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Integrating BIM and GIS for 3D City Modelling: The Case of IFC and CityGML
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Geoinformatics.
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

3D geoinformation has become a base for an increasing number of today’s applications. Examples of these applications are: city and urban planning, real estate management, environmental simulation, crisis and disaster management, telecommunication, facility management and others. 3D city models are presently scattered over different public and private sectors in different systems, different conceptual models, different data formats, different data schemas, different levels of detail and different quality. In addition, the potential of 3D models goes beyond visualisation of 3D objects of virtual scenes to real 3D city models. In such an environment, integration of different sources of data for building real 3D city models becomes more difficult.

 

3D city models are of two types, design and real world models. Design models are usually used for building industry purposes and to fulfil the requirements of maximum level of detail in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Real world models are geospatial information systems that represent spatial objects around us and are largely represented in GIS applications. Research efforts in the AEC industry resulted in Building Information Modelling (BIM), a process that supports information management throughout buildings’ lifecycle and is increasingly widely used in the AEC industry. Results of different integration efforts of BIM and geospatial models show that only 3D geometric information does not fulfil the integration purpose and may lead to geometrical inconsistency. Further complex semantic information is required. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the integration of the two most prominent semantic models for the representation of BIM and geospatial objects, Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and City Geography Markup Language (CityGML), respectively.

 

In the integration of IFC and CityGML building models, substantial difficulties may arise in translating information from one to the other. Professionals from both domains have made significant attempts to integrate CityGML and IFC models to produce useful common applications. Most of these attempts, however, use a unidirectional method (mostly from IFC to CityGML) for the conversion process. A bidirectional method can lead to development of unified applications in the areas of urban planning, building construction analysis, homeland security, etc. The benefits of these unified applications clearly appear at the operational level (e.g. cost reduction, unified data-view), and at the strategic level (e.g. crisis management and increased analysis capabilities).

 

For a bidirectional method, a formal mapping between both domains is required. Researchers have suggested that harmonising semantics is currently the best approach for integration of IFC and CityGML. In this thesis, the focus is therefore on semantic integration of IFC and CityGML building models for bidirectional conversion. IFC and CityGML use different terminologies to describe the same domain and there is a great heterogeneity in their semantics. Following a design research method, the thesis proposes a more expressive reference ontology between IFC and CityGML semantic models. Furthermore, an intermediate unified building model (UBM) is proposed between IFC and CityGML that facilitates the transfer of spatial information from IFC to CityGML and vice versa. A unified model in the current study is defined as a superset model that is extended to contain all the features and objects from both IFC and CityGML building models. The conversion is a two-steps process in which a model is first converted to the unified model and then to the target model.

 

The result of the thesis contributes, through the reference ontology, towards a formal mapping between IFC and CityGML ontologies that allows bidirectional conversion between them. Future development of the reference ontology may be seen as the design of a meta-standard for 3D city modelling that can support applications in both domains. Furthermore, the thesis also provides an approach towards a complete integration of CityGML and IFC through the development of the UBM. The latter contribution demonstrates how different classes, attributes and relations have been considered from IFC and CityGML in the building of the UBM.

 

To illustrate the applicability of the proposed approach, a hospital building located in Norrtälje City, north of Stockholm, Sweden, is used as a case study. The purpose of the case study is to show how different building elements at different levels of detail can be constructed. Considering future research possibilities, the integration approach in the thesis is seen as a starting-point for developing a common database that formulates a UBM’s platform. With such a platform, data from IFC and CityGML can be automatically integrated and processed in different analyses. Other formats can also be included in further steps. Finally, the proposed approach is believed to need future research beyond the building models alone and on an implementation process for testing and verification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , 115 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2010:11
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-28899ISBN: 978-91-7415-790-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-28899DiVA: diva2:390653
Presentation
2010-12-07, 5055, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20110127Available from: 2011-01-27 Created: 2011-01-23 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Geospatial Interoperability for IFC and CityGML: Challenges of Existing Building Information Databases
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geospatial Interoperability for IFC and CityGML: Challenges of Existing Building Information Databases
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of Innovations 08th, IEEE Conference, Dubai, December 16-18, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

CityGML is a XML based standard for geographical information related to the outdoor activities where urban objects can be represented and linked in different spatial relationships. Industrial Foundation Classes (IFC) standard on the other hand looks at buildings in more detailed picture that represents internal constructional and non-constructional objects. Interoperability between CityGML and IFC, i) leads to creation of a common standard for integrating 3D city (indoor and outdoor) applications, ii) provides an integrated view to decision makers for multi leveled analysis and for launching fast responses against crises. The purpose of this paper is to elicit prerequisites of interoperating CityGML and IFC. For this purpose, we have proposed a geospatial interoperability model, and applied it on a case study. The main challenges faced are related to spatial data integration issues. These issues include tabular data related aspects (such as schema matching problems and heterogeneity of sources) as well as spatial aspects (such as missing geometrical information and complexity of geometrical information presentation).

