Event Organiser:
ABC Events
Contact us on: 02 9008 1101
2014 Participants include:
buildingSmart Australasia
Urban Circus
Dept Planning & Infrastructure NSW
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Fender Katsalidis Architects

New 'Virtual' Infrastructure for the 21st Century

What's the Conference about?

This urgent ground-breaking Conference will address both the technology issues and legal constraints implicit in the development of a new National 'infrastructure': a 3D computer model of the real world - for use in all 'property-related' activities.

Over the centuries, societies have evolved to build and regulate new infrastructure. First were roads and water. Later, technology brought us rail, gas and electricity.

Banking too is a form of infrastructure that is regulated to protect the public interest.

Telecommunications is the most recent.

Now the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) present us with a new opportunity: to build a complete 3D model of the natural and built environment (inside and out, above and below ground) - down to 'engineering' scales for individual buildings.

The creation of such a model raises many issues, particularly around privacy and security.

Why this Conference?

The purpose of the Conference is not to 'sell' a solution, but to start more people thinking about why and how government may need to act to facilitate private sector development in such a huge undertaking.

The VANZ Framework to be discussed at the Conference, as a way forward, is not government policy.

It is simply offered as a 'straw man', based on feedback from a wide group of stakeholders.

Why the urgency?

It is urgent because the rate of change in technology threatens to outpace our ability to manage and regulate it. Recent recognition of dire threats to the GPS system, escalation in on-line attacks and the increasing failure of password-reliant security to protect our money, and even our identities, are cases in point - where we are reacting to events.

What makes it all the more urgent is the possibility of State-based regulation being enacted to address these issues on a piecemeal basis - due to public pressure regarding 'privacy', 'security' and 'liability'. Time is short, if we are to work through the issues on a national basis and avoid the usual reactive response.

What's new?

The Conference will be the first to address the technical and legal issues from a 'whole of government' perspective across all jurisdictions - treating the virtual world as a new form of 'infrastructure' that will have profound impact upon the whole community.

Who's coming to the Conference?

The Conference is expected to attract delegates from all levels of Government, Business and the Professions from across the property sector, as well as major Research organizations and Technology providers involved in spatial and building modelling, simulation, serious games, 'big data' and communications. It is also expected to attract widespread international interest.

Who's impacted?

It will cover the full property cycle from concept, through planning, surveying, design, engineering, costing, construction and fit-out, to landscaping and furnishing, facility and asset management, financing, insurance, leasing, valuation and sale to decommissioning.

Why be involved?

This Conference offers the chance to learn, and have your say about the challenges in your own area and more broadly across all sectors, as well as to hear about the Virtual Australia and New Zealand Initiative which offers a way to meet them.

What's the payoff?

This 'virtual' infrastructure will deliver huge dividends in the form of $billions in productivity savings across the property sector by allowing all people engaged in it to work collaboratively, using 'authoritative' data, without duplication and re-processing - reducing errors, time and cost in the process. It will facilitate 'workflow' by eliminating 'search' and 'validation' of data - that will instead flow automatically to those who need it, when they need it.

It will be used by property professionals, owners, lessees, utilities, and infrastructure operators to improve management of their assets. Emergency services (SES, police, fire, ambulance) will get instant access to improve their responses. It will help everyone to reduce operating costs, such as energy and water use, as well as in managing the flow of people, vehicles and goods.

As importantly, it is a medium for experimentation and communication unparalleled in human history: a virtual world where resources are unlimited, distances instantly scalable and time is controllable - where government, industry and the community can collaborate to design and manage our cities - to make them more productive, liveable and sustainable... much more quickly and at far less cost and, with far better outcomes than ever before thought possible.

What are the challenges?

For years, manufacturers have used 3D virtual models to design products and the factories that make them. Just 6 years ago, Google Earth was the first to show the potential of modelling technologies applied to the world in general: at first in 2D, but increasingly in 3D. More recently, 3D BIM has begun to take hold across the globe to model individual buildings in detail.

Some technical challenges remain. However, the greatest challenges to building a 3D model of our world are no longer technical, but 'structural' and 'legal'.

The challenge is how to avoid the need to integrate the myriad of 'legacy systems' that exist in the 2D world, and start fresh - to create a new fully integrated 3D virtual world that endures alongside the real world. Where everyone can see it and use it in exactly the same way they can the real world.

The key message is that it "is all about the data, stupid" (a quote from an engineer grappling with the challenges of developing a model of a major project he was working on).

Any model must be based on data. An enduring model requires the data to be held for the long term - regardless of changes in ownership or interests in the property and assets modelled. And, it must be held securely - accessible only according to a person's rights in title, contract and statute.

