The integration of building information modeling (BIM) and geographic information system (GIS) is attracting more attention than ever due to its potential benefits for both the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) domain and the geospatial industry. The main challenge in BIM and GIS integrated application comes from the fundamental data conversion, especially for the geometric information. BIM and GIS use different modeling paradigms to represent objects. The BIM dataset takes, for example, Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) that use solid models, such as boundary representation (B-Rep), swept solid, constructive solid geometry (CSG), and clipping, while the GIS dataset mainly uses surface models or B-Rep. The fundamental data conversion between BIM and GIS is the foundation of BIM and GIS integrated application. However, the efficiency of data conversion has been greatly impaired by the human intervention needed, especially for the conversion of the clipping geometry. The goal of this study is to automate the conversion of IFC clipping representation into the shapefile format. A process-level approach was developed with an algorithm for instantiating unbounded half spaces using B-Rep. Four IFC models were used to validate the proposed method. The results show that (1) the proposed approach can successfully automate the conversion of IFC clipping representation into the shapefile format; and (2) increasing boundary size has no effect on the file size of unbounded half spaces, but slightly increases the producing time of half spaces and processing time of building components. The efficiency of this study can be further improved by using an open-source package, instead of using the low-efficiency packages provided by ArcGIS.
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