GIS BIM Integration Infrastructure Design

A more comprehensive perspective on a building or infrastructure is achieved by integrating the capabilities of geo-spatial location data with design procedures using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS informs BIM by giving architects and engineers a realistic picture of the surrounding environment of an asset, within which they can test out and assess potential design and building options.

In this approach, BIM powers GIS by providing richer, more accurate models that may be used to enhance the overall operations and maintenance of assets across a greater area.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling, often known as BIM, is a process that is involved in the development and maintenance of digital representations of the physical and functional properties of a building or infrastructure, supported by a variety of tools, technologies, and contracts.

BIM is the backbone of digital transformation in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. Collaboration among architects, engineers, real estate developers, builders, manufacturers, and other construction experts is greatly facilitated by using a single 3D model for planning, designing, and constructing a building.

BIM Software like Autodesk Revit and Navisworks are used for 3D BIM modeling and BIM coordination. 

We have written a detailed blog on What is BIM? Building Information Modeling Explained, Importance & Level’s


What is GIS?

Integration of BIM & GIS

The Geographic Information System (GIS) gathers data regarding natural and built environmental assets in addition to other important aspects of geography, demography, and the social economy of the environment. It is a system that gathers, generates, integrates, maintains, and analyzes geographical data while employing maps to visualize the results of these processes.

Users are aided in their comprehension of patterns, spatial linkages, and geographical settings. In the end, it assists in making effective judgments about the administration of the facility as well as the operation and upkeep of such assets. Esri GeoBIM leads the GIS software, web GIS, and geodatabase management industry with a 43% market share.

Integration of BIM and GIS

Application of BIM and GIS

The optimization of information flow between BIM, CAD, and geographical data is crucial for connecting GIS and BIM. The AEC sector around the world is rapidly moving toward a norm wherein design and geographical data are seamlessly integrated. ArcGIS BIM is rapidly being utilized to support common BIM and CAD file formats, which are used in a variety of planning, construction, operations, inspection, and maintenance processes.

The value of utilizing BIM data inside ArcGIS goes beyond simply integrating BIM material from a wide range of disciplines, sources, and applications into a selection of asset lifecycle procedures. The ArcGIS GeoBIM platform, a product of the merging of GIS and BIM, offers AEC companies an appealing option for managing projects and infrastructure in a spatial real-world environment.

Benefits of using BIM and GIS Integration

  • Transforming the Project Lifecycle :- It assists in bringing context to the design and build workflows that lead to improved construction and restoration of facilities and infrastructure throughout the project lifecycle. ArcGIS GeoBIM makes it simple to keep scene layers up to date with the most recent intelligence gathered from design and construction software tools.
  • Building Site Context with the Environment:- Planners and designers will have a better grasp on how new developments will affect and interact with the surrounding natural and built environment if they use GIS and BIM together. As a result of bringing this information higher up the project lifecycle, managers will be better equipped to foresee problems, improve the project’s efficiency, and cut down on costly delays.
  • Sensing Site Change:- Drones, sensor input, and processed data have enabled quick reality capture 3D laser scanning, photography, and sensing. A detailed image of the original site can be created at the outset of any project, and subsequent scans can document the site’s evolution as different phases of construction are completed.

If you require 3D laser scanning services, feel free to contact us for expert assistance. Our team specializes in providing high-quality scanning solutions for various industries.

  • Designing and Visualizing the Real World in 3D:- 3D is rapidly becoming the preferred medium for people to employ in the design, visualization, and evaluation of assets at all stages of their lifecycles. The use of 3D tools and apps makes it easier to make greater use of spatial information to inform and guide the design process, which in turn helps projects accomplish their financial, environmental, and performance objectives.
  • Optimizing Infrastructure Operation Intelligence:- The IoT (Internet of Things) enables real-time monitoring of seismic and thermal activity in physical assets like bridges and buildings. There will be billions of sensors all across the planet, many of which will be built into the assets we use and then monitored and analyzed in 3D environments. This information will be used to feed Machine Learning (ML), which will then produce fresh understandings and insights when required. Discovering new avenues for designers to plan, deploy, and consume sensor information to boost the operational performance of large systems of assets is aided by this.

Applications of GIS and BIM Integration

  1. Flood Analysis:- The integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and detailed geospatial data from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) greatly enhances our understanding of flooding conditions before and after such events. By combining BIM modeling with GIS-based flood data, it becomes possible to simulate flood scenarios, which is invaluable for developing effective flood mitigation strategies. Additionally, a precise representation of the geospatial effects of flooding enables us to improve response strategies and infrastructure planning in the aftermath of flood events.
  2. Line-of-sight analysis:- The integration of BIM and GIS technology can be benefitting to line-of-sight analysis in construction projects too. Detailed terrain data from integrating GIS with BIM models deduce potential obstructions and visibility from various viewpoints within and around the project site. This integration allows for a better assessment of structural planning in terms of potential visibility concerns, natural features, and sensitive areas.
  3. Optimizing resource allocation:- When dealing with challenging landscapes, the combination of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) proves valuable for efficient resource allocation on construction sites. This integration facilitates the distribution of workers, building materials, and equipment. It also aids in implementing safety measures by providing location-based data on safety zones and areas of potential hazards. By incorporating facility management and external clash detection with the surrounding environment, it becomes possible to optimize resource allocation even more, leading to significant savings in terms of finances and time.
  4. Traffic management:- The integration of BIM and GIS for traffic simulation proves advantageous throughout various construction phases. First and foremost is navigating traffic disruptions during the construction phase and then examining real-time traffic scenarios, pinpointing bottlenecks, and devising effective traffic management strategies to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

BIM and GIS Case Study

  • Norwegian Railway

The design team successfully expedited the high-speed rail extension project in Norway by utilizing InfraWorks GIS data. They effectively gained design approvals by engaging with over 120 stakeholders and incorporating extensive overlays of critical constraints and proposed design models. The implementation of Connected BIM processes saved them 20% of the time during the planning and approval phase. Concerning the challenges associated with detailing terrain models for the entire railway route, they explored ArcGIS and Autodesk Navisworks.

They were able to utilize SHP files containing the railway centerline and geometry, which were projected in Bentley Inroads, saved to DWG, and imported into ArcGIS for exporting an SHP file that could be imported into Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler.

Reference:- A BIM/GIS Workflow Benefits Key Railway Construction Project in Italy


  • City of Paris Flood Model

Paris flood model, created with the integration of GIS data and BIM methodology coupled with reality capture, was built to perform critical flood analysis. InfraWorks, created in collaboration between Autodesk and Hydronia, could replicate the flood events directly within a 3D contextual model.

Paris flood model was developed on Infraworks, developing the whole 2D flood model of urban Paris. This aided them in the assessment of initial flood risks in urban floodplains and coastal regions.


The goal of BIM GIS integration is to give AEC companies, project owners,  operators, and governmental agencies the ability to concentrate not just on the what of infrastructure, but also on the where and the why of it. It is to create a future with infrastructure that is more resilient and sustainable, to make responsible use of the resources of our planet, and to cultivate conditions that are conducive to the growth of our cities and populations.

In the end, utilizing GIS and BIM can imply enhanced workflows. It helps designers to take quality data-driven decisions.

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