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GIM and BIM

GIM and BIM Geospatial information modelling (GIM) is used for decades to document phenomena of the real world. Visualizing and analysing GIM data are usually accomplished by geographic information system tools. The construction industry, on the other hand, uses usually computer-aided design (CAD) tools to plan buildings. With the introduction of building information modelling (BIM), modelling in CAD was enhanced to the entire life cycle of constructions. BIM and GIM are not independ- ent of each other, e.g. BIM uses geospatial data for planning purposes. However, integrating both is challenging since the modelling methods differ. The paper describes approaches to establish interoperability between models of both domains. A literature review reveals the problems and challenges different researchers tackled to achieve interoperability. Keywords Geospatial information modelling · Building information modelling · BIM · Interoperability · GIM Zusammenfassung GIM und BIM. Die Modellierung von Geodaten (GIM) wird seit Jahrzehnten zur Dokumentation von Phänomenen der realen Welt eingesetzt. Die Visualisierung und die Analyse von GIM-Daten wird in der Regel mit Hilfe geographischer Informationssysteme durchgeführt. Die Bauindustrie verwendet andererseits in der Regel CAD-Werkzeuge (Computer-Aided Design) zur Planung von Gebäuden. Mit der Einführung von Building Information Modeling (BIM) wurde die Modellierung in CAD auf den gesamten Lebenszyklus von Bauwerken ausgeweitet. BIM und GIM sind nicht unabhängig voneinander zu sehen. So nutzt z.B. BIM Geodaten für Planungszwecke. Die Integration beider ist jedoch eine Herausforderung, da die Modellierungsmethoden unterschiedlich sind. Der Artikel beschreibt Ansätze zur Herstellung von Interoperabilität zwischen den Modellen beider Bereiche. Eine Literaturübersicht weist auf die Probleme und Herausforderungen hin, mit denen sich eine ganze Reihe von Fachleuten beschäftigt haben, um Interoperabilität zu erreichen. Abbreviations AECO Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation B-Rep Boundary Representation BIM Building Information Modeling * Stefan Herle CAD Computer-Aided Design herle@gia.rwth-aachen.de CSG Constructed Solid Geometry Ralf Becker EIF European Interoperability Framework ralf.becker@gia.rwth-aachen.de ETL Extraction, Transformation, Load Raymond Wollenberg FEI Framework for Enterprise Interoperability raymond.wollenberg@gia.rwth-aachen.de FM Facility Management Jörg Blankenbach GIM Geospatial Information Modeling blankenbach@gia.rwth-aachen.de GIS Geographic Information System Geodetic Institute and Chair for Computing in Civil GML Geography Markup Language Engineering & Geo Information Systems RWTH Aachen HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol University, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen, IFC Industry Foundation Classes Germany Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 34 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 JSON JavaScript Object Notation gap between methods and models of the geospatial domain LCIM Level of Conceptual Interoperability Model and BIM. They found that automated processing of com- LoD Level of Detail plex architectural models is very difficult, so that a complete LOD Level of Development working interface for GIS and BIM integration could not be OGC Open Geospatial Consortium developed within the time frame of the project. van Berlo OWL Web Ontology Language and de Laat (2011) developed an extension for CityGML, RDF Resource Description Framework which they also called GeoBIM, to integrate semantic BIM SRS Spatial Reference System data into a GIS context. Hijazi et al. (2018) investigated the TBS Technical Building System integration of data and tools from the BIM and the urban UIM Urban Information Modeling information modelling (UIM) domain. In this context, the UML Unified Modeling Language term UIM describes a semantic modelling method, that is URI Uniform Resource Identifier similar to the BIM method, but is used on a larger scale for WWW World Wide Web representing relevant entities of urban areas (e.g. buildings XML Extensible Markup Language or roads in city models). Kumar et al. (2019) inspected the LandInfra standard and its capabilities to bridge BIM and GIS. They found that LandInfra is situated at the intersec- 1 Introduction tion of BIM and GIS. But it is rather inspired by modelling standards of 3D GIS since in the BIM world, objects are Designing and planing of landscapes, urban areas and build- modelled in a different way. ings have changed dramatically in recent years. The digital In this paper, we investigate the different approaches to transformation of the society, economy, businesses and pri- integrate models of the two domains: on the one hand, BIM vate life also increasingly affects construction and manage- for modelling of buildings and constructions and, on the ment activities of humans. other hand, modelling of geospatial data, how it is used by For modelling the environment of large areas, geographic GIS. Since GIS refers rather to a tool than to a geospatial information systems (GISs) have already been productively modelling approach, we use the term geospatial informa- used since the 1970s (Bill 2016). With the introduction of tion modelling (GIM) as a similar concept to BIM but in the third spatial dimension in geospatial data, novel appli- the geospatial domain (see Sect. 3). The integration of BIM cations and analysis tools such as noise transmission or and GIM models can be accomplished through four differ - flooding simulations can be conducted. This development ent approaches of interoperability: first, the transformation is especially driven and fostered by the evolution of data back and forth between the different formats of both model- acquisition methods and automated workflows, which can be ling methods; second, linked models; third, unified mod - accomplished with reduced costs through increasing com- els; finally, integrated models. After giving a more detailed puting power or innovative sensor technology. insight into the BIM method and comparing its modelling Models that cope with geometric data on a building level capabilities and approaches with the GIM method, we illus- are traditionally handled by computer-aided design (CAD) trate the efforts of several researchers in establishing inter - software, or since a couple of years by the method and asso- operability using the mentioned models. ciated tools of building information modelling (BIM). BIM describes the consistent and integrated modelling of all data with respect to a specific construction and during its life 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) cycle (see Sect. 2.1). However, BIM is not decoupled from geospatial data and Building information modelling (BIM) is a modern coopera- models. For optimized planning, construction and opera- tive approach in the architecture, engineering, construction tion, both modelling views are complementary. This cir- and operation (AECO) industry based on digital models of a cumstance forces developers to integrate BIM models in a specific building or construction. The German Federal Min- broader concept of geospatial models. On the other hand, istry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI 2015) usually geospatial data are also required in BIM. During defines BIM as follows: the planning phase of new constructions, the planner needs “Building Information Modelling means a collabora- to consult geospatial data such as land register data, city or tive work method that creates and uses digital models landscape models as well as digital terrain models. Due to of an asset as a basis for the consistent generation and their different nature and modelling approaches, the integra- management of information and data relevant to the tion is, however, a difficult task. Several researchers have asset’s life cycle as well as for the sharing or pass- tried to tackle this problem by various approaches. Arroyo ing on of such information and data between the par- Ohori et al. (2018) started the GeoBIM project to bridge the 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 35 Fig. 1 Left: BIM and the trades in construction. Right: BIM in the building cycle ticipants for further processing by way of transparent and attributive information. Based on the model, slices and communication.” construction plans can be derived, area, volume and quantity measures can be calculated, and costing and time manage- The British BIM Industry Working Group distinguishes fur- ment can be conducted. Since the building exists solely as ther between different maturity levels of BIM. While level a digital model, different simulations and variants can be 0 describes solely the utilization of 2D CAD software to analysed. Coordination of various planners or clash detec- create paper drawings, level 1 extends it to the modelling of tion between different aspect models is facilitated. These geometries in 3D as well as file-based collaboration. Level tasks also interact with information about the surrounding 2 specifies the use of BIM tools with attached data. Ulti- environment; thus, geospatial data must be integrated here mately, level 3 covers a fully integrated BIM with standard- as well (e.g. Barazzetti and Banfi 2017). ized formats and interfaces as well as a complete life cycle In the construction phase, the BIM model is used as a management (BIS 2011). In this ultimate stage, information guideline. Based on the model, construction plans, manage- and data about the building during its entire life cycle are ment as well as logistics are compiled and executed. Infor- collected in the digital model in a cloud-based environment. mation is added to the model to document construction pro- Building information is transparently shared and managed gress and controlling. Furthermore, using the digital