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Felix LarocheJan 17, 2023 10:48:50 AM14 min read

Effective Digital Twin Asset Management: The Essential Guide

As traditional cities hurtle toward becoming smart cities, the pressure’s on to step up your asset management capabilities. Too many cities presently lack a clear digital strategy. The right way to start is with a comprehensive model of your city, including automated identification of city assets. In other words—a digital twin.

Briefly, How Does a Digital Twin Work?

Digital twin companies like Jakarto use innovative technology to map out the territory in 3D. This high-definition geospatial data helps you to see and explore places virtually—almost as if you were there in person. Further, a digital twin serves as the data source for municipal asset inventories.

The inventory-making procedure involves the use of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, trained specifically for each different type of asset. AI explores the digital twin’s raw data— including LiDAR and camera data—to identify and then extract the desired elements.

Once inventory has been identified, the resulting data can be viewed in the digital twin. In addition, the data can be exported and used in any system already in place.

A further advantage is that the digital twin is not static; rather, it dynamically updates its content. For example, when new data is collected from the roads, other AI algorithms work to detect changes and illustrate the evolution of your city. By keeping data fresh, a digital twin enhances urban planning. As a result, your city becomes more of a living, breathing, thinking entity.

AI-powered asset management paves the way for optimal city planning. Geospatial data delivers more efficient transportation and communication; as a result, you can manage your city faster and at a lesser expense.

digital twin
Source: Shutterstock

The Value of a Digital Twin City

Governments and other organizations increasingly see digital twins as an integral solution to major global challenges. Digital twins make it easier to manage resources and serve citizens more effectively.

Digital twins complement other emerging technologies. We’re en route to a new world, replete with 5G wireless that makes immersive experiences available anywhere. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors have already started feeding data into city infrastructure. Autonomous vehicles will use municipal geodata to navigate streets safely.

Blockchain facilitates logistics and transactions, while AI continues to revolutionize processes. As an example, Jakarto employs AI in its digital twin cities to maximize data usefulness. Essentially, digital twins make cities smart—aligning with current trends in urban governance.

Improving the Quality of Life for Urban Populations

A growing percentage of the human population resides in cities. However, rapid urbanization has led to problems such as traffic congestion, high maintenance costs, and equitable service delivery challenges. At the same time, urbanization has also driven opportunities, namely the more effective organization of cities via digital twins.

Cities bring together large concentrations of intelligent and creative people, many of whom are developing better approaches to work and life. However, they also need the support of the cities where they reside. After all, smart citizens need smart cities.

A city empowered by a digital twin and its complementary technologies offers citizens a better quality of life. Innovations like Jakarto’s LiDAR- and AI-enabled inventories lead to more efficient asset management. Moreover, you can make roads faster and more comfortable, signals more legible, lighting clearer, and the surface drainage network better maintained.

Digital twin cities support the precise monitoring of conditions. For instance, you can get an accurate view of your entire city’s entire infrastructure from your office. And it stands to reason that having this information at hand will result in smarter decisions.

The world’s leading cities are already embracing digital twins, as are smaller towns and urban areas of all sizes. Are you ready yet?

Role of Effective Asset Management in Deploying and Maintaining Smart Cities

Undertaking asset inventories with the assistance of a digital twin enhances urban planning and management. Without this technology, cities would be stuck with the same old methods that were slower and less accurate.

Jakarto’s solution automatically identifies assets throughout your city. Mobile mapping units collect data using LiDAR rangefinders, surround cameras, and GPS units with inertial positioning devices. Then, it’s up to AI to analyze the data, which in turn supplies the Jakartowns cloud app.

You can use Jakartowns as a tool to visualize and measure all aspects of your municipality. The technology facilitates the rise of smart cities by adding precise information on which to base decisions. Moreover, it’s much faster to consult immersive software-as-a-service (SaaS) than it is to drive out to an actual site. Jakartowns already has over 90,000 kilometers of data and can easily add your area.

Smart cities are all about using data to enliven municipal processes, and digital twins are the go-to data source for 2023.

The speed of data empowers asset managers to undertake more efficient maintenance operations. For example, leveraging Jakarto to quickly identify bent or obstructed poles throughout the city—then replacing or repairing them at a fraction of the cost.

Cities want to improve transportation and communication, logistics and electrical infrastructure, design and construction, and more. This is where a digital twin city can enhance all areas of urban planning and management.

A Jakarto digital twin is used for various types of asset management, including inventorying and monitoring trees, lighting, road signs and traffic signals, pavement conditions, sidewalks, and surface drainage. Moreover, Jarkarto’s flexible technology means you can automatically add other categories to your inventory.


Start by taking an automatic inventory of the trees and shrubs in your city. Jakarto’s AI detects the geographic location of roadside plants. Additionally, the data includes 3D point clouds from the laser range-finding, plus high-definition imagery.

