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Use of GIS in BIM

The construction industry has come far on the shoulders of digital computing. Software usage is standard now in designing, modeling, cost estimation, and project management with every constructor now. Particularly, BIM (Building Information Modeling) software has become common in every project from small residential to giant infrastructure construction.

However, a major headache of the AEC's (Architects, Engineers & Constructors) is data loss between the planning and development phases. Whenever you transmit data from one software to another, the receiving application translates the data in its own custom ways. What it cannot translate, it rejects as garbage. After that, the AEC has to recreate the lost data in the plan again. The more software stages your project has, the more this problem will occur, the more complicated this situation will become and the more the error margin will grow.

However, the rapid evolution in the cloud-based data storage, vending, and analysis technologies can be taken advantage of to patch these leaks. Specifically, the GIS (Geographic Information System) can be very handy when merged with or used in parallel to BIM applications. Let us delve deeper into the subject in this article.

What is GIS

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth's surface. GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. The key in this technology is Geography – this means that some portion of the data is spatial. By relating seemingly unrelated data, GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships.

How can GIS help in BIM

The fusion of BIM and GIS provides the power to build a robust context model where geographic information and infrastructure design data are brought together. Software companies like AutoDesk develop both GIS and BIM software and are now integrating one into the other in order to provide more data clarity and reusability. Adoption of GIS into BIM will give you a fat handful of benefits; the major one being digital data as part of deliverables for each transition. The geographical (and geological) data merged with project plans and drawings will give valuable insights into the AEC's decision-making process.

Integrating locational and thematic information into one single environment, GIS can bring clarity to all phases in the construction project; mostly in the creation and transition of data. Since the construction industry depends upon huge amounts of data, much of which is represented in the form of drawings and charts, GIS's help in organization, sorting, and rapid retrieval of this data would come invaluable when used with BIM and CAD software.

Scalability is another gift of using GIS with BIM. The geographic information system work on a scale of cities, sectors, even regions. But BIM software generally works with a single building or an assortment of them in one project. Now, with the integration of GIS in BIM, you can manage the objects in your plan on a geographical scale. With BIM, you can design an apartment building. With GIS, you can manage how your apartment interacts with the city. This also becomes much more prominent when you have a large, wide-sprawling project that is riddled with geological differences.

For example, if you are building an apartment complex on a hillside with a stream flowing through, you will have your hands full with location and elevation management - all GIS data. Not only that, the GIS components will enable every stage of the construction of the project to sync up perfectly with other phases without data loss. In BIM, you will see only the buildings. With GIS, you will see your project placed in a dynamic, smart landscape with connections to parcels of land, utilities, and roads.

Benefits of using GIS with BIM

With both GIS and BIM data stored and sorted in the digital cloud, stakeholders in both building and infrastructure projects can benefit greatly from being able to manage any information in any environment or platform in any part of the world. The use of GIS-based data in the cloud will ensure the reuse and repurposing of the data without having to convert it again and again.

Furthermore, this will result in less to null information loss in transit. Using GIS into BIM will bring the spatial component in the modern industrialized construction process with every stage.

The web GIS approach in BIM systems will mean easier asset management and better visualization of geographic data in a greater context pertaining to the development of the project in question. Not only that, this will allow AEC to see the impact of their project of various environmental and geographical contexts, such as transportation, pollution, demographics, and even scientific matters. This, in turn, means better realization and visualization of project related information without loss of transitional data.

Use of GIS in BIM