model between the stakeholders of the specific phase in the life can support and improve construction defect management. cycle. Thus, the central component of the BIM method is Additionally, commissioning and handover can be facilitated the shared database, which stores a digital, all-encompassing by accounting of construction services using the as-designed and consistent building model. As long as the stakeholder BIM model and an as-built-documentation of the final build- has the rights, he or she is able to access and update the ing. The as-built-documentation must be derived from the model using defined interfaces and procedures, which facili- constructed building on-site by suitable measurement tech- tates cooperative work (see Fig. 1 on the left). Since the life niques (e.g. laser scanning). It can be consulted to compare cycle of a building starts with planning phases (see Fig. 1 on with the planned model. the right), in most cases, the digital model is created before Subsequently, operation of the building benefits from an the construction execution starts. It affects several phases updated BIM model (as-is-documentation). This includes with different information in the life cycle. Hence, besides (computer-aided) facility management (CAFM) or conser- the 3D geometry and construction information, technical and vation management. Finally, an up-to-date BIM model also functional data as well as aspects of time and cost manage- improves demolition or refurbishment of the building, e.g. ment are stored in the model. by supporting selective disassembly. 2.1 Life Cycle Phases in BIM 2.2 Semantic Modelling in BIM The life cycle of a building starts with the pre-design and The semantic modelling in BIM covers several properties conceptual planning. A lot of information is collected from and information during the different life cycle phases. This different sources and integrated into a newly created BIM includes costs, timetables and simulations. However, very model. Also geospatial datasets are already consulted in this important information is stored in the geometry and the early phase. In the planning and design phase, the building construction information of the building model. Contrary construction is modelled using a BIM software. The model to CAD, BIM uses an object-oriented approach together is compiled using building components with 3D geometry with semantic data models to characterize the building 1 3 36 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 components. Each component, e.g. wall, door or beam, is imported/exported in files, or managed in centralized or modelled as an object with different properties. The geom- linked databases. etry of the object usually is described by a constructed solid The standardization process of the IFC encoding is ongo- geometry (CSG), which is an implicit method to construct ing. Initially, only considered for BIM in building construc- complex surfaces or objects using Boolean operators to tions, the method and, thus, also the IFC encoding, evolved combine simpler objects. Furthermore, relations to other into other civil engineering industries such as infrastructural construction components (neighbourhood, groupings, etc.), management (bridges, roads, rails and maritime). Hence, the semantics, attribute data and visualization information are IFC version 4.1.0.0 introduced new standards for infrastruc- included for each building part. Usually, a BIM model con- ture constructions. The first full extension for infrastructure sists of various aspect models, which are compiled by each is planned to be reached with version 5.0. involved domain on its own. For instance, an architectural model designed by an architect has no information about the technical equipment, which is rather documented in a spe- cific technical building equipment model. The aggregation 3 Differences Between BIM and GIM of all these models results in a coordination model. The planning of new buildings or infrastructure construc- 2.3 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)—A BIM tions usually requires geospatial data. This holds, e.g. for Model Encoding city models, digital terrain models or environmental data. Different variants of planned models can be rendered in city Several data models and encodings for BIM exist. The free models in GIS to perceive the impact in an overall image. and open IFC schema is used for storing and exchanging For instance, shadow and visibility analysis as well as simu- BIM models. It is vendor independent and further devel- lations of emissions can be executed (e.g. Rafiee et al. 2014). oped by buildingSMART international. While version 4.0 The results can then be used to refine the building model. was released as an ISO standard in 2013, the most recent Also in the subsequent phases of the BIM life cycle, geospa- version is 4.1.0.0 (BuildingSMART 2018). IFC can be used tial data enhance the BIM model. On the other hand, BIM to describe the project structure, the building components models can also be integrated into, e.g. city models, after the with their geometric and attributive properties as well as the construction is realized in the real world. relations between them. Figure 2 illustrates as an example, For comparing BIM and modelling in the geospatial a subset of the IFC data model and a closeup to IfcWall for domain, we introduce the term Geospatial Information Mod- modelling a wall. Usually encoded in the STEP format, IFC elling (GIM). We define it as follows: supports also other formats, such as Extensible Markup Lan- “Geospatial Information Modelling (GIM) denotes the guage (XML) or prospectively JavaScript Object Notation digital modelling method of space-related phenomena (JSON). The models can be transmitted over web services, Fig. 2 Coarse section of IFC building model with wall properties (diagram source: Atazadeh et al. 2017) 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 37 Fig. 3 BIM and GIM and their common objects (adapted from Hutsell and Bush 2016) of the real world. It is characterized by multidimen- already built. The BIM perspective is mainly shaped by its sional descriptions of geospatial features by location origin for being a tool for planning. In BIM, geometries are and orientation in Spatial Reference System (SRS), usually defined as CSG. Volumetric bodies such as cuboids, raster/vector geometry and topology, attribute data and cylinders or cones are combined using Boolean operators time. Thus, GIM is used as a digital documentation to form a specific building component. In GIM, the model- of real world states and can be applied to a variety of ling of geometries differs from that approach. GIM wants spatially related questions.” to represent the real world like it is perceived and observed. Hence, digital models focus on the surface of geospatial BIM and GIM are complementary as Fig. 3 suggests. The features. Unlike BIM, in GIM, the shapes of geometries common objects in both modelling worlds are mostly on are described explicitly by their nodes, edges and surfaces, the site and building level. Every geospatial feature with a characterized by coordinates. The so-called boundary rep- larger extent is rather considered to be part of GIM models, resentation (B-Rep) is one of the most used models in 3D to while especially detailed building components are part of define geometries by their surfaces. CityGML is one of the the BIM world. standards issued by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Although having similar intersecting objects in their mod- that are used to encode city models with B-Rep geometries elling, the exchange of data and models between the BIM (Gröger et al. 2012). and the GIM methods is not trivial. This is mainly due to differences in purpose and perspective of the two modelling 3.2 Scope and Coordinate System approaches (Becker et al. 2017). The perspectives and ori- gins have direct impact on the comparability and interoper- BIM focuses on single construction sites such as a building ability. The differences and similarities are described in the or an infrastructure object. The structure of the building with following sections. different components and technical equipment are modelled. Hence, a local Cartesian coordinate system using the ordinal 3.1 Modelling and Geometry building axes for orientation and an appropriate measure facilitate the modelling. While GIM deals with modelling geospatial features of As mentioned, GIM models are rather used for a small- the real world on a small scale, BIM aims at modelling a scale projection of the real world. This includes applications building or construction in a detailed view, which is either such as land, environment or network information systems. planned to be realized in the real world in the future or is Also extensive planning of, e.g. landscapes, urban areas or 1 3 38 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 road networks can be accomplished by GIM methods and associated tools. For these kinds of applications, a local Car- tesian coordinate system is not sufficient. Therefore, SRSs such as ETRS89 with UTM are utilized to project the surface of the Earth. 