Prof. Dr. Sisi Zlatanova, President ISPRS TCIV


Prof. Dr. Sisi Zlatanova, President ISPRS TCIV

President ISPRS TCIV Faculty of Built Environment University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Topics: Spatial Digital Twins for Sustainable Urban Modelling


Geospatial information has been used daily in increasing number of applications related to creating Digital Twins. Contemporary decision-making for sustainable urban modelling is highly dependent on geospatial references. In the last years, many Digital Twins have been developed to analyse, simulate and forecast different urban phenomena. All of them have used a range of 2D or 3D spatial data obtained from different institutions, agencies and companies.  Fusion of information has become a burden and necessity.

Through the years many topics related to integration of geospatial data have been discussed. Research on Spatial data infrastructures was the first attempt to harmonise GIS data. More recently the term Digital Engineering indicates the effort to establish standards in construction (BIM) industry. The concept of spatially enabled Digital Twin and Smart Cities are yet another notion of fusion of geospatial data and real-time sensor streams with the intention to model the complex interaction of environmental and physical conditions. For example, understanding walking behaviour as a function of heat, time of day and 3D built structure, allows for adaption planning regulations and policies.

While it is acknowledged that every domain has its own specificities, the need to fuse, re-use and share geospatial data is becoming increasingly important for Digital Twins. Critical to realise is that a real-world structures or phenomena a unique object but viewed and perceived from different perspectives. Therefore, agreements must be found at different levels (semantic, geometric, topological), which corresponds to the textual description provided to the real-world objects (e.g. name, metadata, etc.) and will allow seamless fusion of data.

This talk will elaborate on the obstacles in geospatial data fusion considering data from different domains. An overview on approaches for data harmonisation and interoperability will be discussed and supported by some examples of Digital Twins for urban areas.


Sisi Zlatanova is a SHARP Professor at the University of New South Wales UNSW). Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture and Head of the Geospatial Research, Innovation and Development (GRID) lab. She obtained her PhD degree from the Graz University of Technology, Austria. Her research interests are in 3D modelling and more specifically, integration of BIM and GIS, 3D Indoor modelling, 3D representations, 3D data management and visualisation. Together with a team of excellent researchers, she advances the 3D capabilities of Spatial Information Systems. In the last years she has worked extensively on 3D Indoor modelling, developing frameworks for indoor/outdoor seamless user-tailored navigation. She is instrumental in advancing Spatial Digital Twins for monitoring and 3D analysis of urban environments. She is keen exploring new directions for research, but she is also developing and promoting international spatial standards. She is actively involved in the activities of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and leading the developments of the OGC standard IndoorGML. She is the President of Technical Commission IV ‘Spatial Information Science’ of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) for the period 2016-2022 and Treasurer of the Urban Data Management Society (UDMS). She is one of the founders and a regular participant of Gi4DM, 3DGeoinfo and Indoor3D. She is Editor of the International Journal of Digital Innovation in the Built Environment and Associated editor of ISPRS Journal for geoinformation and the International Journal of Applied Earth observation and Geoinformation. She has more than 450 scientific publications and edited 22 books. She works with companies and institutions towards maturing the concepts of spatially-enabled Digital Twins.