Fundamentals of BIM & GIS Part 2: New Workflows

12 August 2020All, BIMbim workflows, GIS, workflows



Tighter geographic information system (GIS) and building information modeling (BIM) integration allows us to focus on the “what, where and why” of projects.

Imagine the possibilities if you could bring together different types of information and geospatial data to create an information model that forms the basis for planning, analysis and simulation, sustainability, visualization, and more. It’s already reality with these technology innovations:

  • Reality capture – Digital programming, LIDAR, infrared.
  • loT (Internet of Things) – Traffic, parking, climate, lighting, utilities.

IoT deployments consisting of sensors simply collecting data does not make something ‘Smart.’ It’s analyzing and using IoT data to make real-time decisions that is important, and this information can also be used to provide inputs and context when new assets are being designed and built. Access to this data type means new insights can be derived to improve the efficiency of individual assets (one intersection) and systems of assets (road network in a city).

GIS and BIM are the two data sources most infrastructure owners are looking to bring together, because processes that could take advantage of BIM and GIS technologies are already in place in many cases. The next step is to integrate the processes.


Contact Applied Software and talk to an industry-trained expert to learn more about BIM and GIS integration and how it can empower your company in your infrastructure projects.


Autodesk® Connector for ArcGIS

When laser scan information is added to a model in InfraWorks, it becomes a valuable source of 3D data. Again, this enables a more comprehensive model of existing conditions. InfraWorks features automated intelligence extraction which makes it easier to access and use your reality capture data.

New workflows are enabled with the integration of BIM and GIS, allowing you to deliver increasingly complex projects more quickly, better communicate intent to shareholders, and reduce risk.  There are a wide variety of examples where GIS and BIM integration can facilitate better planning, visualization, analysis, and simulation. They include instances of:


One such analysis helps identify areas most likely to be impacted by flooding. In a collaborative effort between Autodesk and Hydronia, the InfraWorks user gets the ability to simulate, visualize and animate flood events directly in a 3D contextual model. Performing practical riverine and coastal flood simulations helps determine preliminary flood risk assessments in urban floodplains and coastal areas.

Traffic Simulation

We can make better decisions when we can see in real-time the impacts of design decisions, not only of the road or intersection we are changing, but also its potential impact on other parts of the system. What happens when you eliminate access to a road? What happens when you confine movement in one-direction? What happens when you add an intersection? Analysis results shown in a 3D design model helps with the communication aspects that are required to get stakeholder buy-in when changes are being considered.


As shown in the opening video, with mobility simulation in InfraWorks, you can evaluate things like pedestrian traffic around a large park. Different entry points can be evaluated for safety and ease of accessibility. While this is an example of mobility simulation with a focus on pedestrians, this same type of simulation could be run to evaluate locations of parking structures, bus stops and other features.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Extension for InfraWorks combines rapid design and real-time analysis of stormwater management projects with BIM. Civil engineers and landscape architects can sketch and model green infrastructure in 3D to meet local performance requirements or sustainability standards.

GIS Information

Information from GIS can be leveraged in a BIM process to improve energy savings. By making use of data like building heights and footprints, it is possible to identify areas with high energy use costs or to identify high priority retrofit candidates.

Location-Intelligence Linked to BIM

Think about the value that can be gained by using BIM models and their respective location/condition in all phases of a lifecycle. In essence, location intelligence can provide a map to BIM data.

Linking to Autodesk BIM 360® from ArcGIS

One of the largest problems facing the AEC industry today is having to work with massive amounts of data that is only needed by certain people at certain times. The integration of BIM and GIS enables new workflows that result in transforming the project lifecycle, connecting the building site with the environment, sensing site changes, designing and visualizing the real world in 3D, optimizing infrastructure operation intelligence, and developing open and extensible systems.

When data is at the center, it drives smarter decisions so we can focus on the full scope of a project.  The infrastructure we create today will be around for a very long time. The vision of tighter GIS and BIM integration is to empower AEC firms, project owners, operators, and public agencies to focus not just on the what of infrastructure, but also the where and why.


Contact Applied Software and talk to an industry-trained expert to learn more about BIM and GIS integration and how it can empower your company in your infrastructure projects.



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