3.3 Modelling Details and Accuracy In the BIM method, the concept and application of Level of Development (LOD) are utilized to describe the require- ments of the details in the model during the planning phases. While in the pre-design phase, the level of details of the geometry is secondary, the execution planning requires more details. Thus, the modelling details of geometry and seman- tic information in a BIM model evolve during its usage in the Fig. 4 Framework for enterprise interoperability (FEI) (adapted from ISO/TC 184 2012) life cycle. For instance, in the construction phase, the LOD requires the geometric and other information necessary for First, this section introduces the concept of interoper- actual fabrication. In GIM, on the other hand, geospatial features of the ability, several levels of interoperability and approaches to ensure or to establish interoperability between systems. Sec- real world are captured by surveying. Thus, the accuracy depends on the measurement procedure of the utilized sur- ond, different approaches of interoperability between BIM and GIM models are presented in Sect. 4.2. veying instruments. So, while the accuracy is given by the measurement and the abstraction of the real world, depth 4.1 Interoperability of details in GIM models, e.g. in CityGML, can be speci- fied by the level of detail (LoD) concept. For instance, in According to the IEEE 610 working group (1990), interop- LoD 1, buildings are represented by block models only, usually through extruded footprints. In LoD 3, a building erability is is a detailed architectural model with, e.g. roof structures, “the ability of two or more systems or components to walls and windows. Further, LoD 4 also considers indoor exchange information and to use the information that structures such as rooms or building installations. The LoD has been exchanged.” concept is based on the principles of generalization, and, Interoperability is not only a technical issue but involves thus, can be used to describe the level of graphical details that are rendered in, e.g. a 3D viewer. Since LOD in the BIM also other dimensions. The ISO standard 11354-1 (ISO/TC 184 2012) defines a model-driven interoperability (MDI) and LoD in GIM method describe different concepts, both terms, LOD and LoD, should not be used interchangeably. framework for enterprise interoperability, the so-called framework for enterprise interoperability (FEI). In the framework, the concepts of interoperability concerns, barri- ers and approaches are contextualized. They can be depicted 4 Interoperability Between BIM and GIM in a cube with three dimensions (see Fig. 4). In FEI, the interoperability concerns identify the area of As pointed out, BIM and GIM technologies have a different origin and come from different domains. While the BIM interoperation that may take place at various levels of the enterprise, namely data, service, processes and business. method is originally used in planning tools for construct- ing buildings and other structures, GIM is used to model Interoperability barriers describe various identified obstacles to interoperability in the categories conceptual, technologi- geospatial features of the real world with an application- dependent accuracy. Both concepts are already matured and cal and organizational. Interoperability approaches indicate solutions how barriers can be removed. This includes rs fi t an used by various industries in a productive mode. However, although BIM and GIM have different backgrounds, they integrated approach, where a common format is found for all models. The unified approach has also a common format for depend on each other or each other’s data during several life cycle phases. Thus, for data integration purposes, interoper- the models but solely on meta-level. Finally, the federated approach does not support common formats for models or ability between the data models of GIM and BIM is desired to exchange data or to achieve an overall model from both meta-models: each single model is still used but mapping rules are defined between them. perspectives. 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 39 Fig. 6 Interoperability approaches for integrating BIM and GIM (extension of Hijazi and Donaubauer 2017 ) 4.2 Solutions for BIM–GIM Interoperability Interoperability barriers between BIM and GIM can be found especially for data and service concerns at the concep- tual and technological level in the FEI model. For instance, the concepts of modelling spatial referencing differ con- Fig. 5 Level of conceptual interoperability model (LCIM) (adapted ceptually from each other. Whilst GIM utilizes the spatial from Wang et al. 2009) referencing by absolute coordinates defined in ISO/TC 211 (2014), BIM uses coordinates in a local Cartesian coordinate When addressing interoperability concerns with these system. Technologically, GIM uses—besides raster data— approaches, different barriers have to be overcome. These vector geometry (for example, B-Rep models), but geom- barriers are often built upon each other. For instance, before etries in BIM are often described by the CSG. addressing conceptual barriers of two systems, technologi- Basically, the interoperability approaches defined by the cal issues have to be solved. Therefore, a certain sequence FEI can be applied to the BIM–GIM integration problem. of solving interoperability barriers between systems should Since technical and syntactic interoperability is already be followed. The level of conceptual interoperability model given by encoding in bits and bytes and by different formats, (LCIM) introduces such an order. It is a framework origi- the consecutive goal is to achieve a semantic interoperability nally proposed by Tolk and Muguira (2003) and further (L3 in LCIM), so that terms, terminology and notions are developed by other authors (see Fig. 5). The model consists comparable from both worlds. The interoperability aims at of seven levels from “no interoperability” (L0), in which no semantic level constitutes in a shared data model. Hijazi and connection between two or more systems is established, to Donaubauer (2017) distinguish between three approaches “conceptual interoperability” (L6), which describes systems to achieve semantic interoperability: model transformation, with a common conceptual model. Technical interoperabil- linked models and unified models. While linked and unified ity (L1) describes the ability to produce and consume data models correspond to the federated and unified approaches in exchange with external systems, e.g. using network con- in the FEI standard, model transformation describes the pro- nection standards such as TCP/IP. Syntactic interoperability cess of transferring a source model into a target model by (L2) is a set of agreed-to formats that are supported by the transformation, conversion and mapping rules. However, the technical solution levels, e.g. XML or SOAP. At semantic integrated model approach of the FEI model is missing in interoperability (L3), the participating systems agree on a their model of achieving semantic interoperability between set of terms and terminology. Further levels include shar- BIM and GIM models. In our updated model (see Fig. 6), ing of terms and methods (L4), the means of producing and we introduce integrated models as a fourth option to ensure consuming the definitions of meaning (L5) and, ultimately, interoperability between BIM and GIM models. By apply- a shared understanding of the conceptual model (L6) (Wang ing integrated models, the highest level of interoperability et al. 2009). could be ensured. Other interoperability models are similar to the LCIM model. For instance, the European Interoperability Frame- 4.2.1 Model Transformation work (EIF) specifies a model with four layers, which is applied to digital public services within the European Union Model transformation between BIM and GIM models can be (EU) (European Commission 2017). achieved by applying transformation to the data using a set of mapping and conversion rules. This is often accomplished 1 3 40 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 with the help of extraction, transformation, load (ETL) tools. schemas with rich vocabulary to add semantics and context. Several commercial software tools for these transformation In combination, reasoning and inference about data can be processes are available. Transformation is possible in both accomplished. This can be useful in applications, in which directions: IFC data can be transformed to CityGML and semantic indoor and outdoor information are important, e.g. vice versa. This approach has some advantages: both models in an evacuation planning scenario (Hor et al. 2016). stay independently without further standardization efforts, This approach has some advantages such as the data stay and because of the direct transformation, it can be done in its original structure. Further, scalability and case-depend- quite easily with a high user acceptance. However, because ent adaptability can be obtained. However, drawbacks are of the different nature of BIM and GIM, it also has some the required intelligent implementation and the necessary major drawbacks, which can be essential in applications. maintenance of the linked model, especially if the original Both models own intrinsically different aims and model- models are updated. ling details, so that information loss and gaps always occur For instance, Hor et al. (2016) developed an approach when applying model transformation. A mapping procedure to integrate BIM and GIM using semantic web technolo- between various attributes in the models is sometimes not gies and RDF graphs. Their Integrated Geospatial Informa- possible or can be accomplished in a limited fashion. Espe- tion Model (IGIM) offers access to GIM and BIM datasets cially the geometric transformation proves to be problematic through a RDF-directed graph. To achieve this, IFC and since in BIM and GIM geometries are modelled in a differ - CityGML are first translated into IFC–RDF, respectively, ent way (planar vs. volumetric). This may lead to ambigui- GIS–RDF graphs and subsequently integrated at the seman- ties, which have to be resolved, sometimes manually. In the tic level. Vilgertshofer et al. (2017) also applied semantic literature, a lot of model transformation efforts can be found web technology (RDF and OWL) to link IFC and CityGML. to integrate BIM into GIM models (van Berlo and de Laat They also integrated the IFC Tunnel schema with latest 2011; Deng et al. 2016; Ohori et al. 2017; Sani and Rahman infrastructure developments of buildingSMART. Further 2018; Knoth et al. 2019; Zadeh et al. 2019). As expected, approaches can be found in, e.g. Karan et al. (2016). they