Convergence and Standards
Traditionally, architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) and GIS users created digital data for specific projects or business objectives. Quite often, there was no commitment to effectively sharing these data between the two domains. More recently, many business drivers, including cost reduction, have created an awareness in both domains that the data’s value extends well beyond its original purpose. For almost any building or geospatial data, there are many likely or possible future uses as well as possible immediate secondary uses. The AEC industry has been making great strides in transitioning from the 2-dimensional paper world to the virtual world of Building Information Models (BIMs). In addition to supporting 3D and 4D visualization and analysis, BIMs enable easier management and exchange of detailed
building information among multiple stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building. This article explores how cooperation between AEC and geospatial standards organizations is helping to advance the interoperability
necessary to benefit those directly involved in the building lifecycle, as well as the first responders, urban planners, utility
service providers, insurers, and others who support the broader urban environment.