July 11, 2024


An Unmanned Community

A Model of Korea: the Ambitious Project to Make a Digital Twin of a Country

digital twin of a countrydigital twin of a country

Creative Commons 2.0

At South Korea’s Smart Geo Expo last week, Digital Twins were on display everywhere.  South Korea’s stunning skyline has been built in only 70 years.

DroneLife · Korea – Creates – A-Digital – Twin – Of – The – Country

The country of only 50 million people is ranked #6 in the world for infrastructure, with an impressive range of bridges, roads, airports, and more.  Korea has developed this sophisticated infrastructure so quickly by leveraging the best technology available.  Now, Korea is moving forward with an ambitious project that will help them maintain and continue to develop their infrastructure, ensuring resiliency: a Digital Twin of the entire country.

Asan City, about a 30 minute bullet train ride from Seoul,  is a coastal city of about 340,000 residents: and is one of 5 cities assigned by Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) as a pilot city for Korea’s Digital Twin project.  The 30 person geospatial team is working to perform cadastral mapping and survey of roads, waterways, and buildings across the city’s 542 square km;  MOLIT is developing the Digital Twin National Land Platform to manage the data.

Fifteen of Asan’s geospatial team have drone pilot licenses: and 3 of them work full time, using a combination of DJI Matrice aircraft and Remo-SV aquatic vehicles, on drone mapping.   The aquatic drone provides bathymetric data to allow modeling of underwater beds and provide waterway depth information: the Digital Twin project involves integrating land and waterway models.

It’s a massive undertaking to create precise digital twins of every road, building, bridge, national monument and park in an entire country.  The potential payoff, however, is great.  On display at the Smart Geo Expo, attendees could experience digital twins of the countryside by getting on a stationary bike and “riding” along a bike trail: or touring in virtual reality through national cultural monuments. When complete, the data will be used for a wide variety of uses: to manage development, maintain infrastructure efficiently, and ensure resilience against natural disasters.

In addition to the efforts to develop the Digital Twin of a country, Asan’s drone team works with city departments to provide first response and search and rescue services when needed.

Read more about the Korean drone industry:



Miriam McNabbMiriam McNabb

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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