If you’re heading to Autodesk University this year or plan to catch up with the sessions on-demand after the event, then you’ll notice that many of the sessions focus on the intersection of engineering and GIS. Much of this is prompted by Autodesk’s relatively new partnership with Esri which aims to build a bridge between the companies’ respective BIM and GIS platforms.
But what’s prompted this shift towards seamless workflows between these two technologies?
The world is changing fast. Each day, 200,000 people move into cities. By 2050, the urban population will increase by 75%. And the design and construction industry is still unable to keep pace with demand.
According to Autodesk, the problem is exacerbated by current ways of working between BIM and GIS teams. In its new eBook – BIM & GIS Integration – Autodesk cites three examples:
1) The Project Handover Process
At the beginning of a new project, engineering teams will often use a GIS database to access information about as-built conditions. To maintain the database, the GIS specialist will receive raw BIM or CAD data which they must convert or update manually so that it can be imported into the GIS database – an inefficient and error-prone process that can result in inaccurate data.
2) Outdated Data
Exporting data manually also makes it “outdated” in a sense, since it can no longer be accessed directly by the BIM or CAD program from which it came. Many times, engineers even receive data in the form of maps or 2D drawings that are out-of-date.
3) Nonauthoritative System of Records
Projects teams might also incorporate GIS data that is not connected to an authoritative system of record, and so designs may be based on inaccurate and out-of-date information.
These inefficient ways of working are key drivers to help integrate BIM and GIS.
A New Approach: Data at the Center
This is where the Autodesk and Esri integration comes into play. By integrating BIM and GIS, data can move seamlessly from one system to another.
The first step towards realizing the vision of the partnership between Autodesk and Esri is the Autodesk Data Connector for ArcGIS. The new feature in InfraWorks allows you to connect GIS data from Esri databases to your BIM design model in InfraWorks in a more seamless manner.
This live connection to geospatial data allows you to populate your model with real-world conditions and features such as underground utilities, sewer lines, and other reality capture data – giving you more confidence in the accuracy of your data. You can also add only the feature layers you need to your model and synch GIS and design data as conditions change.
With this capability, the 3D context model becomes much more intelligent, robust and accurate, so you can better assess the environmental impact, collect and analyze data from the field, and improve communication with stakeholders.