The current landscape

Urban cities are complex with an array of cultures, underlying infrastructure and services, often operating independently of each other.

From transport, water, energy, communications and climate monitoring, there are many opportunities to use data science and engineering to optimise service delivery, use precious resources more efficiently and plan sustainable infrastructure.

Our experts are creating an array of innovative solutions that offer real world impacts. These include maps that make government datasets more accessible and help policy makers across Australia make more informed decisions around use of environments and a bushfire prediction framework with international relevance. Our solutions show how data science can help address big challenges.

Aerial view of the city of Melbourne and the Yarra River. Our urban systems research helps cities to plan for future challenges.


  • Spatial imaging technology, including platform development and machine learning for large scale spatial inference
  • Sensing and data acquisition, data analytics to assess things such as damage detection, structural loading and maintenance prioritisation for the health of infrastructure such as pipes and buildings
  • Machine learning, modelling and optimisation to make predictions and optimise service delivery such as traffic congestion
  • Simulation and analysis of bushfires and floods to help mitigate natural disasters
  • Privacy preserving technologies to allow insights to be gained from data sets while protecting information about groups or individuals
  • Automated compliance - using machine learning and natural language processing to check digitised rules and obligations

Explore our work


Spark can be used for real-time bushfire spread prediction

Spark is an award-winning bushfire prediction framework created by Data61. This technology processes fine-scale and fuel data, runs advanced fire simulations and depict the results. It can also be used for land management and planning, fire mitigation analysis, real-time fire prediction and analysis of fire events. Spark has brought together scientists from a range of disciplines meaning that services and agencies that employ Spark will benefit from the latest advances in fire science.

Learn more about our work with Spark.


Most Australians live in urban and coastal areas which continuously change creating challenges for service provision, resource allocation, regulatory surveillance and planning. Our Urban Monitor technologies have been applied to quantify, model and shape properties of urban environments of Australian cities using digital aerial photography and data analysis. The related national carbon accounting land cover projects have resulted in billions of dollars in savings for the Australian Government

Download Urban Monitor case study [pdf · 4mb].

Monitoring the health of structures

We’re helping Roads and Maritime Services NSW to maximise the service life of the Sydney Harbour Bridge road deck without significant increase in expenditure.  ©NICTA

We have developed structural health monitoring technology using sensors, bespoke machine-learning based predictive analytics and distributed processing capabilities to enable maintenance scheduling based on the condition of assets, increasing efficiency and extending their service life. We have used this approach to help the NSW Roads and Maritime Services with monitoring the Sydney Harbour Bridge road deck with 2,400 sensors collecting information on the road condition to provide early warning before affecting bridge users.

Learn more about how we monitor the health of structures.

Digital twins

CSIRO’sData61 and the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation’s Spatial Services are collaborating to build a real world “digital twin” prototype of Western Sydney. This world-leading technology combines datasets such as live transport data, above and below ground infrastructure, building information models and cadastral data such as land parcels, to capture and display real-time 3D and 4D spatial data in order to model the urban environment.

The National Map

We developed National Map, which pulls data from government bodies around the country to give a single view of information available that is visualised by location.  ©NICTA

This online map-based tool allows easy access to spatial data from Australian government agencies. It is enabling new insights, innovation and economic outcomes by making easily accessible data on things like broadband coverage, locations of surface water, powerlines, vegetation and health services readily accessible. Since it was launched, it has helped 543,700+ users make the most of high-value government data across 1 million visits. The data catalogue has increased significantly since then, and the NationalMap now federates over 11,000 datasets directly from, State and Local Government.

Access the National Map tool.

National Drought Map

Working the the Joint Agency Drought Task Force, Data61 has applied its award-winning advanced mapping software, TerriaJSTM, to help governments and other stakeholders combat drought. The technology offers deeper insights into current drought conditions to determine where to deploy more support. It also facilitates response coordination and the spread of drought but providing access to a large number of spatial data services.

Access the National Drought Map web tool.

Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI)

AREMI makes it easier for renewable energy projects to get off the ground in Australia, by providing a ‘one stop shop’ for all open geospatial data relevant to the energy sector from government, industry and research. It provides free access to spatial information for energy project developers while helping state and local governments with environmental and regulatory planning approvals.

Access the AREMI web tool or learn more about our work.

Solar generation forecasting

Data61's Solar Generation Forecasting project is underway and using sensor data from solar panels on residential houses across the city of Canberra to forecast future energy production. This is the first step to enabling power grid operators to supply quality and control of energy supplies as the use of solar panels continues to grow.

Automated compliance

We're imagining regulation as a platform. Regulatory systems are often subject to change and difficult to navigate. Regulation as a Platform (RaaP) solves this by making laws and regulation that apply to any industry available in a digital, machine-readable format. It allows businesses and individuals to more easily and quickly understand their entitlements, prohibitions and obligations that apply to particular industries, a process which can sometimes take months.

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We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business

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