run especially into problems regarding the geometric transformation due to the different modelling approach of 4.2.3 Unified Models geometries in BIM and GIM. The unified model approach transforms BIM and GIM mod- 4.2.2 Linked Models els into one superior single model, which integrates common details from both worlds. This ensures that for these details, Linked models correspond to the federated interoperability no information loss occurs, which is the main advantage of approach in the FEI standard. The data of the models stay this approach. However, defining a unified model requires independent of each other and are stored in their original additional efforts. The harmonization and standardization model. A link model (sometimes multi-model) is introduced of a single model need a lot of coordination between the to interconnect the subject-specific models, e.g. by identi- disciplines, and the acceptance of the resulting model is not fiers (IDs). The linkage can be established either on data guaranteed, especially, if the domain-specific models are level using technologies of the Semantic Web or on service more expressive. The risk lies in redundant data storage in level, e.g. through web services. Common technologies of different models. Software products may be forced to sup- the World Wide Web (WWW) such as Hypertext Transfer port multiple models because of its low acceptance. Protocol (HTTP), Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) or Different researchers try to implement unified models for XML are utilized to create interoperable data models, which integrating BIM and GIM. El-Mekawy et al. (2012) imple- can be accessed through networks. This setup provides tech- ment a unified building model (UBM) that encapsulates the nical and syntactic interoperability according to the LCIM IFC as well as the CityGML encoding. This prevents for model. To achieve semantic interoperability, a Semantic direct transformation and also loss of information is avoided. Web technology stack needs to be used. Here, the resource The approach is validated through use cases. The authors description framework (RDF) can be applied to express data, note that other case studies are required to advance the set information and knowledge in form of statements. A state- of constraints and enrichment functions. Besides scientific ment in RDF is codified as a semantic triple that has the research, there has been some standardization effort from form of a subject–predicate–object expression. Every part different institutions. of a RDF triple can be addressed via unique URIs. A RDF LandInfra (land and infrastructure) (Scarponcini 2016) triple indicates exactly one relationship between a subject as a successor to LandXML (LandXML and U.S. Federal and an object named by the predicate. To obtain pragmatic Highway Administration (IHSDM) 2008) is a new open interoperability, the Web Ontology Language (OWL) may standard issued by the OGC in conjunction with the build- extend the RDF triples. OWL allows to represent conceptual ingSMART Infrastructure IfcAlignment project team. The 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 41 conceptual data model can be used to represent land and However, it turns out that achieving interoperability between civil engineering infrastructure features. It was designed to BIM and GIM models is difficult. Due to different para- bridge GIM and BIM by integrating concepts from the dif- digms in modelling, the transfer of data is not trivial. For ferent domains, especially it has overlaps with CityGML instance, the often-applied IFC encoding in BIM and the and IFC. LandInfra has a conceptual model specified in Uni- CityGML encoding in GIM use different types of modelling fied Modelling Language (UML) and a Geography Markup geometries; while geometries in IFC are specified in para- Language (GML) encoding called InfraGML, which cor- metric form, in CityGML, solely visible geometries of the responds to the concept of CityGML. But at the same time, constructed world are described explicitly by points, edges parts are based on the buildingSMART IFC Alignment 1.0 and surfaces. standard. However, Kumar et al. (2019) found that a lot of Initial approaches to establish interoperability between BIM–GIM integration problems cannot be solved with the GIM and BIM exist. These include mainly methods using standard. LandInfra is much closer to 3D GIM models than schema transformation. However, a solution to achieve con- to BIM models. Thus, interoperability to BIM formats is sistent and continuous interoperability is not found yet. In limited. Additionally, LandInfra is not extendable and cannot this paper, different approaches were discussed to achieve be adjusted to further or updated formats. interoperability between GIM and BIM models. FEI defines three interoperability approaches: federated (or linked), 4.2.4 Integrated Models unified and integrated models. However, the most simple approach is to transform the models using a mapping and A fully integrated model for BIM and GIM implies that conversion rule set. Similarly in linked models, these rules all aspects of both models are integrated into one model. are used together with semantic web technologies such as The resulting single model represents all details from both RDF to establish interoperability between the two models. perspectives. It should be standardized to achieve maximal The approach introduces links to interconnect the differ - interoperability. Domain specific models such as IFC or ent data models and its parameters. Unified models try to CityGML become unnecessary since every use-case can be establish one superior single model that integrates common represented by the integrated model. This is different from details of both worlds. Theoretically, for these details, no the unified model, in which solely the common information information loss occurs but harmonization and standardiza- is stored. The LandInfra standard is a step towards such an tion are very effortful. The highest level of interoperability integrated model but, as mentioned, represents rather a uni- can be achieved by integrated models; however, an inte- fied model. Other approaches or initiatives are currently not grated model has not been established so far. being pursued. The question arises if such a model is to seek A unified or even integrated model is far from being in the long run. However, the integrated model approach introduced, and it is questionable if such a model is favour- promises the highest interoperability, but is the most effort- able after all. Besides the need for improved coordination ful approach and, simultaneously, inflexible towards modi- of standardization activities to establish interoperability, fications of a specific domain. practical experience must clarify first which domain model should be used for which issue. Currently, the IFC standard is growing fast, but the question arises whether every aspect 5 Conclusion should be covered by IFC. We know from the GIM perspec- tive, however, that such an uber standard is rather impracti- Digital information of the built environment gains impor- cal. Since transforming between BIM and GIM models back tance, especially in civil engineering through the trans- and forth is in some cases inconvenient and impractical, we formation to digital planning, constructing and operating. conclude that linking the models of the two domains in an Synergies and complementarities between GIM and BIM intelligent and sophisticated way should get more atten- models and data should be realized for optimal workflows tion in practice to establish interoperability. This, however, in practice, in particular for larger construction projects such requires strengthening of coordination and standardization as in the field of infrastructure. activities between both domains. However, BIM and GIM have been developed in the Acknowledgements Open Access funding provided by Projekt DEAL. context of two previously distinct domains. Nevertheless, often data from GIM must be integrated into BIM models, Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- especially to enhance planning and execution of construc- bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tions. Similarly, GIM models of the geospatial domain such tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as landscape models need the integration of BIM models as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes to update the digital representation of the real-world state. were made. The images or other third party material in this article are Thus, interoperability between both models is desirable. 1 3 42 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated Hutsell S, Bush L (2016) Integrated data capture, BIM, CIM, GIS, and otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in CAD—owner and industry perspectives on products, processes the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not and policies for informed decision making. In: SPAR 3D expo permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will and conference need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a IEEE 610 working group (1990) IEEE standard glossary of software copy of this licence, visit http://creativ ecommons .or g/licenses/b y/4.0/. engineering terminology. IEEE Standard 610.12-199, https://doi. org/10.1109/IEEES TD.1990.10106 4. http://ieeex plore .ieee.org/ xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnum ber=15934 2 ISO/TC 184 (2012) Advanced automation technologies and their appli- cations—requirements for establishing manufacturing enterprise References process interoperability—part 1: Framework for enterprise inter- operability. 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In: ability model: applying systems engineering principles to M&S. Kolbe TH, Bill R, Donaubauer A (eds) Geoinformationssysteme In: Spring simulation multiconference 2009—co-located with the 2017 - Beiträge zur 4. Wichmann, Münchner GI-Runde, pp 42–56 2009 SISO spring simulation interoperability workshop, pp 1–9. Hijazi I, Donaubauer A, Kolbe T (2018) BIM-GIS Integration as dedi- https ://doi.org/10.1145/16398 09.16553 98 cated and independent course for geoinformatics students: merits, Zadeh PA, Wei L, Dee A, Pottinger R, Staub-French S (2019) Bim- challenges, and ways forward. ISPRS Int J Geo-Inf 7(8):319. https CityGML data integration for modern urban challenges. J Inf ://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7 08031 9 Technol Construct 24:318–340 Hor AH, Jadidi A, Sohn G (2016) BIM-GIS integrated geospatial infor- mation model using semantic Web and RDF graphs. ISPRS Ann Photogramm Remote Sens Spatial Inf Sci 3(July):73–79. https :// doi.org/10.5194/isprs -annal s-III-4-73-2016 1 3 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PFG – Journal of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Science Springer Journals

