- freely available
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7020066
2. Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Geographic Information System (GIS)
2.1. Differences and Similarities between BIM and GIS
2.2. Drivers for Integration
3. Integration of BIM and GIS
3.1. Levels of Integration
3.2. Typical Data Formats Involved
3.2.1. Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)
3.2.2. City Geography Markup Language (CityGML)
3.2.3. Formats for Integration
3.3. Data Interoperability
3.3.1. Geometry Level
3.3.2. Semantic Level
4.1. Difference between Integraion Levels
4.2. Flow of Information
4.3. The Future of Integration
- In terms of geometry, transformation between b-rep and other 3D geometry shapes, including CSG and sweep volume, should be studied. By far, the methods for transferring b-rep to other shapes have been developed, while the transformation of other shapes to b-rep have not, and it is the most essential step to finish geometry transformation from CityGML. Apart from transformation between shape forms, level of detail harmonization is also important. Both IFC and CityGML have 5 definitions for LoD or LOD; however, they could not be matched correspondingly. For instance, the lowest LOD of IFC could not be simply matched with the lowest LoD of CityGML. Appropriate links between them should be well developed.
- CityGML extension. The number of classes defined in CityGML is much less than that of IFC, which is the major cause for semantic mismatch between them. Therefore, in the future, the CityGML standard is better to be upgraded. Even though it supports ADEs to extend existing features, too many customized ADEs would impair information sharing and exchange in the area. A better solution is to upgrade CityGML itself, to add more classes. Additionally, this work could utilize the current ADEs and depends on the effort from OGC. This would also benefit the construction of ontology of GIS, which could be used in the semantic web that is promising for bidirectional information exchange between BIM and GIS.
- Methods for distinguishing objects within the same CityGML class but belonging to different IFC classes. An example would be column, stair, and beam belonging to “BuildingInstallation”. While mapping from column, stair, or beam to “BuildingInstallation” is clear, the opposite way is somewhat blurred. One has to decide to which CityGML class to transfer this feature. Without additional information, this would be impossible. A possible solution may be to add an attribute to CityGML showing its corresponding class in IFC.
- Application exploration. The majority of current studies are targeted at buildings, while bridges, tunnels, and so on are also important parts of a city, and they also deserve to be explored.
- GIS and BIM cannot replace each other for quite a long time, and they will continue to operate as independent but complementary systems. At present, the priority is to achieve full and effective data interoperability between them.
- IFC and CityGML are representative data formats for BIM and GIS, respectively. Even though there are other formats involved, such as (multipatch) shapefile, they are the most studied and accepted exchange formats. Apart from that, they are also complete ontologies for building and city models that could contribute to the construction of the semantic web.
- Geometry translation between BIM and GIS could be achieved to some extent, mainly from BIM to GIS. The output could be used for visualization and some simple analyses, such as indoor navigation and determining the shortest route between suppliers and the construction site.
- The current solutions for semantic information exchange are likely to be project-specific. A more generic approach is needed. Additionally, this may largely rely on the extension of CityGML and the standardization of ontologies of these two areas. As the completion of ontology for a domain requires a good understanding of that domain, the ultimate integration needs the efforts of individuals and organizations from both BIM and GIS.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Geometry Level||Semantics Level|
|Level of difficulty to achieve||Median||High|
|Direction of information flow||One-way from BIM to GIS||Bidirectional|
|Richness of information||Low||High|
|Issues||IFC to CityGML||CityGML to IFC|
|B-rep/sweep volume transformation||√||×|
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