As things stand, so much of our digital data is ephemeral and subject to corruption. Many copies are created in multiple formats by multiple organizations with different access rights (or none at all), making it difficult, costly and time consuming to locate and maintain. And, as we create models of private spaces and structural elements, issues of privacy and security become paramount. Copyright and liability issues too must be addressed if we are to create an 'authoritative' virtual world that mirrors, not only the physical attributes of the real world, but also its legal entitlements.

Everyone also needs to understand what it will mean for planning and approval processes, and what will it cost, and who pays.

How are these questions being addressed?

Around the world, governments are just beginning to tackle these concerns.

In Australia and New Zealand, some of these questions are being addressed by the Australian and New Zealand Land Information Council in regard to 'spatial' information. But over the last year, with the emergence of BIM, it has become clear that the issues are much wider.

Who supports the Conference?

The Federal Office of Spatial Policy and the Major Cities Unit in Australia, in association with VANZI Ltd members (both spatial and building modelling and local government), are supporting this Conference to extend community engagement in the issues, and to hear your views about them. Discussions are also progressing with Land Information and Geobuild in New Zealand for their support.

Perhaps uniquely for these times, it has bi-partisan support - without locking anyone into a 'position'.

What's the VANZ Framework about?

Under current law, there is no 'official' model. The proposal is that there should be.

Its purpose is to assure the quality of the data and its retention over time - in parallel with the object it models. It means that as ownership and other interests in a property change, rights of access to the 'official' model also change in tandem.

Essentially, it involves the creation of a new network of licenced 'Data Banks' (government 'banks' to hold government data [though these could be outsourced], and commercial 'banks' to hold private data) that would be empowered under National and (harmonised) State legislation to hold the official data sets that model each object in the real world - for use in all property-related activities.

The legislation is proposed to require all such data to be held on severs located within national boundaries - to ensure it remains subject to sovereign control and national laws.

As, in time, the model will become embedded in every facet of our lives, we cannot afford to have the data that models our world under the control of outside authorities. Any more than it is wise to depend on outsiders for our energy needs. In some cases, there is no choice. In this case, there is.

The proposal is for each local government to be the repository for the data that represents their own municipality. All councils would be permitted under legislation to operate their own 'data bank', as part of the national network, using their own IT facilities - as long as they meet specific performance standards. However, it is likely the smaller Councils would 'outsource' to a 'secure cloud service'.

The 'banks' (including 'government' banks) would hold the data models on a 'fee for service' basis - to pay for the costs of the service. As well, data owners would have the ability to charge fees for access by third parties. This ensures that everyone up the chain meets the costs of the service, with property owners incurring the final cost, on the basis of improved service and lower costs overall.

All facets of the system would operate on 'market' lines, with the government simply providing the regulatory framework:

Data providers would compete to capture and create best quality data that is fit for purpose at least cost, data banks would compete to hold the data and manage it securely at least cost, while software companies would compete to provide the most user friendly and powerful tools to model the data at least cost.

Ideally, all government data representing 'public' views (mostly external surfaces and public reception areas) would be available to integrators (such as Google) and all 'app' developers for free. This would help to drive innovation in location based services using the most reliable data. This 'ideal' would be subject to decision by each government.

The ultimate aim is to have all relevant government information 'geo-referenced' so that all information (eg legislation) impacting a property is immediately available, via the 'data bank' network to the owner (and their delegates, eg lessee or architect) - without the need to search for, or validate it. This alone will deliver huge productivity gains.

The data representing all private spaces and structural elements would have to be kept secure by the 'data banks'- accessible only according to a person's rights in the real world (under title, contract or statute).

The Data Bank network would operate the security system, but each person would control access to their account - just as we control access to our money through the traditional banking system (but with better security). In the case of our money, the government can look at it, freeze it and garnishee it. In the case of our 3D data, the government could also look at it for legitimate purposes under statutes, eg for planning, or for emergency services.

It would be up to an owner to provide access to their insurance company or a financier (eg as a 'condition report' for quoting a premium, or loan), or to anyone else. The owner could (for example) contract, eg with a lessee - to give them access to the part of the model that represents the leased premises, etc.

Copyright in designs would remain subject to copyright law.

Projects are in train to work through both the technical and legal issues, with an update on progress being provided to delegates at the Conference.

The issues cannot be avoided

It is important to recognise that the 3D virtual world is coming ready or not. Concerns regarding data integrity and access, and privacy and security and liability, cannot be avoided. Our only option is how to deal with them. If we do not tackle them on an integrated national basis (ideally with New Zealand) - we still have to tackle them. The aim of this Conference is to facilitate a national approach, and so avoid a repeat of the 'multiple rail gauges' problem of last century!