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Abstract

Geospatial information modelling (GIM) is used for decades to document phenomena of the real world. Visualizing and analysing GIM data are usually accomplished by geographic information system tools. The construction industry, on the other hand, uses usually computer-aided design (CAD) tools to plan buildings. With the introduction of building information modelling (BIM), modelling in CAD was enhanced to the entire life cycle of constructions. BIM and GIM are not independ- ent of each other, e.g. BIM uses geospatial data for planning purposes. However, integrating both is challenging since the modelling methods differ. The paper describes approaches to establish interoperability between models of both domains. A literature review reveals the problems and challenges different researchers tackled to achieve interoperability. Keywords Geospatial information modelling · Building information modelling · BIM · Interoperability · GIM Zusammenfassung GIM und BIM. Die Modellierung von Geodaten (GIM) wird seit Jahrzehnten zur Dokumentation von Phänomenen der realen Welt eingesetzt. Die Visualisierung und die Analyse von GIM-Daten wird in der Regel mit Hilfe geographischer Informationssysteme durchgeführt. Die Bauindustrie verwendet andererseits in der Regel CAD-Werkzeuge (Computer-Aided Design) zur Planung von Gebäuden. Mit der Einführung von Building Information Modeling (BIM) wurde die Modellierung in CAD auf den gesamten Lebenszyklus von Bauwerken ausgeweitet. BIM und GIM sind nicht unabhängig voneinander zu sehen. So nutzt z.B. BIM Geodaten für Planungszwecke. Die Integration beider ist jedoch eine Herausforderung, da die Modellierungsmethoden unterschiedlich sind. Der Artikel beschreibt Ansätze zur Herstellung von Interoperabilität zwischen den Modellen beider Bereiche. Eine Literaturübersicht weist auf die Probleme und Herausforderungen hin, mit denen sich eine ganze Reihe von Fachleuten beschäftigt haben, um Interoperabilität zu erreichen. Abbreviations AECO Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation B-Rep Boundary Representation BIM Building Information Modeling * Stefan Herle CAD Computer-Aided Design herle@gia.rwth-aachen.de CSG Constructed Solid Geometry Ralf Becker EIF European Interoperability Framework ralf.becker@gia.rwth-aachen.de ETL Extraction, Transformation, Load Raymond Wollenberg FEI Framework for Enterprise Interoperability raymond.wollenberg@gia.rwth-aachen.de FM Facility Management Jörg Blankenbach GIM Geospatial Information Modeling blankenbach@gia.rwth-aachen.de GIS Geographic Information System Geodetic Institute and Chair for Computing in Civil GML Geography Markup Language Engineering & Geo Information Systems RWTH Aachen HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol University, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen, IFC Industry Foundation Classes Germany Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 34 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 JSON JavaScript Object Notation gap between methods and models of the geospatial domain LCIM Level of Conceptual Interoperability Model and BIM. They found that automated processing of com- LoD Level of Detail plex architectural models is very difficult, so that a complete LOD Level of Development working interface for GIS and BIM integration could not be OGC Open Geospatial Consortium developed within the time frame of the project. van Berlo OWL Web Ontology Language and de Laat (2011) developed an extension for CityGML, RDF Resource Description Framework which they also called GeoBIM, to integrate semantic BIM SRS Spatial Reference System data into a GIS context. Hijazi et al. (2018) investigated the TBS Technical Building System integration of data and tools from the BIM and the urban UIM Urban Information Modeling information modelling (UIM) domain. In this context, the UML Unified Modeling Language term UIM describes a semantic modelling method, that is URI Uniform Resource Identifier similar to the BIM method, but is used on a larger scale for WWW World Wide Web representing relevant entities of urban areas (e.g. buildings XML Extensible Markup Language or roads in city models). Kumar et al. (2019) inspected the LandInfra standard and its capabilities to bridge BIM and GIS. They found that LandInfra is situated at the intersec- 1 Introduction tion of BIM and GIS. But it is rather inspired by modelling standards of 3D GIS since in the BIM world, objects are Designing and planing of landscapes, urban areas and build- modelled in a different way. ings have changed dramatically in recent years. The digital In this paper, we investigate the different approaches to transformation of the society, economy, businesses and pri- integrate models of the two domains: on the one hand, BIM vate life also increasingly affects construction and manage- for modelling of buildings and constructions and, on the ment activities of humans. other hand, modelling of geospatial data, how it is used by For modelling the environment of large areas, geographic GIS. Since GIS refers rather to a tool than to a geospatial information systems (GISs) have already been productively modelling approach, we use the term geospatial informa- used since the 1970s (Bill 2016). With the introduction of tion modelling (GIM) as a similar concept to BIM but in the third spatial dimension in geospatial data, novel appli- the geospatial domain (see Sect. 3). The integration of BIM cations and analysis tools such as noise transmission or and GIM models can be accomplished through four differ - flooding simulations can be conducted. This development ent approaches of interoperability: first, the transformation is especially driven and fostered by the evolution of data back and forth between the different formats of both model- acquisition methods and automated workflows, which can be ling methods; second, linked models; third, unified mod - accomplished with reduced costs through increasing com- els; finally, integrated models. After giving a more detailed puting power or innovative sensor technology. insight into the BIM method and comparing its modelling Models that cope with geometric data on a building level capabilities and approaches with the GIM method, we illus- are traditionally handled by computer-aided design (CAD) trate the efforts of several researchers in establishing inter - software, or since a couple of years by the method and asso- operability using the mentioned models. ciated tools of building information modelling (BIM). BIM describes the consistent and integrated modelling of all data with respect to a specific construction and during its life 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) cycle (see Sect. 2.1). However, BIM is not decoupled from geospatial data and Building information modelling (BIM) is a modern coopera- models. For optimized planning, construction and opera- tive approach in the architecture, engineering, construction tion, both modelling views are complementary. This cir- and operation (AECO) industry based on digital models of a cumstance forces developers to integrate BIM models in a specific building or construction. The German Federal Min- broader concept of geospatial models. On the other hand, istry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI 2015) usually geospatial data are also required in BIM. During defines BIM as follows: the planning phase of new constructions, the planner needs “Building Information Modelling means a collabora- to consult geospatial data such as land register data, city or tive work method that creates and uses digital models landscape models as well as digital terrain models. Due to of an asset as a basis for the consistent generation and their different nature and modelling approaches, the integra- management of information and data relevant to the tion is, however, a difficult task. Several researchers have asset’s life cycle as well as for the sharing or pass- tried to tackle this problem by various approaches. Arroyo ing on of such information and data between the par- Ohori et al. (2018) started the GeoBIM project to bridge the 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 35 Fig. 1 Left: BIM and the trades in construction. Right: BIM in the building cycle ticipants for further processing by way of transparent and attributive information. Based on the model, slices and communication.” construction plans can be derived, area, volume and quantity measures can be calculated, and costing and time manage- The British BIM Industry Working Group distinguishes fur- ment can be conducted. Since the building exists solely as ther between different maturity levels of BIM. While level a digital model, different simulations and variants can be 0 describes solely the utilization of 2D CAD software to analysed. Coordination of various planners or clash detec- create paper drawings, level 1 extends it to the modelling of tion between