensive digital twin at any stage of infrastructure development. And an extra bonus — you can turn on geographic (GIS) data to accurately map the twin and represent its surroundings, as in the case above.
The past and future are great, but some of you may be wondering…what about the most Zen state of them all:
What about the present?
I’ll have to say, that’s a tricky one. I mean, what is the present anyways?
I am excited to report — iTwin in collaboration with Microsoft, can easily integrate real-time sensor data to your digital twin. This allows us to see what’s going on in the actual project site in the present moment. For example: in the case of the wind farm, we were able to leverage this technology to visualize the live power output of each individual turbine.
The past, the present, the future, plus GIS data…and that’s just the beginning of your iTwin. You can further enhance its value — by adding additional iTwin services and data sources — to finally complete your digital twin.
Since an iTwin is much more than an iModel, iModel.js has been renamed iTwin.js to account for these expanding capabilities. Maybe now you can see why we needed the extra space!
Well, we just got done unpacking…and it’s time I invite you to visit our new home.
-Roop, reporting live from the basement.