Episode Archive

SCP E252 Developing Digital Representations of Reality, with Jack Barton

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I welcome back Jack Barton and we have a great chat about what he has been up to since he was last a guest on the podcast back in 2018. Jack starts by telling us about his background in architecture, his passion for developing the digital representations of reality and how this can help make cities better places, before telling us about his current work managing the Geospatial Research, Innovation and Development Lab at the University of NSW. Jack shares with us what a Smart Community is to him, we discuss some of the impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our communities and jobs and how we can now normalise digital connections more. Jack shares with us his journey into the Smart Communities space, some of the projects he is currently working on, the importance for basic operational standards in the digital twin space and he discusses the benefits of LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and how it can be used in communities. We finish our chat discussing further the emerging trends of LIDAR and its exciting future. As always, we hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:  

  • Jack’s background in architecture 
  • His passion for developing the digital representations of reality and how they can help make cities better places
  • His current work at the University of NSW and what Jack has been up to since his last episode in 2018
  • What a Smart Community is to him 
  • The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on our communities and jobs 
  • Normalising more digital connections, but finding a balance between the digital world and the physical world 
  • How Jack got into his current work and the Smart Communities space 
  • Some of the projects he is currently working on and some of the applications and projects in the digital twin space 
  • The importance for basic operational standards in the digital twin space 
  • The benefits of LIDAR and how it can be used in communities 
  • The emerging trends of LIDAR and its exciting future 


“[Smart Communities] is about people. But also, it’s a very exciting time where the technologies are becoming really cool. And we’re getting a great lot of crossover of different units that we haven’t really seen before, that are creating such an opportunity that is shaping the way our cities and communities work.”

“There’s been a lot of people now working from home a lot and maybe not socialising much, it’s easy to see that we’re going to have bigger mental health issues and I think any initiative that can help bring that to people’s minds a bit more, and then increase the support for that sort of thing is very important in these times.”

“I’ve enjoyed the virtual dinner parties and the virtual birthday parties and things, and I got to hang out with a friend who’s been living in New York for 20 years. And it was great. So I could walk into his virtual party and meet a whole lot of New Yorkers [virtually].”

“When you’ve got to look at getting something built in exact quantities and things like that, I really liked the idea of [transforming] a creative vision, and having a digital tool help achieve that vision.”

“[I have worked] with Aurin putting together a user group for the Aurin system, and using a whole lot of urban data. And that was nice because it broke down the silos, you had a lot of really good social outcomes where you can look at; mortality rates, or war, wellness, and you’d have data and evidence base to make decisions.”

“[Aurin] is great because it brings together all the different data from the different states and different local governments and things and reveals a lot of the challenges in doing that, too. So it’s serving a very good role in supporting research and development in those areas.”

“LIDAR is something that’s got a huge future and it’s quite exciting. If you’re a nerd, there’s still a lot of untapped potential there.”

“There’s also environmental change, and with the increased risk of bushfires, and flooding and things like that, certainly we are talking about how we’re using technology in very good ways to help manage those events. But I think there’s a lot more we can develop to make life safer, and to help sustainability of our environments that we’re creating.”

“I think that the technologies right now have the potential to be very empowering. But also, there’s still that risk that they can be used for mass control, and for more subversive reasons. So [people] have to be reactive, be involved, know what the technologies do and how they work.” 


SCP E83 with Jack Barton

GRID Website  

Aurin Website

Shoei Yoh Exhibition 

SCCANZ Website 

Jack’s Personal Website 


Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Jack via email, Twitter or LinkedIn 

Connect with GRID_UNSW via Twitter, LinkedIn or visit their website 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital


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SCP E341 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 33

SCP E341 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 33

Hi #SmartCommunity friends! I’m back with another bonus episode of the Smart Community Podcast sharing various guests answers to the question, ‘Where to next with Smart Cities and Communities?” And this time I’m sharing with you the answers from these guests: ...

Episode Archive


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