Our Insights

GIS and BIM: 3D Asset Management

July 10, 2017

by Robert Krisher
Senior Consultant at POWER Engineers
This article was originally published as a LinkedIn Article

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Building Information Model and GIS lately. Our senior consultant Robert Krisher shares what CAD data extracted from a BIM application looks like in a GIS database.

After taking a look at the datasets and having a few conversations with the POWER team who had built the BIM model, we were able to come up with a workflow that would allow the engineer to export information out of their BIM system (in this case Bentley Smartplant) in a format we could then load into spatially-referenced feature classes in a GIS database.

We started with a series of CAD drawings of various systems from within the facility, here’s an example of one of the drawings we imported:

We then imported all of these CAD files into ArcGIS, making sure to input the spatial reference of the file along with an insertion point for the file:

After that I then took some additional attribution from the files and used it to populate several attributes on the GIS features that I could use to symbolize or query on:

Finally I was able to take a spreadsheet that contained the locations of various pieces of equipment and get that loaded up into ArcGIS Pro as well. Unfortunately because this data was loaded from a spreadsheet I had to symbolize the features using generic ArcGIS symbology:

At this point I was so happy with how things were looking I ended up doing a little extra credit with some of the folks in our asset management department, and we built a few tools in ArcGIS Pro (and a web application) that allow users to create or view work orders in Cityworks that are associated with these 3-D assets:

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at some of this 3-D data.

About the Author:

Robert is a Senior Consultant in POWER’s Geospatial and Asset Management group with over 10 years of industry experience. Robert excels at pushing the boundaries of what is possible with GIS and related technologies at utilities, often by repurposing proven technologies and methods in clever ways. As an active member of many early access programs across the industry and author of more than a dozen published articles, Robert is a recognized expert with Esri’s latest technology including ArcGIS Pro and the new Utility Network. He loves finding innovative solutions to complex challenges and sharing his insights with the GIS community. If you have any questions or comments for Robert, you can contact him at robert.krisher@powereng.com.