Conference format, agenda and speakers

As this Conference is the first of its kind, we will not be breaking into 'streams'. All delegates will have the chance to hear from all presenters who will each speak to a separate aspect of the Initiative (ideally relating to each phase of the property cycle)... enabling everyone to see the 'big picture'.

There will be an open forum at the end where a panel will address the key questions raised by delegates (before and during the Conference via twitter and the Conference web site). The questions will be reviewed prior to the session - to ensure we address those of major concern to most delegates, and which raise the most significant challenges.

While key speakers have been identified, we have not settled the agenda as we recognise there are many people unknown to the organizers who could bring a fresh perspective. So if you have an interest in speaking, let us know before 4 February, 2014

All speakers are to be invited to a preliminary day/tele-conference on 26 Feb 2014 (Sydney Time) to better understand the proposed regulatory Framework and to review the program.

Background to Conference promoter: VANZI Ltd

This Conference is being arranged by Active Business Communications, a professional event organizer, under the auspices of VANZI Ltd, a not-for-profit company established to broker the development of an 'authoritative' virtual world that may be used in all property-related activities.

VANZI is supported by its founding members: the CRC for Spatial Information, buildingSMART, Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, Municipal Association of Victoria, Australasian SME Alliance, as well as Regional Development Australia, Sydney.

For the last two years, VANZI has been engaged in extensive stakeholder consultation, gradually building a value proposition. This Conference represents the formal start to its public engagement, with a call for new members who see value in being part of an independent body that provides a 'cross-government', 'cross-industry' and 'cross-technology' forum that aims to build a new 'virtual' infrastructure for the 21st. Century - by integrating their disparate interests within a common framework.

Membership will give you direct access to latest information, connect you with other key stakeholders and give you a voice in the design of the framework.

Further information and membership registration is available on VANZI Ltd web site: www.vanzi.com.au. Register and get the members discount for this inaugural Conference.

Sponsorship opportunities!
To find out more about sponsorship opportunities at the VANZI - Virtual Australia & New Zealand Initiative Conference & Expo 2014, please click here
Current Sponsors & Exhibitors 2014
Supported By
Endorsed by in 2013:
  • Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF)
  • Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)
  • Australian Institute of Building (AIB)
  • Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS)
  • Australasian Small Medium Enterprise Association (ASMEA)
  • BuildingSmart Australasia
  • Consult Australia
  • Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI)
  • Consulting Surveyors National (CSN)
  • Dial Before Your Dig (DBYD)
  • Engineers Australia, Sydney Division(EA)
  • Geospatial Information & Technology Association - Australia & New Zealand (GITA)
  • Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Regional Development Australia, Sydney
  • Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA)
  • Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC)
2013 Attendees:
A2K Technologies Pty Ltd
ACIL Allen Consulting
Aerometrex Pty Ltd
Alexander & Symonds Pty Ltd
Animation Research Ltd
APA Group
Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
Autodesk Asia Pacific
Autodesk Australia Pty Ltd
Beveridge Williams
Brazier Motti Pty Ltd
Brisbane City Council
City of Melbourne
City of Perth
City West Water
Committee for Sydney
Consult Australia
Craig & Rhodes Pty Ltd
CRC for Low Carbon Living
CRC for Spatial Information
CTG Consulting
Davis Langdon (An AECOM Company)
Department of Defence
Department of Finance & Services NSW
Department of Health & Human Services
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
Dept of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research & Tertiary Education
Dept of Infrastructure & Transport
Dept of Planning & Urban Community Development (VIC)
Dept of Resources, Energy & Tourism - Office of Spatial Policy
Dial Before You Dig
eB2B.com Pty Ltd
e-Spatial Ltd
Esri Australia
Fender Katsalidis Architects
Forum8 Pty Ltd
GISSA International Pty Ltd
HYLC Joint Venture
IAG Direct Insurance (NRMA, SGIO, SGIC)
Innovative Growth Solutions
Internet Commerce Australia
Investa Property Group
Land & Property Information Authority
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
Land Solution Australia
Lend Lease
Mercury Project Solutions
Micropower (Owner of ArTrA)
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Mirvac Design
MSL Group
Muli Management Pty Ltd
Municipal Association of Victoria
Norman Disney & Young
NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure
Parramatta City Council
Ping Identity
Pitney Bowes Software
Planning Institute of Australia
Position Magazine
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Queensland University of Technology
RDA Sydney
Schlencker Mapping
Sinclair Knight Merz
Spatial Vision
Sydney Opera House Trust
The Intermedia Group
The University of Melbourne
Thiess Pty Ltd
Transport & Main Roads
University of Technology Sydney
Urban Circus
Virtual Australia and New Zealand Initiative