The Location of Things – Maps, IoT and Digital Twins – GDM #14


Making our cities more sustainable is one of the biggest challenges that faces humanity in the 21st century; so much so that the United Nations in all its wisdom has identified it as one of the 17 goals for the planet: United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #11 to transform our world – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

With less than 9 years left to achieve the ambitious goals set out for our cities, 2020-2030 is being touted as the decade of action! As with many things in life, What gets measure gets managed and measuring the transformation of a city towards a more sustainable future is not simple task. How do we use the tools at hand to help local policy makers and city agencies to make their cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable? To be more precise, how can geospatial data and technology help tackle this challenge?

The Location of Things – 14th Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup

We teamed with our friends over at Microsoft Azure, Grey Matter and Evident Proof to deep deeper and talk about the role of Internet Of Things (IoT), Digital Twins and Maps in helping transform our cities and buildings.

You can join us live, listen to 4 amazing talks and network with the rest of the spatial community during the event on 23rd June (registration link).

The WHAT and How of transforming our cities  

Digital technologies can transform a city and interconnect key areas of its ecosystem. Although few places in the world have moved beyond pilots or specific initiatives, more cities are beginning to use sensor data, digital twins, automation and control systems for urban planning, visualisation, simulation of the urban environment, connecting citizens to services, and operating city infrastructure through city management dashboards.

Digital Twins

The concept of digital twins – a digital model and representation of real-world environment brought to life with real time data from sensors and other data sources – has entered the realm of smart cities and promises to enable city administrations and urban planners to make better decisions with the help of data integration and visualisation from across the urban space.

Location and Geospatial services

Understanding and operating an environment as complex and interdependent as a city needs a lot of data and maps are a fundamental tool for making sense of that for planning and operations.

Maps can help you understand the data from sensors more easily by seeing them in context; they also turn out to the be a logical way to organise and manage ontologies and hierarchies of smart devices into a smart building.

The role of Microsoft Azure in all of this

Microsoft Azure Digital Twins platform enables modelling and creating digital representations of connected environments like buildings, factories, farms, energy networks, railways, stadiums, and cities, then brings these entities to life with a live execution environment that integrates IoT and other data sources. To drive openness and interoperability, Azure Digital Twins comes with an open modelling language, Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL), which provides flexibility, ease of use, and integration into the rest of the Azure platform.

Location can also be important in modelling and predictive maintenance for gaining insight and making data-driven decisions. Azure Maps provides mapping and geospatial services including access to real-time traffic, transit planning, route-finding, and weather data that are a key part of the smart city opportunity which is why Microsoft’s Smart City IoT services integrate closely with Azure Maps.

About Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup

The main objective for us at Geoawesomeness to host these meetups is to bring the community together to talk about how geospatial data and tools is transforming the world for the better. Think of these events as an open-source project aimed at enabling conversations and cross-industry cooperation. Each event has at least one speaker from the industry that is using geospatial data and tools to solve problems.

Since the middle of 2020, we hosted 13 events until date and already have plans for many more in 2021 (2021 schedule). More than 5000 GeoGeeks from all over the world attended the events so if you are looking for (virtual) opportunities to network with the geospatial community, the Geoawesomeness Digital Meetup is the place to be!

The event is hosted by Muthu and Aleks. You will find their contact details below.
I am one of those passionate "Geo-geeks" and "Geo-people" who is just too excited about everything Geo and Management. Location information and spatial technologies are just too big to take a back seat and watch them revolutionize the world. Always curious and looking for ways to innovate, I guess that it comes naturally by the gene pool I inherited from an engineer Mom and a researcher Dad.


  1. The concept of Digital Twins is going to modernize our cities and it will give a whole different look to the cities. Our cities will look more advanced with this program. I highly appreciate the thinking of the United Nations over this concept. Well, now I will find out here the reviews of those writers who help students in their essays online.


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