different aspect models is facilitated. These geometries in 3D as well as file-based collaboration. Level tasks also interact with information about the surrounding 2 specifies the use of BIM tools with attached data. Ulti- environment; thus, geospatial data must be integrated here mately, level 3 covers a fully integrated BIM with standard- as well (e.g. Barazzetti and Banfi 2017). ized formats and interfaces as well as a complete life cycle In the construction phase, the BIM model is used as a management (BIS 2011). In this ultimate stage, information guideline. Based on the model, construction plans, manage- and data about the building during its entire life cycle are ment as well as logistics are compiled and executed. Infor- collected in the digital model in a cloud-based environment. mation is added to the model to document construction pro- Building information is transparently shared and managed gress and controlling. Furthermore, using the digital model between the stakeholders of the specific phase in the life can support and improve construction defect management. cycle. Thus, the central component of the BIM method is Additionally, commissioning and handover can be facilitated the shared database, which stores a digital, all-encompassing by accounting of construction services using the as-designed and consistent building model. As long as the stakeholder BIM model and an as-built-documentation of the final build- has the rights, he or she is able to access and update the ing. The as-built-documentation must be derived from the model using defined interfaces and procedures, which facili- constructed building on-site by suitable measurement tech- tates cooperative work (see Fig. 1 on the left). Since the life niques (e.g. laser scanning). It can be consulted to compare cycle of a building starts with planning phases (see Fig. 1 on with the planned model. the right), in most cases, the digital model is created before Subsequently, operation of the building benefits from an the construction execution starts. It affects several phases updated BIM model (as-is-documentation). This includes with different information in the life cycle. Hence, besides (computer-aided) facility management (CAFM) or conser- the 3D geometry and construction information, technical and vation management. Finally, an up-to-date BIM model also functional data as well as aspects of time and cost manage- improves demolition or refurbishment of the building, e.g. ment are stored in the model. by supporting selective disassembly. 2.1 Life Cycle Phases in BIM 2.2 Semantic Modelling in BIM The life cycle of a building starts with the pre-design and The semantic modelling in BIM covers several properties conceptual planning. A lot of information is collected from and information during the different life cycle phases. This different sources and integrated into a newly created BIM includes costs, timetables and simulations. However, very model. Also geospatial datasets are already consulted in this important information is stored in the geometry and the early phase. In the planning and design phase, the building construction information of the building model. Contrary construction is modelled using a BIM software. The model to CAD, BIM uses an object-oriented approach together is compiled using building components with 3D geometry with semantic data models to characterize the building 1 3 36 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 components. Each component, e.g. wall, door or beam, is imported/exported in files, or managed in centralized or modelled as an object with different properties. The geom- linked databases. etry of the object usually is described by a constructed solid The standardization process of the IFC encoding is ongo- geometry (CSG), which is an implicit method to construct ing. Initially, only considered for BIM in building construc- complex surfaces or objects using Boolean operators to tions, the method and, thus, also the IFC encoding, evolved combine simpler objects. Furthermore, relations to other into other civil engineering industries such as infrastructural construction components (neighbourhood, groupings, etc.), management (bridges, roads, rails and maritime). Hence, the semantics, attribute data and visualization information are IFC version 4.1.0.0 introduced new standards for infrastruc- included for each building part. Usually, a BIM model con- ture constructions. The first full extension for infrastructure sists of various aspect models, which are compiled by each is planned to be reached with version 5.0. involved domain on its own. For instance, an architectural model designed by an architect has no information about the technical equipment, which is rather documented in a spe- cific technical building equipment model. The aggregation 3 Differences Between BIM and GIM of all these models results in a coordination model. The planning of new buildings or infrastructure construc- 2.3 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)—A BIM tions usually requires geospatial data. This holds, e.g. for Model Encoding city models, digital terrain models or environmental data. Different variants of planned models can be rendered in city Several data models and encodings for BIM exist. The free models in GIS to perceive the impact in an overall image. and open IFC schema is used for storing and exchanging For instance, shadow and visibility analysis as well as simu- BIM models. It is vendor independent and further devel- lations of emissions can be executed (e.g. Rafiee et al. 2014). oped by buildingSMART international. While version 4.0 The results can then be used to refine the building model. was released as an ISO standard in 2013, the most recent Also in the subsequent phases of the BIM life cycle, geospa- version is 4.1.0.0 (BuildingSMART 2018). IFC can be used tial data enhance the BIM model. On the other hand, BIM to describe the project structure, the building components models can also be integrated into, e.g. city models, after the with their geometric and attributive properties as well as the construction is realized in the real world. relations between them. Figure 2 illustrates as an example, For comparing BIM and modelling in the geospatial a subset of the IFC data model and a closeup to IfcWall for domain, we introduce the term Geospatial Information Mod- modelling a wall. Usually encoded in the STEP format, IFC elling (GIM). We define it as follows: supports also other formats, such as Extensible Markup Lan- “Geospatial Information Modelling (GIM) denotes the guage (XML) or prospectively JavaScript Object Notation digital modelling method of space-related phenomena (JSON). The models can be transmitted over web services, Fig. 2 Coarse section of IFC building model with wall properties (diagram source: Atazadeh et al. 2017) 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 37 Fig. 3 BIM and GIM and their common objects (adapted from Hutsell and Bush 2016) of the real world. It is characterized by multidimen- already built. The BIM perspective is mainly shaped by its sional descriptions of geospatial features by location origin for being a tool for planning. In BIM, geometries are and orientation in Spatial Reference System (SRS), usually defined as CSG. Volumetric bodies such as cuboids, raster/vector geometry and topology, attribute data and cylinders or cones are combined using Boolean operators time. Thus, GIM is used as a digital documentation to form a specific building component. In GIM, the model- of real world states and can be applied to a variety of ling of geometries differs from that approach. GIM wants spatially related questions.” to represent the real world like it is perceived and observed. Hence, digital models focus on the surface of geospatial BIM and GIM are complementary as Fig. 3 suggests. The features. Unlike BIM, in GIM, the shapes of geometries common objects in both modelling worlds are mostly on are described explicitly by their nodes, edges and surfaces, the site and building level. Every geospatial feature with a characterized by coordinates. The so-called boundary rep- larger extent is rather considered to be part of GIM models, resentation (B-Rep) is one of the most used models in 3D to while especially detailed building components are part of define geometries by their surfaces. CityGML is one of the the BIM world. standards issued by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Although having similar intersecting objects in their mod- that are used to encode city models with B-Rep geometries elling, the exchange of data and models between the BIM (Gröger et al. 2012). and the GIM methods is not trivial. This is mainly due to differences in purpose and perspective of the two modelling 3.2 Scope and Coordinate System approaches (Becker et al. 2017). The perspectives and ori- gins have direct impact on the comparability and interoper- BIM focuses on single construction sites such as a building ability. The differences and similarities are described in the or an infrastructure object. The structure of the building with following sections. different components and technical equipment are modelled. Hence, a local Cartesian coordinate system using the ordinal 3.1 Modelling and Geometry building axes for orientation and an appropriate measure facilitate the modelling. While GIM deals with modelling geospatial features of As mentioned, GIM models are rather used for a small- the real world on a small scale, BIM aims at modelling a scale projection of the real world. This includes applications building or construction in a detailed view, which is either such as land, environment or network information systems. planned to be realized in the real world in the future or is Also extensive planning of, e.g. landscapes, urban areas or 1 3 38 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 road networks can be accomplished by GIM methods and associated tools. For these kinds of applications, a local Car- tesian coordinate system is not sufficient. Therefore, SRSs such as ETRS89 with UTM are utilized to project the surface of the Earth. 