Linking BIM and GIS

The world of BIM is getting more and more about buildings in a surrounding instead of just one building. The world of GIS is getting more and more about 3D objects and making the breach above the surface. These two worlds are getting closer to each other. The first part where these two worlds meet is CityGML. CityGML is an initiative to store semantic information about cities. The information is about buildings, but also surrounding (roads, etc) and geographic information is stored in the same standard.
The information about buildings in CityGML is very basic. Because at a city-level only the envelope of a building is interesting, there is no possibility to store information about floors, innerwalls, and other information about the inside of a building.
Luckily however CityGML gives developers the possibility to extent the standard with a specific Application Domain Extension (ADE).  BIMserver.org is developing a ADE for BIM information in CityGML. This development isn’t done in a day. We are working on it for quit some time now and it won’t be done overnight. Most important part is the transformation of the geometry. We are using the IFCEngine DLL from TNO to transform the semantic geometry of IFC to explicit geometry of GML.
The first results of this transformation are captured in a screenshot which we don’t want to keep for ourselves.
What you see is an IFC model in the free IFCbrowser (top) and the same model, transformed by the BIMserver software to CityGML in the FZKviewer.
Remember: still a long way to go….
The world of BIM is getting more and more about buildings in a surrounding instead of just one building. The world of GIS is getting more and more about 3D objects and making the breach above the surface. These two worlds are getting closer to each other. The first part where these two worlds meet is CityGML. CityGML is an initiative to store semantic information about cities. The information is about buildings, but also surrounding (roads, etc) and geographic information is stored in the same standard.

The information about buildings in CityGML is very basic. Because at a city-level only the envelope of a building is interesting, there is no possibility to store information about floors, innerwalls, and other information about the inside of a building.

Luckily however CityGML gives developers the possibility to extent the standard with a specific Application Domain Extension (ADE).  BIMserver.org is developing a ADE for BIM information in CityGML. This development isn’t done in a day. We are working on it for quit some time now and it won’t be done overnight. Most important part is the transformation of the geometry. We are using the IFCEngine DLL from TNO to transform the semantic geometry of IFC to explicit geometry of GML.

The first results of this transformation are captured in a screenshot which we don’t want to keep for ourselves.

What you see is an IFC model in the free IFCbrowser (top) and the same model, transformed by the BIMserver software to CityGML in the FZKviewer.

Remember: still a long way to go….!

“IFC needs modernization”

The open geospatial consortium and the BuildingSMART alliance have put the results of a ‘testbed’ online. In the testbed the teams discovered that areas of the IFC model are not as amenable to interoperability as once thought, and modernization is believed necessary.

A quote from their press release:
“The teams discovered that areas of the IFC model are not amenable for interoperability as commonly defined and practiced by industrial communities that require collaboration [..]. The IFC structure, first developed in the 1970’s, can be modernized by the community so that a more complete suite of benefits from interoperability reaches critical mass and adoption in the market. With IFC modernization, a far more open, comprehensive and intelligent life-cycle data model of buildings can be achieved. IFC modernization working in parallel with highly efficient network-based communication, process management, decision-support and performance simulation of design alternatives is the sweet spot for achieving benefit in real industry projects..”

This is one of the first public notices from BuildingSMART stating that IFC can and should be modernized to fit the needs of today. Users of BIMserver.org software that experience intense project collaboration have been one of the first to notice this issue in practice. At BIMserver.org we believe that modernizing IFC would be to best way to fully profit from the modern possibilities of technology and to fully fit the needs of today’s users.
The development-team of BIMserver.org is very aware of the current issues, but also hopeful about future possibilities. The modernization of IFC is on of the key-issues for our RnD team. BIMserver.org is happy and proud to be on the front of innovation by developing technology that helps stretching possibilities of IFC and the AEC-industry.

More info about the testbed and the webcast can be found at this link.

Nine Dutch companies finish project on BIMserver.org

Nine Dutch companies have finished a innovative project using the bimserver. The companies have gained insight in the development and advanced usage of the open source bimserver software. The nine companies are (mainly) software companies serving the AEC industry in the Netherlands. All of them are on the top of the market in their own field but they are working together to make sure that their users have the best possible BIM-experience.

These nine companies collaborated in an 8 months during knowledge transfer project that was partly funded by the Dutch government. Main goal of the project was to create new knowledge for the participants about IFC and the open source BIMserver. BIMserver.org was one of the knowledge deliverers for this project.

Most of the companies were very positive about the project. Some of them even stated that they are going to adapt their own software to connect fluently to the open source bimserver software.

The Dutch government was also very optimistic. They think that open source and open standards are the main driver for innovation. The open source BIMserver could very well be the next driver for innovation in the AEC industry.

The nine participating companies are:

Arkey/Adomi (BIM modelling tool)

Bink (Calculating and simulating of buildingperformance)

Cadvisual (BIM consultants)

De Twee Snoeken (Software suite for AEC sector)

File2Share (Central storage for buildingprojects)

Vabi (Calculating and simulating of buildingperformance)

Van Meijel Software (process management software)

Van Zeeland Architecten (architect)

vMV-Cad (Software suite for AEC sector)