OGC and buildingSMART International Publish Discussion Paper on the Integration of BIM and GIS - 16/04/2020


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and buildingSMART International (bSI) have released an industry-defining paper as part of their Integrated Digital Built Environment (IDBE) joint working group. This paper aims to coordinate the development of the relevant data standards that are produced in each organization. The discussion paper, entitled Built environment data standards and their integration: an analysis of IFC, CityGML and LandInfra, is free to download from OGC’s Discussion Papers webpage

This report looks at a variety of challenges and addresses the need to develop better integration at a high level between BIM and GIS standards. The paper focuses on four key topics: 

  1. Predominant disparities that hinder integration
  2. Fundamental operations that underpin use cases
  3. Methods of integration in usage
  4. Proposed action points 


The IDBE working group will continue to work on the points highlighted and aims to overcome integration challenges, to articulate the main use cases, devise a system of common unique identifiers and agree on a collaborative harmonization approach. 

The Benefits of Integrating BIM and Geospatial Workflows

Richard Petrie, chief executive at bSI, said: “The whole topic of BIM and GIS has been circulating for quite some time. I’m really pleased with the progress of the IDBE working group and the report deliverable, which is great for the industry as a whole. The benefits of open standards are clear, and we encourage more engagement from both standards body representatives. I am delighted that progress in this topic is now producing results. Integrating what I see as the vertical and the horizontal for building and infrastructure assets is just the start when it comes to geo-coordination and the benefits of integrating BIM and geospatial workflows.”

Scott Simmons, chief operations officer at OGC, said: “bSI and OGC have a long history of collaboration and many common participants in the activities of our respective organizations. This document distils the results of numerous discussions and workshops and leverages the insight of experts in the geospatial and built environment communities. The content will prove valuable for increased interoperability between BIM and GIS operations and sets a great foundation for further collaboration.”

This paper is currently out for endorsement by the Standard Committee at buildingSMART to become a formal Technical Report. The Built environment data standards and their integration: an analysis of IFC, CityGML and LandInfra discussion paper is free, along with many others, to download from OGC’s Discussion Papers webpage.

Last updated: 29/04/2020