Contemporary cities have grown extraordinarily complex and are described and analysed through an increasing variety of social, economic and environmental data in different dimensions. This course provides fundamentals for understanding and using 3D spatial data to be able to solve problems and improve the way in which we live. 


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture


Built Environment

Delivery Mode



16 October 2023


75 hours



What will I learn?

Governments and institutions are increasingly leveraging Spatial Digital Twins to enhance city and regional planning. One of the central components of the digital twin is the presentation of virtual modelling and the ability for users to immerse themselves interactively. 3D virtual models have become indispensable tools for understanding urban challenges, shaping viewpoints, strengthening planning strategies, and guiding policy and decision-making.

Given the influx of urban data, new 3D tools have been developed to present this information in meaningful ways to varied audiences. These cutting-edge interactive maps and digital tools are setting new benchmarks in urban design, offering profound analyses and simulations.

This course is designed to impart both the foundational theories and practical expertise needed to harness the capabilities of 3D modelling in the built environment sector. Students will not only grasp the nuances of data structures, system architectures, and requisite software tools but will also delve deep into essential data structuring and management concepts. Through a combination of theoretical and practical sessions, you'll gain proficiency in crafting 3D models and simulations, preparing you for the evolving demands of urban planning and management professions.

How will I learn?

This course will be delivered online and combines lectures, practicums, and self-study. It will include both synchronous and asynchronous study.

Total duration is 75 hours, including self-study. Students who elect to subsequently complete an optional assessment will have earned 3 UOC to be used as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for postgraduate study.

Who should take this course?

This course is appropriate for both professionals and students with no programming experience from different built environment disciplines such as architecture, landscape, urban planning, interior design, building and construction, and surveying. 

Who is leading this course?

Course Convener

Professor Sisi Zlatanova graduated as a surveyor at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (Bulgaria) and obtained a PhD degree on 3D GIS for Urban Development at the Graz University of Technology (Austria). She worked as a software programmer at the Central Cadastre (Bulgaria) and has held academic positions at UACG (Bulgaria), the Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, the Netherlands), Graz University of Technology (Austria), Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) and Siberian State University of Geosystems and Technologies (Russia). Professor Zlatanova joined the University of New South Wales in January, 2018.

Professor Sis Zlatanova supervises master and PhD students on topics related to 3D spatial modelling and analysis. Her recent research concentrates on 3D Indoor modelling and navigation. She is an author and co-author of more than 300 papers and had edited and co-edited 23 books. Professor Zlatanova has been involved in the work of several international organisations and is the president of ISPRS TC IV on Spatial Information science, the treasurer of UDMS and a co-chair of OGC SWG IndoorGML. She has been actively participating in the organisation of conferences such as Gi4DM, UDMS, 3D GeoInfo, Indoor3D and summer schools.


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