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Digital Twin

GIS creates digital twins of the natural and built environments

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What is a digital twin?

A digital twin is a virtual representation of the real world, including physical objects, processes, relationships, and behaviors. GIS creates digital twins of the natural and built environments and uniquely integrates many types of digital models.

Geospatial technology connects different types of data and systems to create a single view that can be accessed throughout the complete project life cycle. GIS enhances data capture and integration, enables better real-time visualization, provides advanced analysis and automation of future predictions, and allows for information sharing and collaboration.

Digital twin of the Port of Rotterdam

Europe's busiest port utilizes a digital twin to track over 80 ships a day and 460 million tons of cargo per year, generating 3% of Dutch GDP.

A framework to create and integrate digital twins

Our world is rapidly transforming into a digital place. Digital twins are abstracting and modeling everything, improving business processes, reducing risk, optimizing operational efficiencies, and enhancing decision-making with automation to predict outcomes. Digital twins provide greater context to solve business challenges by creating relationships and streamlining workflows. Geographic information system (GIS) technology is foundational for any digital twin. Esri's geospatial technology interconnects information, systems, models, and behaviors with spatial context, creating holistic digital representations of environments, assets, networks, and cities.

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ArcGIS: The Foundation for Digital Twins eBook

Learn how digital twins benefit from GIS integration and explore use cases and solutions that demonstrate how ArcGIS supports digital twin enablement.

Download the ebook
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Digital twin resources

Explore a list of technologies, articles, videos and more that explain how GIS and location play a critical role in the life cycle of a digital twin.

Access the resource
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Elements of a digital twin

Data capture and integration

Digital twins are modernizing how organizations capture and visualize data, integrate networks, and analyze information.

  • Data modeling
  • System integration and management
  • Reality capture
  • Feature creation and extraction
  • Workflow and business systems
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Real time and visualization

Make the right decisions, discover new patterns, and unlock data's potential with real-time information and an authoritative network.

  • Dashboards and reporting
  • Real-time Internet of Things (IoT) integration
  • Insights and analytics
  • Advanced visualization
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Share and collaborate

GIS technology supports smart organizations and communities by improving information sharing, eliminating data silos, and increasing internal and external engagement.

  • Dynamic visual communication
  • Engagement and collaboration
  • Pervasive data access
  • Information transparency
  • Project delivery
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Analyze and predict

Analyze and make accurate predictions using powerful statistical, machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), and artificial intelligence (AI) methods.


  •  Automation (AI/ML/DL)
  •  Notebooks and modeling
  •  Simulation and scenario modeling
  •  Forecasting
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Esri Blog

Uppsala’s digital twin enhances sustainability

A detailed plan helps Uppsala focus its growth on sustainable outcomes and innovative development ideas before construction begins on a new district.

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The Esri Partner Network is a rich ecosystem of organizations that work together to extend Esri technology. Partners deliver solutions, content, and services to help you meet your goals.


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Have a question or comment about GIS and digital twins? Schedule a conversation with a member of our team.

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