Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 77 ›› Issue (3): 507-517.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202203001

• Theoretical and Methodological Exploration •     Next Articles

Digital twin space and its applications: Concurrent discussion on the space reconstruction of geographical research

LI Shuangcheng1(), ZHANG Wenbin2, CHEN Liying2, LIANG Ze1, ZHANG Yajuan1, WANG Zheng1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University; Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Boyutec Co., Ltd., Shijiazhuang 050035, China
  • Received:2020-08-17 Revised:2022-01-25 Online:2022-03-25 Published:2022-05-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41590843)


The past two years have witnessed an explosive growth of digital twin research and its increasing application in a wide range of fields and scales. This urgently calls for a methodological framework to guide and consolidate the research and application of digital twin in various fields and with different structures and scales. In this paper, we first summarized and analyzed the development patterns of digital twin research in various fields, and then coined a term "digital twin space" (with definition and characteristics) as a framework to generalize and consolidate digital twins of various scales. Taking digital twin city as an example, we briefly elaborated the application of twin space. Space, as the carrier of the research object or the research object itself in geography, consists of natural geographical space, social space, and cyberspace. These three types of spaces, however, have not been fully integrated in different branches of geography. In order to boost comprehensive geography research, we propose to reconstruct geographical space research by integrating the three types of geographical spaces with the twin space. Digital twin space can interact with the physical space bilaterally in real time and thus break the barriers among the three types of geographical spaces from inside, which further helps realize the tasks of simulating realities, predicting changes, and regulating processes in integrated geography research.

Key words: physical space, digital twin space, digital twin city, geographical space reconstruction