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Unlocking the Potential of Linked Data for Digital Twins and Green Building Neighbourhoods

In our fast-evolving world, where technology and sustainability are key players in shaping our cities, Digital Twins have emerged as a game-changer. These virtual replicas of real-world structures, particularly within the context of Green Building Neighborhoods, hold the potential to revolutionize urban development. Linked Data, a concept deeply rooted in semantic web technology, plays a pivotal role in enhancing the capabilities of Digital Twins. In this article, we delve into the synergy between Digital Twins and Linked Data, exploring how they collaborate to unlock new possibilities for sustainable urban environments in the context of the PROBONO project. We'll take a closer look at the PROBONO's innovative use of Linked Data in creating a common Green Building Neighbourhoods data infrastructure, and how this approach could shape the future of our cities.

Positive impacts of smart charging technologies, by Waldron et al. (2019).

Digital Twins and Linked Data

Digital Twins aren't new, but recent technological advancements have made them more relevant than ever before. In a nutshell, a Digital Twin is like a virtual clone of a physical asset or system, whether it's a building or an entire neighbourhood. It replicates every detail, from architectural design to operational data. What makes Digital Twins so compelling is their ability to simulate, analyse, and optimise real-world scenarios without any physical intervention. This technology holds immense potential for creating and managing sustainable urban environments, especially in the context of Green Building Neighbourhoods. Green Building Neighbourhoods represent a vision of urban areas designed with sustainability in mind. These neighbourhoods prioritise green infrastructure, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly building practices. However, turning this vision into reality demands a deep understanding of complex systems and data-driven decision-making. This is where Digital Twins and Linked Data come into play.

Advantages of Linked Data in the context of Digital Twins

Linked Data is a concept rooted in the world of semantic web technology. It's all about connecting the dots – linking data points across diverse sources and formats in a way that's easy for both humans and machines to understand and use. In the context of Digital Twins, Linked Data offers several key advantages:

·       Data Harmony: Digital Twins require a wealth of data, from architectural blueprints to real-time sensor information. Linked Data helps bring all this data together seamlessly.

·       Interoperability: Linked Data standards enable different software systems and data sources to work together smoothly. This means data from various fields, such as architecture, energy management, and urban planning, can all cooperate within the Digital Twin.

·       Meaningful Insights: Linked Data gives data semantic meaning, allowing machines to comprehend relationships and context. This is crucial for Digital Twin's ability to model, simulate, and optimise complex urban systems.

·       Scalability: As Green Building Neighbourhoods expand and evolve, the Digital Twin needs to keep up. Linked Data structures are designed to scale, accommodating new data sources and features as needed.


In the PROBONO project, the common GBN data infrastructure serves as a "data hub" that consolidates data from various sources in a Linked Data format, thanks to the integration of an innovative component,  the Dynamic District Information (DDIM) server. The DDIM server showcases how linked data methods enable queries over vast and varied data sources, allowing for complex inquiries at different levels. By combining technologies such as Django, Neo4J and NeoSemantics, it provides connectivity for front-end software to create homogenous knowledge graphs from heterogenous data sources such as CSV files, existing graphs and other data sources. The dataset that results is quarriable through semantic queries, defined in SPARQL.

Power of technology, collaboration, and a shared vision for a sustainable world

We believe that Linked Data is a revolutionary force in the world of Digital Twins, especially within Green Building Neighbourhoods. Its capacity to integrate, interpret, and grow with data is essential for the success of these ambitious sustainability projects. PROBONO is leading the charge with the development of a Linked Data infrastructure that could shape the future of sustainable urban environments. As we continue on this journey toward greener, smarter cities, PROBONO's contributions remind us of the power of technology, collaboration, and a shared vision for a sustainable world.

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