Differences Between BIM And GIS Technologies, And Their Uses

Imagine two powerful tools: BIM and GIS. They're like superheroes in the world of technology. BIM helps with construction and design, while GIS uses maps to help us make smart choices based on location. In this journey, we'll learn how BIM and GIS are different and how people use them in planning and design. Let's explore these amazing tools and their roles in our world.


Definition of BIM and GIS

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is like a big digital filing cabinet for buildings and stuff like roads. It has pictures and info about how things look and work. People use it to share info, manage files, work together, and plan how to build things over time. Some software for BIM includes Revit, Navisworks, AutoCAD 3D, Civil 3D, and more.

Read more: Why Outsource Structural BIM Services for Construction Firms?


Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS is like a smart map that tells us about nature, buildings, and important things like people, money, and the environment. It gathers, makes, and handles special info on maps. This helps us see how things relate to each other on a map. With GIS, we can make smart choices about managing and looking after stuff like buildings and the environment. Some software for GIS includes ArcGIS, CityGML, Bentley Maps, and more.

How GIS and BIM Work Together Hand in Hand

BIM helps with designing and building structures like roads, bridges, and airports. GIS helps in planning and running these structures correctly. GIS provides lots of location-related details to BIM, affecting how the building is placed, what it's made of, and where it goes.

BIM focuses on one structure at a time, while GIS can work on a much larger scale like regions, cities, or whole countries. Adding location information to BIM helps it understand its surroundings and infrastructure better.

When data moves smoothly between GIS and BIM, it reduces duplication of information. BIM benefits from this added location context, leading to better designs and cost savings during construction. Storing GIS and BIM data together in the same cloud makes it easier for people involved to manage and reuse the data without constant conversions.

Integrating GIS and BIM offers various benefits and boosts efficiency in construction projects that use a lot of information.



Common Misunderstandings Regarding the Integration of BIM and GIS

Many people have wrong ideas about combining GIS and BIM, often because they don't know the latest facts about these fields. Let's look at some common mistakes people make about GIS and BIM coming together:

Dedicated File Format for GIS & BIM Integration

In the past, it was easier to connect different systems and share information between them, especially when they used similar formats. But as technology advanced, this old method became less effective.

Nowadays, when you want to combine very different technologies like BIM and GIS, it's a big challenge. There's so much data to handle, and it's tough to exchange information quickly using the old file formats.

Additionally, matching data between these complex systems is difficult, and industry standards keep changing. Trying to create a single format that can handle everything BIM and GIS can do is almost impossible. It would either be too slow or too complicated.

BIM Content Incompatible with GIS Software

Some people think BIM data can't be used in GIS software because of size and complexity. They often mention the need for special file formats. But there are many GIS programs, like ArcGIS, that can use BIM data without any problems.

Full BIM Data Easily Stored in GIS

People might think GIS could work as a database for BIM models because BIM documents, often stored as BIM files, are crucial for various tasks like analyzing defects or dealing with legal matters. But making GIS connect to BIM files and setting up the necessary legal systems is very complicated. It would take many years, possibly even decades, to make this a common practice.

BIM Includes Built-In GIS Features

People sometimes think that a ready BIM model can be directly used for constructing a real object, but that's not true. BIM models may lack important mapping and geospatial data needed for real-world implementation.

To make GIS and BIM work together effectively, especially for future GIS work, it's essential to decide what data is needed and organize it early in the BIM process. This is similar to how CAD and GIS data used to be checked and prepared for GIS use.

Limited Usefulness of BIM

Many GIS experts believe that BIM is only useful for specific tasks like visualization, facility management, or 3D modeling. However, this belief is incorrect because BIM has a broader range of applications.

BIM helps save resources (money and time) by optimizing and coordinating the design and construction processes. A 3D BIM model is a result of BIM processes that require a unified model for various tasks, from initial design to calculating demolition costs. 3D visualization is crucial for understanding the project's appearance and technical aspects.

Efforts are also underway to use BIM data for asset management in operational workflows, with many countries standardizing BIM requirements. Integrating BIM with GIS isn't as simple as transferring a 3D model from BIM to GIS software because both BIM and GIS offer different perspectives on the same task, whether it's a building or infrastructure asset.



Benefits of BIM and GIS Integration

GIS and BIM are complex topics, and when you bring them together, it becomes a lot of information to handle. To make it simpler, here are some of the major benefits of integrating GIS and BIM:

Saving money and cutting costs.

Easily moving data between different design and construction stages.

Making it simple for everyone to reuse data.

Getting rid of extra and repeated data.

Creating better and more efficient designs.

No need for data conversion.

Adding detailed location information to BIM.

Managing data easily using cloud storage, and more.

BIM-GIS integration has particular advantages for underground utility management:

Detailed material info.

Automatic data sharing.

Predicting utility conflicts automatically.

Managing facilities.

Automatically calculating quantities.

Easily updating designs across the board.


When it comes to harnessing the power of BIM/CIM modeling for your projects, look no further than Harmony AT. With over two decades of experience serving clients worldwide, including in countries like Germany, Japan, and beyond, we have earned a reputation for excellence in this field. 

Our seasoned team of BIM/CIM consultants employs cutting-edge software to craft precise and comprehensive models tailored to your project's unique needs. These digital models encompass intricate details of architectural, structural, MEP, and facade building components, complete with geometry and material estimations, among other essential data points. 

By choosing Harmony AT's BIM/CIM modeling services, you're not only reducing the risk of errors but also enhancing communication and enabling your business to make informed decisions. Take the first step towards transforming your projects with our expertise – contact us today to explore how we can elevate your endeavors. Visit our contact page here to get in touch.

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