Orlando reveals digital twin at international expo in Spain

Officials worked with Unity to create virtual copy of Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – The City Beautiful has embarked on a first-of-its-kind project, and it’s now being showcased in Barcelona at the Smart City World Expo Congress.

The Orlando Economic Partnership worked with software developer Unity to create a ‘Digital Twin’ for the region.

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OEP Creative Director Trent Goodin said they wanted to tell the Orlando story in an immersive way — all while contributing to economic development.

“Orlando has a really long history of modeling simulation dating, all the way back to the space race,” Goodin said.

Orlando’s ‘Digital Twin’ is an in-depth, virtual copy of the City Beautiful with different data sets layered throughout.

“We wanted to create something that was dynamic and robust that we could start to answer our questions of companies that are looking to relocate or expand here in a new and innovative way and still be able to have the same depth of knowledge and information shared without having to load up a hundred-page slide deck and drive them around to five different sites across the city,” Goodin said.

The map highlights five regions encompassing areas in parts of other counties, including Downtown Orlando, Lake Nona, UCF Research Park in Orange County, Lake Mary-Heathrow in Seminole County and Neo City in Osceola County.

It also shows the area’s demographics, infrastructure and nearby necessities, like schools.

“We can start to tailor that experience and show them, here’s where your workforce lies, this is how they’re going to be able to get to work, This is where their kids will go to school. This is where the electric sits on the ground for a building they might be looking for,” Goodin said.

Goodin said they hope the ‘Digital Twin’ will set them apart when businesses are looking for a place to call home.

“I hope that this drives more economic growth and interest in Orlando,” Goodin said. “Ultimately, we want to attract more businesses and talent and retain them here.”

Goodin said there are hundreds of cities also implementing the ‘Digital Twin,’ but what makes Orlando’s unique is the size, which covers 800 square miles. They are currently on phase one of the multiphase project and hope to expand the map later on down the road.

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