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Identification of the Best 3D Viewpoint within the BIM Model: Application to Visual Tasks Related to Facility Management

1
Geomatics Unit, University of Liège (ULiege), Quartier Agora, Allée du Six-Août, 19, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2
Department of Geomatics Sciences, Université Laval, Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault 1055, Avenue du Séminaire, Bureau 1315, Québec, QC G1V 5C8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070167
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BIM in Building Repair and Maintenance)
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Abstract

Visualizing building assets within building information modeling (BIM) offers significant opportunities in facility management as it can assist the maintenance and the safety of buildings. Nevertheless, taking decisions based on 3D visualization remains a challenge since the high density of spatial information inside the 3D model requires suitable visualization techniques to achieve the visual task. The occlusion is ubiquitous and, whilst solutions already exist such as transparency, none currently solve this issue with an automatic and suitable management of the camera. In this paper, we propose the first RESTful web application implementing a 3D viewpoint management algorithm and we demonstrate its usability in the visualization of assets based on a BIM model for visual counting in facility management. Via an online questionnaire, empirical tests are conducted with architects, the construction industry, engineers, and surveyors. The results show that a 3D viewpoint that maximizes the visibility of 3D geometric objects inside the viewport significantly improves the success rate, the accuracy, and the certainty of a visual counting task compared to the traditional four side points of view (i.e., from the front, back, left, and right viewpoints). Finally, this first validation lays the foundation of future investigations in the 3D viewpoint usability evaluation, both in terms of visual tasks and application domains. View Full-Text
Keywords: building information modeling; computer maintenance management system; facility management; assets; 3D geovisualization; 3D viewpoint; occlusion; usability; selectivity purpose; visual counting building information modeling; computer maintenance management system; facility management; assets; 3D geovisualization; 3D viewpoint; occlusion; usability; selectivity purpose; visual counting
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Neuville, R.; Pouliot, J.; Billen, R. Identification of the Best 3D Viewpoint within the BIM Model: Application to Visual Tasks Related to Facility Management. Buildings 2019, 9, 167.

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