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April 10th, 2020
OGC and buildingSMART International publish discussion paper on the integration of BIM and GIS

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 at each organisation. 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 harmonisation approach.

Richard Petrie, Chief Executive, 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.

About buildingSMART International
buildingSMART International is a vendor-neutral and not for profit body that leads the development of open digital information flows across the built asset economy. Its mission is to proactively support industry participants who want to develop open standards for planning, design, procurement, assembly and operation of buildings and infrastructure worldwide. It provides the international network plus the necessary technical and process support. Its members, who range from across the built environment spectrum, collaborate under the buildingSMART organization. buildingSMART is engaged with other international standards bodies such as ISO, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Its core Industry Foundation Class (IFC) standards achieved ISO approval in 2012. Further information is available on the Internet at

About OGC
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 530 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities driven to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
OGC’s member-driven consensus process creates royalty free, publicly available geospatial standards. Existing at the cutting edge, OGC actively analyzes and anticipates emerging tech trends, and runs an agile, collaborative Research and Development (R&D) lab that builds and tests innovative prototype solutions to members’ use cases.
OGC members together form a global forum of experts and communities that use location to connect people with technology and improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to creating a sustainable future for us, our children, and future generations.
Visit for more info on our work.