As a result, you can see each tree’s height and width, the diameter of its trunk, and the volume of its leaves—it’s even possible to estimate the amount of woody biomass. The automatically generated data is at least 95% accurate by default. And, if need be, close to 100% classification accuracy can be achieved.

With this data at your fingertips, it’s easier to direct maintenance staff where they’re needed. Further, you can use the data to measure performance in respect of environmental goals. For instance, gauging whether the amount of biomass satisfies the city’s annual target.


A digital twin lets you track street lamps and other urban infrastructure, helping to monitor municipal lighting for the safety and comfort of residents. With Jakarto’s inventory of utility poles you get not just street lights but also traffic lights and cabling for electricity and telecoms.

In addition to the location and 3D geometry, AI can also discern what material a lamp post is made of and what condition it’s in. This makes it much simpler to see which areas need lighting fixes or improvements.

Another benefit of geospatial data is that city officials can, for example, use it to decide where to install more street lamps. Furthermore, you could use the exported data to identify all wooden utility poles, simplifying the process of upgrading these to metal.

Road Signs and Traffic Signals

signs as digital twin assets
Source: Shutterstock

With Jakarto, you can easily identify road signs and traffic signals because the system detects the exact geographic coordinates of each sign. Data incorporates the 3D model and camera images of these signs—poles included—and even reads the text.

The software recognizes different categories of signs, including danger signs and work signs. Furthermore, it’s possible to specify other types of signs to categorize. As with data on trees, signs and signals will be identified with at least 95% accuracy by default. Identification can be boosted to almost 100% accuracy if necessary.

As it’s now possible to extract the text information from signs, it’s also feasible to analyze and plan traffic control from your office. You’ll gain insight into which parking rules are enforced and at what times, allowing for programmatic management of road assets.

Pavement Conditions

While you’re collecting 3D data on your city, it makes sense to get the most out of it. For this reason, Jakarto has partnered with road performance experts to measure the international roughness index (IRI).

This is the most widely employed measure of pavement conditions. Most importantly, it tells you how smooth or comfortable it is to drive on a road. The extreme precision of digital twin measurements makes it feasible to assess the pavement with a fair degree of accuracy.

IRI measurements can also be incorporated to manage roads and determine the quality of newly built surfaces. If any roads need grinding or other repairs, the data will let you know. Furthermore, you can use this information to gauge the feasibility of road improvements before starting work.

Sidewalk Analysis

Sidewalks are no less important than roads, and you can also collect sidewalk data with a digital twin. The quality of your city’s sidewalks determines how safely people can walk, as well as how often they’ll walk. With more cities working to encourage the health and environmental benefits of walking, this data can supplement your urban planning.

Considerations for sidewalks and road pavements have much in common. For instance, you can see the network of paths and how even their surfaces are. However, as sidewalks don’t have to support the equivalent traffic, measurements don’t require a similarly precise assessment of smoothness.

Surface Drainage

Another feature that Jakarto’s AI can automatically inventory is the network of ditches and culverts draining the urban terrain. This includes data on lengths of ditches and the openings of culverts.

Given the availability of broader topological data, the system can infer the water flow through the surface drainage network. Jakartowns already contains digital twin data for some areas, and if your location isn’t covered yet, it can be added.

This valuable data lets you check whether the city has enough surface drainage and that it’s in an acceptable condition. For instance, you could examine ditches and culverts before a spring thaw to manage stormwater runoff plus the usual road drainage and debris.

digital twin city
Source: Shutterstock

Best Practices in Asset Management for Digital Twin Cities, City Planning, and Management

Deriving maximum value from a digital twin involves more than just the data itself. You also need to make optimal use of this data. By embracing the best practices of smart asset planning, you’ll be able to experience the maximum benefits of having a digital twin.

Jakarto’s AI processes vast quantities of raw data to extract and classify assets. That still leaves room for you to analyze and apply the data. With a digital twin, it’s possible to measure distances with up to one millimeter precision—making it an extremely useful tool for municipal planning and maintenance.

Cities that have not already done so may want to establish an “intelligent operation center” to consolidate their smart city efforts. This institution brings together the various personnel, data, and other resources necessary to manage assets and operations efficiently. Because many departments can benefit from a digital twin, it makes sense to combine their inputs too.

Planning, monitoring, reporting, and decision-making can all be monitored from an intelligent operations center. Further, working in partnership with external organizations allows a cooperative venture to improve the collection and analysis of data.

Jakartowns offers the easiest approach to managing digital twin data as it’s highly visual and as simple to use as a street navigation app. That said, don’t let its simplicity fool you. Jakartowns is a powerful tool that makes those massive volumes of city data much more manageable.

Another advantage with this web app is being able to inventory and geocode municipal assets. These measurements are accurate enough to use for survey information. And as Jakarto data is available in various common file formats, you can use it in software from vendors like Esri and Dassault.

