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  • A Survey of Industry Data Models and Reference Data Libraries

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  1. It is proposed that the Information Management Framework (IMF) for the creating of a National Digital Twin will consist of three technical elements: the Foundation Data Model (FDM), Reference Data Library (RDL) and Integration Architecture (IA). The IMF will underpin the creation of an environment which supports the use, management and integration of digital information across the life-cycle of assets. The IMF will also enable secure, resilient information sharing between organisations and will facilitate better decision making across sectors. The National Digital Twin Programme has initiated work investigating this approach with a thin slice of the IMF for the Construction Innovation Hub, to support the development of CIH’s Platform Ecosystem. This thin slice of the IMF is called the FDM Seed. The FDM describes basic concepts such as space-time which are attributable across all areas of our industry. By developing this, the FDM provides a way to explore relationships between these different areas. The FDM Seed is an inception of the above concept and is proposed by starting smaller and watching the development grow - similar to a seed. The first steps of the FDM Seed project is to survey the landscape, to investigate what ontologies and Data models are already in use out there, what they can do, and their limitations, and assess what tools may be useful as a starting point for the FDM and the RDL. The starting point for the FDM is a top-level ontology, this contains the fundamental and generic types of things that exist and the fundamental relationships between them. The survey of Top-Level Ontologies (TLOs) uncovered a surprisingly high number of candidate TLOs with 40 being identified and reviewed, many more that we could have imagined. Fig 1.General classification of the TLO – taken from A Survey of Top-level Ontologies The final survey of top-level ontologies is, we think, the first of its kind. We were looking for an ontology that was rigorous, simple and with sufficient explanatory detail to cover our scope of interest, which is very broad. There are roughly two groups of TLOS, Foundational and Generic: The foundation are rigorous, principled foundations and provide a basis for consistent development and would be suitable for the FDM. The Generic tended to generalisations of lower level, rather than principled and lack a principled basis for extension, and therefore not suitable for the structure of the FDM, though likely to be use for the FDM generic lower levels. An RDL provides the classes and properties to describe the detail of an asset. The survey hoped to identify the most prominent of Industry Data Models and show the best starting point for the IMF RDL. There are many different RDLs in use across sectors. For the purpose of the FDM seed a limited analysis was carried out, but the list is open, and more candidates will be added for future consideration. Surveying and analysing the most commonly used RDLs will mean we are able to give guidance to organization when mapping their existing RDLs to the NDT. Next steps The Survey papers have now been published. We encourage you to engage with the National Digital Twin Programme to find out more about the approach, the results of the survey and the Assessments of the TLOs and Industry Data Models & RDLs. You can find these resources under the 'Files' tab. The Programme is now in the process of gathering their recommendations for the TLOs to use to start the work on the FDM Seed thin slice. We anticipate basing the FDM development on one of the TLOs, bringing in elements from others, based on the survey & analysis.
  2. holgerkessler

    Next steps for NUAR

    The Geospatial Commission would like to inform UK owners and operators of buried assets of our next steps with the creation of a National Underground Asset Register. This includes Local Authorities, Highways Authorities as well as companies working on behalf of asset owners and Utilities carrying out repairs and maintenance - basically anyone who has an interest in digging holes in the ground ? Choose from three 1 hour sessions via the link below. More information on NUAR can be found in our latest project update https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-underground-asset-register-project-update
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