Enhancing digital interoperability

Knowing how, when, and which decisions are made by who are critical information when collaborating in infrastructure projects. From the drive for higher performance and safety requirements to cost reduction, environmental compliance and dealing with aging assets and workforce, today’s asset managers are faced with a myriad of challenges.

To create improved understanding and achieve better interoperability amongst stakeholders involved in complex infrastructure projects, the provinces of the Netherlands along with the two largest municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and the Dutch technology platform CROW have developed the common Object Type Library ‘OTL-BOR’ which seeks to enable the digital standardisation of their assets. This is a result of the IMBOR information management Model-BOR (Management of Public Space) and has now successfully been piloted by the province of Noord Brabant, with others looking to follow.

The Linked Data platform

The aim for Royal HaskoningDHV was to introduce a national standardised OTL for Public Asset Management in the Netherlands for all provinces to benefit. Noord-Brabant, together with Royal HaskoningDHV and CROW, became the first to test the Linked Data platform and trialled it during the process of reconstruction on the N285 motorway. Like Noord-Brabant, each province that joins would retain a level of autonomy, so OTL is specific to their needs and at the same time, comply with the CROW national standards.

Image: Screenshot OTL IMBOR using OTL-BOR to describe public asset objects.

Achieving high levels of online collaboration

The pilot-project with Noord-Brabant shows the ability to connect the project database with objects in the linked data platform for the OTL-BOR. This way, the assets in the project, such as bridges, roads, waterways, can be described according the national standard and maximise the level of online collaboration with stakeholders. The project also showcases the potential to link other data sources to the platform, such as previous local libraries, to then export the data, which in turn can be imported in the Asset Information Management System of the Province of Noord-Brabant. The benefits of this system will be improved operations and cost optimisation and the seamless sharing of asset management and project management information. The result? Enhanced digital interoperability between provinces, municipalities and the AEC-industry.

Daan Alsem, Senior Project Manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, said: “The pilot project in Noord-Brabant is due to be completed by 2021 and it will transform the way that asset management information of road infrastructure within the Netherlands is shared. We are delighted to be playing a key role in this process, allowing us to showcase Royal HaskoningDHV’s expertise in innovative thinking, Linked Data technology and online collaboration with the many project partners involved.”

Royal HaskoningDHV is one of the early pioneers behind INTERLINK with extensive experience in linking OTL at the pan-European level using Linked Data / Semantic Web technology.

This pilot project was used as an introduction to the national standardised Object Type Library for the Netherlands, enabling all provinces and municipalities to benefit from the insights and development.