3.3 Modelling Details and Accuracy In the BIM method, the concept and application of Level of Development (LOD) are utilized to describe the require- ments of the details in the model during the planning phases. While in the pre-design phase, the level of details of the geometry is secondary, the execution planning requires more details. Thus, the modelling details of geometry and seman- tic information in a BIM model evolve during its usage in the Fig. 4 Framework for enterprise interoperability (FEI) (adapted from ISO/TC 184 2012) life cycle. For instance, in the construction phase, the LOD requires the geometric and other information necessary for First, this section introduces the concept of interoper- actual fabrication. In GIM, on the other hand, geospatial features of the ability, several levels of interoperability and approaches to ensure or to establish interoperability between systems. Sec- real world are captured by surveying. Thus, the accuracy depends on the measurement procedure of the utilized sur- ond, different approaches of interoperability between BIM and GIM models are presented in Sect. 4.2. veying instruments. So, while the accuracy is given by the measurement and the abstraction of the real world, depth 4.1 Interoperability of details in GIM models, e.g. in CityGML, can be speci- fied by the level of detail (LoD) concept. For instance, in According to the IEEE 610 working group (1990), interop- LoD 1, buildings are represented by block models only, usually through extruded footprints. In LoD 3, a building erability is is a detailed architectural model with, e.g. roof structures, “the ability of two or more systems or components to walls and windows. Further, LoD 4 also considers indoor exchange information and to use the information that structures such as rooms or building installations. The LoD has been exchanged.” concept is based on the principles of generalization, and, Interoperability is not only a technical issue but involves thus, can be used to describe the level of graphical details that are rendered in, e.g. a 3D viewer. Since LOD in the BIM also other dimensions. The ISO standard 11354-1 (ISO/TC 184 2012) defines a model-driven interoperability (MDI) and LoD in GIM method describe different concepts, both terms, LOD and LoD, should not be used interchangeably. framework for enterprise interoperability, the so-called framework for enterprise interoperability (FEI). In the framework, the concepts of interoperability concerns, barri- ers and approaches are contextualized. They can be depicted 4 Interoperability Between BIM and GIM in a cube with three dimensions (see Fig. 4). In FEI, the interoperability concerns identify the area of As pointed out, BIM and GIM technologies have a different origin and come from different domains. While the BIM interoperation that may take place at various levels of the enterprise, namely data, service, processes and business. method is originally used in planning tools for construct- ing buildings and other structures, GIM is used to model Interoperability barriers describe various identified obstacles to interoperability in the categories conceptual, technologi- geospatial features of the real world with an application- dependent accuracy. Both concepts are already matured and cal and organizational. Interoperability approaches indicate solutions how barriers can be removed. This includes rs fi t an used by various industries in a productive mode. However, although BIM and GIM have different backgrounds, they integrated approach, where a common format is found for all models. The unified approach has also a common format for depend on each other or each other’s data during several life cycle phases. Thus, for data integration purposes, interoper- the models but solely on meta-level. Finally, the federated approach does not support common formats for models or ability between the data models of GIM and BIM is desired to exchange data or to achieve an overall model from both meta-models: each single model is still used but mapping rules are defined between them. perspectives. 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 39 Fig. 6 Interoperability approaches for integrating BIM and GIM (extension of Hijazi and Donaubauer 2017 ) 4.2 Solutions for BIM–GIM Interoperability Interoperability barriers between BIM and GIM can be found especially for data and service concerns at the concep- tual and technological level in the FEI model. For instance, the concepts of modelling spatial referencing differ con- Fig. 5 Level of conceptual interoperability model (LCIM) (adapted ceptually from each other. Whilst GIM utilizes the spatial from Wang et al. 2009) referencing by absolute coordinates defined in ISO/TC 211 (2014), BIM uses coordinates in a local Cartesian coordinate When addressing interoperability concerns with these system. Technologically, GIM uses—besides raster data— approaches, different barriers have to be overcome. These vector geometry (for example, B-Rep models), but geom- barriers are often built upon each other. For instance, before etries in BIM are often described by the CSG. addressing conceptual barriers of two systems, technologi- Basically, the interoperability approaches defined by the cal issues have to be solved. Therefore, a certain sequence FEI can be applied to the BIM–GIM integration problem. of solving interoperability barriers between systems should Since technical and syntactic interoperability is already be followed. The level of conceptual interoperability model given by encoding in bits and bytes and by different formats, (LCIM) introduces such an order. It is a framework origi- the consecutive goal is to achieve a semantic interoperability nally proposed by Tolk and Muguira (2003) and further (L3 in LCIM), so that terms, terminology and notions are developed by other authors (see Fig. 5). The model consists comparable from both worlds. The interoperability aims at of seven levels from “no interoperability” (L0), in which no semantic level constitutes in a shared data model. Hijazi and connection between two or more systems is established, to Donaubauer (2017) distinguish between three approaches “conceptual interoperability” (L6), which describes systems to achieve semantic interoperability: model transformation, with a common conceptual model. Technical interoperabil- linked models and unified models. While linked and unified ity (L1) describes the ability to produce and consume data models correspond to the federated and unified approaches in exchange with external systems, e.g. using network con- in the FEI standard, model transformation describes the pro- nection standards such as TCP/IP. Syntactic interoperability cess of transferring a source model into a target model by (L2) is a set of agreed-to formats that are supported by the transformation, conversion and mapping rules. However, the technical solution levels, e.g. XML or SOAP. At semantic integrated model approach of the FEI model is missing in interoperability (L3), the participating systems agree on a their model of achieving semantic interoperability between set of terms and terminology. Further levels include shar- BIM and GIM models. In our updated model (see Fig. 6), ing of terms and methods (L4), the means of producing and we introduce integrated models as a fourth option to ensure consuming the definitions of meaning (L5) and, ultimately, interoperability between BIM and GIM models. By apply- a shared understanding of the conceptual model (L6) (Wang ing integrated models, the highest level of interoperability et al. 2009). could be ensured. Other interoperability models are similar to the LCIM model. For instance, the European Interoperability Frame- 4.2.1 Model Transformation work (EIF) specifies a model with four layers, which is applied to digital public services within the European Union Model transformation between BIM and GIM models can be (EU) (European Commission 2017). achieved by applying transformation to the data using a set of mapping and conversion rules. This is often accomplished 1 3 40 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 with the help of extraction, transformation, load (ETL) tools. schemas with rich vocabulary to add semantics and context. Several commercial software tools for these transformation In combination, reasoning and inference about data can be processes are available. Transformation is possible in both accomplished. This can be useful in applications, in which directions: IFC data can be transformed to CityGML and semantic indoor and outdoor information are important, e.g. vice versa. This approach has some advantages: both models in an evacuation planning scenario (Hor et al. 2016). stay independently without further standardization efforts, This approach has some advantages such as the data stay and because of the direct transformation, it can be done in its original structure. Further, scalability and case-depend- quite easily with a high user acceptance. However, because ent adaptability can be obtained. However, drawbacks are of the different nature of BIM and GIM, it also has some the required intelligent implementation and the necessary major drawbacks, which can be essential in applications. maintenance of the linked model, especially if the original Both models own intrinsically different aims and model- models are updated. ling details, so that information loss and gaps always occur For instance, Hor et al. (2016) developed an approach when applying model transformation. A mapping procedure to integrate BIM and GIM using semantic web technolo- between various attributes in the models is sometimes not gies and RDF graphs. Their Integrated Geospatial Informa- possible or can be accomplished in a limited fashion. Espe- tion Model (IGIM) offers access to GIM and BIM datasets cially the geometric transformation proves to be problematic through a RDF-directed graph. To achieve this, IFC and since in BIM and GIM geometries are modelled in a differ - CityGML are first translated into IFC–RDF, respectively, ent way (planar vs. volumetric). This may lead to ambigui- GIS–RDF graphs and subsequently integrated at the seman- ties, which have to be resolved, sometimes manually. In the tic level. Vilgertshofer et al. (2017) also applied semantic literature, a lot of model transformation efforts can be found web technology (RDF and OWL) to link IFC and CityGML. to integrate BIM into GIM models (van Berlo and de Laat They also integrated the IFC Tunnel schema with latest 2011; Deng et al. 2016; Ohori et al. 2017; Sani and Rahman infrastructure developments of buildingSMART. Further 2018; Knoth et al. 2019; Zadeh et al. 2019). As expected, approaches can be found in, e.g. Karan et al. (2016). they run especially into problems regarding the geometric transformation due to the different modelling approach of 4.2.3 Unified Models geometries in BIM and GIM. The unified model approach transforms BIM and GIM mod- 4.2.2 Linked Models els into one superior single model, which integrates common details from both worlds. This ensures that for these details, Linked models correspond to the federated interoperability no information loss occurs, which is the main advantage of approach in the FEI standard. The data of the models stay this approach. However, defining a unified model requires independent of each other and are stored in their original additional efforts. The harmonization and standardization model. A link model (sometimes multi-model) is introduced of a single model need a lot of coordination between the to interconnect the subject-specific models, e.g. by identi- disciplines, and the acceptance of the resulting model is not fiers (IDs). The linkage can be established either on data guaranteed, especially, if the domain-specific models are level using technologies of the Semantic Web or on service more expressive. The risk lies in redundant data storage in level, e.g. through web services. Common technologies of different models. Software products may be forced to sup- the World Wide Web (WWW) such as Hypertext Transfer port multiple models because of its low acceptance. Protocol (HTTP), Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) or Different researchers try to implement unified models for XML are utilized to create interoperable data models, which integrating BIM and GIM. El-Mekawy et al. (2012) imple- can be accessed through networks. This setup provides tech- ment a unified building model (UBM) that encapsulates the nical and syntactic interoperability according to the LCIM IFC as well as the CityGML encoding. This prevents for model. To achieve semantic interoperability, a Semantic direct transformation and also loss of information is avoided. Web technology stack needs to be used. Here, the resource The approach is validated through use cases. The authors description framework (RDF) can be applied to express data, note that other case studies are required to advance the set information and knowledge in form of statements. A state- of constraints and enrichment functions. Besides scientific ment in RDF is codified as a semantic triple that has the research, there has been some standardization effort from form of a subject–predicate–object expression. Every part different institutions. of a RDF triple can be addressed via unique URIs. A RDF LandInfra (land and infrastructure) (Scarponcini 2016) triple indicates exactly one relationship between a subject as a successor to LandXML (LandXML and U.S. Federal and an object named by the predicate. To obtain pragmatic Highway Administration (IHSDM) 2008) is a new open interoperability, the Web Ontology Language (OWL) may standard issued by the OGC in conjunction with the build- extend the RDF triples. OWL allows to represent conceptual ingSMART Infrastructure IfcAlignment project team. The 1 3 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 41 conceptual data model can be used to represent land and However, it turns out that achieving interoperability between civil engineering infrastructure features. It was designed to BIM and GIM models is difficult. Due to different para- bridge GIM and BIM by integrating concepts from the dif- digms in modelling, the transfer of data is not trivial. For ferent domains, especially it has overlaps with CityGML instance, the often-applied IFC encoding in BIM and the and IFC. LandInfra has a conceptual model specified in Uni- CityGML encoding in GIM use different types of modelling fied Modelling Language (UML) and a Geography Markup geometries; while geometries in IFC are specified in para- Language (GML) encoding called InfraGML, which cor- metric form, in CityGML, solely visible geometries of the responds to the concept of CityGML. But at the same time, constructed world are described explicitly by points, edges parts are based on the buildingSMART IFC Alignment 1.0 and surfaces. standard. However, Kumar et al. (2019) found that a lot of Initial approaches to establish interoperability between BIM–GIM integration problems cannot be solved with the GIM and BIM exist. These include mainly methods using standard. LandInfra is much closer to 3D GIM models than schema transformation. However, a solution to achieve con- to BIM models. Thus, interoperability to BIM formats is sistent and continuous interoperability is not found yet. In limited. Additionally, LandInfra is not extendable and cannot this paper, different approaches were discussed to achieve be adjusted to further or updated formats. interoperability between GIM and BIM models. FEI defines three interoperability approaches: federated (or linked), 4.2.4 Integrated Models unified and integrated models. However, the most simple approach is to transform the models using a mapping and A fully integrated model for BIM and GIM implies that conversion rule set. Similarly in linked models, these rules all aspects of both models are integrated into one model. are used together with semantic web technologies such as The resulting single model represents all details from both RDF to establish interoperability between the two models. perspectives. It should be standardized to achieve maximal The approach introduces links to interconnect the differ - interoperability. Domain specific models such as IFC or ent data models and its parameters. Unified models try to CityGML become unnecessary since every use-case can be establish one superior single model that integrates common represented by the integrated model. This is different from details of both worlds. Theoretically, for these details, no the unified model, in which solely the common information information loss occurs but harmonization and standardiza- is stored. The LandInfra standard is a step towards such an tion are very effortful. The highest level of interoperability integrated model but, as mentioned, represents rather a uni- can be achieved by integrated models; however, an inte- fied model. Other approaches or initiatives are currently not grated model has not been established so far. being pursued. The question arises if such a model is to seek A unified or even integrated model is far from being in the long run. However, the integrated model approach introduced, and it is questionable if such a model is favour- promises the highest interoperability, but is the most effort- able after all. Besides the need for improved coordination ful approach and, simultaneously, inflexible towards modi- of standardization activities to establish interoperability, fications of a specific domain. practical experience must clarify first which domain model should be used for which issue. Currently, the IFC standard is growing fast, but the question arises whether every aspect 5 Conclusion should be covered by IFC. We know from the GIM perspec- tive, however, that such an uber standard is rather impracti- Digital information of the built environment gains impor- cal. Since transforming between BIM and GIM models back tance, especially in civil engineering through the trans- and forth is in some cases inconvenient and impractical, we formation to digital planning, constructing and operating. conclude that linking the models of the two domains in an Synergies and complementarities between GIM and BIM intelligent and sophisticated way should get more atten- models and data should be realized for optimal workflows tion in practice to establish interoperability. This, however, in practice, in particular for larger construction projects such requires strengthening of coordination and standardization as in the field of infrastructure. activities between both domains. However, BIM and GIM have been developed in the Acknowledgements Open Access funding provided by Projekt DEAL. context of two previously distinct domains. Nevertheless, often data from GIM must be integrated into BIM models, Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- especially to enhance planning and execution of construc- bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tions. Similarly, GIM models of the geospatial domain such tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as landscape models need the integration of BIM models as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes to update the digital representation of the real-world state. were made. The images or other third party material in this article are Thus, interoperability between both models is desirable. 1 3 42 PFG (2020) 88:33–42 included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated Hutsell S, Bush L (2016) Integrated data capture, BIM, CIM, GIS, and otherwise in a credit line to the material. 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Published: Feb 4, 2020

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