Towards a digital twin of the Italian coast

In the framework of the Destination Earth initiative, a long-term project to take advantage of the great amount of data produced by European agencies and scientific organizations around the world, the goal of building a Digital Twin of the Earth was born. The Digital Twin Earth is a highprecision digital model of the Earth that integrates various aspects of the Earth’s system in order to monitor and simulate natural phenomena and related human activities, and that is able to explore the past and present and predict the future.

To build a Digital Twin Earth it is required the scientific cooperation of European institutions, alongside with a set of technological tools such as High-Performance Computing (HPC), Cloud Computing and connectivity, Big Data, interoperable data and data standards, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to simulate and model the Earth’s systems processes.

On this work it is presented a web platform that uses open-source technologies to integrate a wide set of more than 60 geospatial layers of environmental data, provided openly and for free by Copernicus Marine Service, and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, in addition to demographics data provided also open and free by WorldPop. With the data integrated on this platform a user is able to explore and analyze many land and sea layers. This platform is focused solely on the coastal areas of Italy, but its modular and extensible design is suitable for extending it and replicating it to other parts of the world.

The platform addresses the Digital Twin Earth’s Big Data and interoperability component by integrating several geospatial data sources using a mediator-wrapper integration architecture that leverages the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for geospatial data, the Cloud Computing and connectivity component by providing a web-based interface to explore and analyze the integrated data, and the scientific cooperation component by enabling the possibility to save and share the analysis and discoveries made through the platform.

This work constitutes a proof of concept and an approach of what a Digital Twin of the Earth is capable of. To show it, a case study is presented analyzing ocean acidification on Genova and is whereabouts.

The development of the platform is a work in progress, which means that many more features and functionalities are to be included in following versions, having in mind a tool that is open, data-centric, and a good example of a Digital Twin Earth.

Duque Ordoñez J. P., 2022. Towards a digital twin of the Italian coast. MSc thesis, Politecnico di Milano, 102 p. Thesis.

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