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Using GIS and BIM together


Studio Victoria

3 minutes

In previous articles, we have explained what is BIM and what is GIS. Today we are going to take a very brief overview at using BIM and GIS together. We are going to answer the following questions: how can GIS and BIM be used together? and what are the advantages of using GIS and BIM together? Keep reading and find out how using GIS and BIM together will help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!


BIM and GIS users usually think that both frameworks cannot or should not be used together, as they have the belief that their purposes are totally different and that they are products for totally different industries and sectors. In reality, this is a very grave misunderstanding of both frameworks, as they can be used across the same industries and sectors, providing your company with a more efficient workflow.

As we already know, GIS, or Geographical Information System, is a framework that uses location-based data represented as maps. BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is a framework that lets you manage all relevant information and documentation to your assets, regardless of whether they are buildings or infrastructure. Every single building or infrastructure asset has a specific location in the world that can be expressed as a pair of longitude and latitude coordinates, therefore using GIS alongside BIM can provide your project’s workflow with even richer location-based data and geographical context, giving you the ability to create highly detailed maps with multiple layers of information that can be fed directly from your BIM application or third-party software.

Another common misconception is that BIM already has GIS features incorporated. This is not true. You can attach a DTM or a DSM to your 3D Model and have it rendered in the correct place, but BIM would not give you the full geolocation capabilities that you get from using GIS. In order for your BIM project to be suitable for GIS, you would need to have a very clear specification of its features. This becomes clearer when you involve the Facilities Management partner from the beginning, as they would help you specify what features of your design are going to be involved in the project’s maintenance lifecycle.

With this approach, BIM is used for designing, building your assets and managing your project, and GIS is used for planning, management and monitoring your assets, giving you a complete lifecycle.

At the time of writing, there are several tools that will facilitate this integration one or another. Depending on your project’s needs we could even do a bespoke integration for you, so you have the best possible workflow.


Using GIS and BIM together will have many advantages:

  • Centralised, uniform and constantly updated information: unlike using spreadsheets and multiple programs, having single repository for all your project’s information will ensure that it always stays up to date with the latest changes
  • Enhanced collaboration: give access to the centralised information to all the relevant parties involved in the different parts of the project
  • Streamline your project’s schedule and logistics: using GIS and BIM will give you a powerful tool to coordinate all the schedules and logistics, making sure everything gets done and delivered at the right time, preventing any unnecessary delays
  • Reduced costs: with the efficiency that using GIS and BIM together brings to your project, you will be able to dramatically reduce the costs
  • Eliminate risks: monitor your project’s location-based data in real-time to prevent any possible incidents and develop are more thorough HSE policy
  • Richer data: integrate information coming from multiple sources, like smart sensors, to produce data-driven projects with better environmental context
  • Higher quality projects: better data drives you to make better decisions, and with the reductions in cost, errors, and risk, you will deliver much higher quality projects that integrate with smart technologies and will be much more efficient to maintain

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