Monday, November 28, 2011

The Great BIM versus GIS Debate

Are you a GIS professional convinced that GIS is the technology of choice for mapping and analyzing the world we live in?

Are you an engineer or architect with years of CAD experience confident in your abilities to create cost effective and sustainable designs?

Regardless of which camp (GIS or CAD) that you may be a part of, “The Great BIM versus GIS Debate” is sure to be a lively session at Autodesk University this year.

GIS gives us a way of mapping, analyzing and managing our real world assets within a geospatial context. It gives us a way of integrating and relating seemingly disparate data sets based on geography. GIS is a tremendously useful planning tool that helps provide us with insight into our infrastructure projects in a way that traditional CAD technology cannot.

BIM is similar to GIS in some ways. If you are unfamiliar with BIM as it applies to infrastructure then I encourage you to check out a detailed explanation in my previous blog post. Simply put, BIM is Information Modeling for the Built environment. It’s is a process - not software - a process that lets you explore the physical and functional characteristics of your project digitally, before it’s built. At the heart of BIM is an information model – a model that is used throughout the infrastructure lifecycle – a model that is passed from planning and conceptual design phases to detailed design, construction and then to management phases. As a result, the application of the BIM process can lead to significant time and dollar savings during construction and additional savings throughout the life of the asset as a result of better more sustainable designs.

So, when it comes to supporting the infrastructure lifecycle, which is better? BIM or GIS. Both BIM and GIS have their advantages; both have their supporters.

Well, if you’re unsure about BIM as it applies to GIS or visa-versa, then I encourage you to check out the “The Great BIM versus GIS Debate” at Autodesk University. This panel session will be moderated by Matt Ball (@SpatialSustain). Peter Southwood (@Geo_Pete) and I (@engis) will be opposing each other on behalf of the two camps: GIS and BIM. With what I am sure will be provocative questions from Matt Ball and audience members, Peter and I will feel the heat as we do our best to respond to questions encompassing technology; data accuracy, access, integration and analysis; collaboration and efficiency; and the future of GIS and BIM.

If you are attending Autodesk University, please join us.

1 comment:

Dale Lutz said...

Hi Michael,

Really enjoyed the BIM/GIS debate -- it took guts to do the BIM side in that overwhelmingly GIS audience but you certainly held your own! I've posted my list of "zingers" from the session over at the Safe blog.

So will there be a "cage match" rematch next year? I'll be there!