National Category
Computer Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29125 (URN)
Conference
Innovations 08th, IEEE Conference, Dubai, December 16-18
Note
QC 20110126Available from: 2011-01-26 Created: 2011-01-26 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved
2. Geospatial Integration: Preparing Building Information Databases for Integration with CityGML for Decision Support
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geospatial Integration: Preparing Building Information Databases for Integration with CityGML for Decision Support
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of Innovations 08th, IEEE Conference, Dubai, December 16-18, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to prepare Industrial Foundation Classes (IFC) database for integration with CityGML, so that they can be used for decision support. A case study is carried out for this purpose. Using the factors that affect decision-making in the case study, deficiencies of IFC database are defined. In order to handle these deficiencies, we have prepared IFC for integration with CityGML. The steps for IFC database preparation are: a) identification of sources, b) preliminary IFC schema development, c) 3-D city modeling deficiencies identification and d) extensions to IFC database.

National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29132 (URN)
Conference
Innovations 08th, IEEE Conference, Dubai, December 16-18
Note
QC 20110127Available from: 2011-01-27 Created: 2011-01-27 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved
3. Semantic Mapping: An Ontology Engineering Method for Integrating Building Models in IFC and CityGML
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semantic Mapping: An Ontology Engineering Method for Integrating Building Models in IFC and CityGML
2010 (English)In: In Proceedings of the 3rd ISDE DIGITAL EARTH SUMMIT, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the main problems facing 3D city modelling applications is lack of interoperability among various Building Information Models (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models. CityGML (representing a wide range of 3D urban objects) and IFC (representing a very detailed semantic model for buildings) are considered the most prominent semantic models in GIS and BIM, respectively, today. When integrating the two models, substantial difficulties may arise in transforming information from one to the other. Professionals from both domains have made significant efforts to integrate CityGML and IFC models for seeking useful common applications. However, most of these efforts use a unidirectional method (mostly from IFC to CityGML) for a conversion process. As a formal mapping between both domains is required, researchers have suggested that harmonising semantics is the best approach for such integration. In this paper, we focus on semantic integration of IFC and CityGML building models for bidirectional conversion. Both IFC and CityGML use different terminologies to describe the same domain. Additionally, there is a great heterogeneity in their semantics. This paper, therefore, propose more expressive reference ontology between IFC and CityGML semantic models and an intermediate Unified Building Modelled (UBM) is built. The result of the paper contributes, through the reference ontology, towards a formal mapping between IFC and CityGML ontologies that allows bidirectional conversion between them. It also contributes towards a design of meta-standard for 3D city modelling that can support applications on both domains.

Keyword
IFC, CityGML, Interoperability, Reference Ontology, Unified Building Model (UBM)
National Category
Computer Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29133 (URN)
Conference
3rd ISDE DIGITAL EARTH SUMMIT, 12-14 June,
Note
QC 20110127Available from: 2011-01-27 Created: 2011-01-27 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved
4. Towards Interoperating CityGML and IFC Building Models: A Unified Model-Based Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Interoperating CityGML and IFC Building Models: A Unified Model-Based Approach
2011 (English)In: 5th 3D GeoInfo Conference, Springer Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (LNG&C), 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

CityGML represents 3D urban objects that can be shared over different applications, whereas, IFC provides a very detailed semantic model for 3D building representations using constructive elements like beams, walls, etc. Attempts have been made to interoperate CityGML and IFC for seeking useful common applications. However, these efforts use a unidirectional method (mostly from IFC to CityGML) for conversion processes. Abidirectional method can lead to development of unified applications in the areas of urban planning, building construction analysis, homeland security, etc.The benefits of these applications clearly appear at the operational level (e.g., cost reduction, unified data-view), and at the strategic level (e.g., crisis management and increasing the analyses capabilities). In this paper, we presentan approach for interoperating CityGML and IFC based on development of aunified building model for converting IFC to CityGML and vice versa. The conversion is a two-steps process in which a model is firstly converted to the unified model and secondly to the target model. Finally, we demonstrate the approach and outcome of each step by a hospital building case that is located in Norrtälje City, north of Stockholm, Sweden.

National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29138 (URN)
Conference
5th 3D GeoInfo Conference, Springer Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (LNG&C)
Note
QC 20110127Available from: 2011-01-27 Created: 2011-01-27 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved

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