Mistakes to Avoid

It’s important to adhere to best practices. At the same time, it’s even more important to avoid costly mistakes. For example, you don’t want to use low-quality data to model a digital twin city. Although you’re aiming to make smarter decisions, the input source may limit the value you can extract. All data should be sourced from dedicated equipment operated to standard by professionals.

Another common mistake with digital twins is to use generalized technology, rather than tools specific to your needs. Trying to use a technology designed for one purpose for something else will lead to problems. For instance, a digital twin platform for the manufacturing industry wouldn’t be capable of managing an entire city. Jakarto’s digital twins are specifically focused on municipal needs.

Another potential issue might be a lack of user involvement. After collecting and processing data, you’ll have a detailed digital twin of your city. However, this digital twin is only valuable when it’s properly used. As such, the relevant municipal employees need to know about the availability and functionality of your digital twin to optimize asset management. Moreover, they need to have the requisite skills to use this tool effectively.

Be sure to assess the value that a digital twin brings. You may want to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and baseline measurements beforehand to properly gauge the effects. For example, determining whether you’re spending less on inventories or improving traffic flows.

Collaborate to Meet Demand

In developing your digital twin city, pay attention to people and their needs. A common pitfall is to focus too much on the technology itself. Rather see the technology for what it is—a tool to achieve an end.

Driven by demand, the digital twin has specific rationales. For instance, maybe you’ll save on the cost of surveys by not having to roll out trucks. You can also decide when the best time is to undertake maintenance on, say, the road network or electrical cables.

Another best practice is to prioritize collaboration. Municipalities may want to invite urban planners, data scientists, and citizens to work together on projects that use a digital twin. Further, as this resource is an excellent tool for communication and sharing knowledge, cities stand to benefit from a larger and more varied source of inputs.

An important practice when using digital twins is to combine organic, bottom-up processes with directed, top-down processes. You want to have a clear sense of which assets to inventory and how you’ll use the digital inventory data. At the same time, by exploring the digital twin, you may find novel ways in which to improve municipal planning.

Fun fact: each inventory object is stored in a database with a link that you can click to go back to Jakartowns and see the element in its geographic context.

While working with digital twins, it’s smart to document your decisions and procedures. Record what works best for your particular situation, then share lessons across departments or even with external partners.

Working with an established partner is beneficial as you’ll have the necessary knowledge and resources to deliver a successful digital twin. Jakarto has already put their technology to the test and made extremely accurate digital twins covering tens of thousands of kilometers.

How to Start Using a Digital Twin for Asset Management

After seeing the advantages of a digital twin city and learning how this technology can help with asset management, you may want to know about the next step. If you’re working with an external partner, this can be quite straightforward. Simply describe the areas you want covered, which data output you need, and how to receive the data.

If you were to attempt this on your own, it would involve collecting large volumes of LiDAR and camera data. And that’s just the beginning. On top of that, there’s the challenge of actually processing the data!

Your location may already be in Jakarto’s coverage area. In this case, you can simply browse Jakartowns to find the data. Alternatively, contact Jakarto for 2D or 3D mapping data, or inventory data for any of the asset categories listed. For example, trees, lighting, road signs and traffic signals, pavement conditions, sidewalk analysis, and surface drainage.

Another features is being able to receive the raw data over FTP or on physical media such as a USB key or DVD. Also, if you have any custom needs or specific instructions, Jakarto’s digital mapping and AI-powered asset inventory can assist.

Level up Your Asset Planning with Jakarto

By using the most current technology for asset planning, you’re already one step ahead on the path to create a truly smart city. In 2023, we’ll see digital twin technology assume even more importance for municipal management.

Digital twins represent entire cities, with high-precision data obtained from LiDAR and 4K cameras. Jakarto uses its industry-leading AI to identify and classify assets within your city. As we’ve already touched on, that includes anything from trees and lighting to traffic signals, sidewalks, and surface drainage conditions—not to mention any other categories you’d like to add.

Digital twin data assists cities, utilities, and other organizations with asset planning and management. This technique saves money by reducing the number of times you have to drive out to a site. In addition, it improves safety by letting you conduct more activities virtually instead of in the field.

Best practices—such as focusing on people and collaborating widely—will help you manage assets optimally with 3D geospatial data. A data-driven smart city offers employees better tools and exceeds citizens’ needs. Indeed, a digital twin city is the engine of smart decision-making.

Join the digital twin revolution and improve your asset intelligence. There’s no cost to trying out Jakartowns. Moreover, you can arrange to have your municipality included with next-gen asset data. Contact Jakarto to get started!


Felix Laroche

Après avoir passé plus de 20 ans au sein de JLR Solutions foncières, dont 7 à titre de président, Félix est maintenant impliqué à 100% dans son nouveau projet Jakarto. Ce projet consiste à modéliser les villes en 3D, afin de créer des villes jumelles numériques à l’aide de la technologie LiDAR, plus spécifiquement des LiDARs terrestres. Deux marchés sont priorisés, les villes intelligentes et la cartographie HD pour la conduite autonome.