Four Benefits of Integrating BIM and GIS for Rail and Highways

Road network

1. Improving Project Delivery from Design through Handover

A collaborative, multidisciplinary approach is essential, from project inception to handover to operations and maintenance. With the concept of the digital twin gaining in popularity and applied in a multitude of ways, GIS and BIM are able to combine the macro and micro to facilitate a seamless flow of integrated information to realize this concept. In the early stages of a project, where 3D model development falls behind the production of traditional 2D design, GIS is a key platform to consume, organize, and share project data with the team. Overcoming technical and cultural changes is also key in maximizing the benefits of digital transformation to bring all project stakeholders along this journey.

2. Facilitating Better Collaboration and Operational Efficiency

Integrating BIM and GIS enables teams to access the latest information quickly, overlaying the engineering design with geodesign, as well as linking the field with the office. The leads to improved collaboration among multiple stakeholders. It enables you to overcome the siloed approaches within AEC, while maximizing the value of available data to enhance project delivery and improve your digital productivity. Where 3D modeling is well suited for presenting the details of a developed design, GIS provides the context and an easily updatable platform to investigate design options, value engineering opportunities, and overlay with the current solution.

3. Extending the Capabilities of GIS, BIM, and CAD

Solution development depends heavily on correctly identifying user requirements prior to technical implementation. These requirements typically are transferred via data, with different stakeholders choosing the format that best meets their needs. It is also likely that a particular solution needs a baseline of information that is provided either in GIS, BIM, or CAD, making data conversion essential to the success of the application. GIS interoperability is essential in communication with other systems extending the capabilities of each other.

4. Increasing the Value of BIM

Understanding the interconnectivity of the built environment in relation to a proposed design is necessary for all stakeholders. Ranging from the project managers to the contractor to the local communities, the ability to represent the geospatial context and place assets in the real world form the digital foundation that is essential for the realization of a digital twin. Where BIM platforms generally offer a rigid but well-defined set of features, the capabilities of GIS are more fluid and transformable, and can realize BIM in its full extent, limited only by data science skills. This creates a truly integrated digital platform, facilitating a bidirectional flow of information dependent on the application field.

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