Introduction to Schedules in ArcGIS GeoBIM

By connecting schedule activities to GIS features and BIM data, ArcGIS GeoBIM allows teams to understand not only where, but when their projects and issues are happening. ArcGIS GeoBIM allows users to view schedule durations, GIS, and BIM project data all in one place. ArcGIS GeoBIM leverages schedule data, links it to multiple GIS features, and cross-references it all with your project’s BIM documents. ArcGIS GeoBIM shows the spatial and temporal context of their GIS and BIM data which opens new opportunities in the way teams share project and asset data with stakeholders. 

This document is intended for GIS Professionals with some basic working knowledge of ArcGIS Pro and GeoBIM. 

Schedules Overview
Schedules overview

The following Licenses are required: 

 The following data sources are required: 

Schedule Activities 

All schedule activities are stored in the Schedules project layer within the GeoBIM Project Service. The Schedules project layer contains the following fields: 

Display Name  Field Name  Type 
GlobalID  GlobalID  GlobalID 
Id  Id  String 
Name  Name  String 
Status  Status  String 
Task Type  TaskType  String 
Parent Project  ParentProject  String 
Planned Start Date  PlannedStartDate  Date 
Planned End Date  PlannedEndDate  Date 
Actual Start Date  ActualStartDate  Date 
Actual End Date  ActualEndDate  Date 
Total Cost  TotalCost  Double 
Material Cost  MaterialCost  Double 
Labor Cost  LaborCost  Double 
Equipment Cost  EquipmentCost  Double 
Subcontractor Cost  SubcontractorCost  Double 
Comments  Comments  String 
Last Modified  LastModified  Date 
Creation Date  CreationDate  Date 
Creator  Creator  String 
Edit Date  EditDate  Date 
Editor  Editor  String 

This project layer is both spatial and temporal in nature. One polygon feature represents a single schedule activity. The tabular data from each activity should be mapped to the fields above as desired by the user.

The shape of the polygons within the Schedules layer can be defined by the user (such as the location of a work site using lat-long or street addresses), or the user can opt for the default option of using convex hull polygons as defined below. ArcGIS GeoBIM can work with any polygon shape that the user desires for their Schedules data. 

GIS Data 

Activities are often associated with spatial features. Schedules are temporally related to BIM projects, which themselves are located within the spatial environment. ArcGIS GeoBIM can model these associations by linking activities to GIS features in a many-to-many relationship. A single activity may be linked to multiple layers within a map/scene and to multiple features with a layer, depending on the scope of work encompassed by the activity. Similarly, a feature in a scene may be related to multiple activities, each covering a different temporal aspect of a project (such as planning, construction, inspection, etc.). 

All these associations are modelled in ArcGIS GeoBIM using join rules. A join rule is a user-defined rule that relates a field in the Schedules layer to a feature field in a user-provided GIS map or scene layer. An activity can be linked to more than one GIS map or scene layers by creating multiple join rules. An example of some join rules are shown below: 

Figure 2 - An example of possible join rules between the Schedules layer and feature layers on a user-defined map.
Figure 2 - An example of possible join rules between the Schedules layer and feature layers on a user-defined map.

The Schedule Feature Rules in a GeoBIM project are another example of a Join Rule. They connect activities from the Schedule layer to user-defined GIS features within a GeoBIM App. 

If desired, user-defined join rules can also be used to create the convex hull polygons of the Schedules project layer (see below). 

Convex Hull Polygons in Schedules 

User-defined join rules can be used to create the polygons in a Schedules layer. In such a case, the polygons are typically defined as the convex hull enclosing all features in the map/scene that are linked to that activity. These convex hulls can be created automatically during the import process once the user has decided upon the attribute fields for their join rules between the layers (see Generating GeoBIM Schedule Polygons Using ArcGIS Pro).

As an example, imagine a user who defines two join rules for their Schedules layer. The rules link the Schedules layer to two user-defined GIS layers, depicting the towers (points) and spans (lines) of a transmission line project. During import of Schedule data in ArcGIS Pro, a convex hull polygon would be created for each activity in the Schedules layer that encompassed all towers and spans linked to that activity. After import, if one were to view the towers, spans, and Schedules on a map, then the polygon for a single activity might look like the image below: 

Figure 3 - An example of the convex hull polygon (blue) enclosing all features related to the activity.
Figure 3 - An example of the convex hull polygon (blue) enclosing all features related to the activity.

Here, a set of 18 towers and one span are encompassed by the convex polygon (in blue) representing the spatial extent of one activity. If these towers or spans were involved in multiple scheduled events, then one would expect to see multiple activity polygons overlapping this area. 

Link Rules 

Separate from the Schedules project layer, user-defined join rules are used to create the Link Rules table inside a GeoBIM project. A type of Link Rule, called a Schedule Feature Rule, is used to describe how a given activity in the Schedules layer relates to features in another map or scene layer. For example, the following Schedule Feature Rule: 







joins an activity’s “Id” field to the “CONSTRUCTION_GROUP” field in the “Spans” feature layer with the ID and URL shown. A GeoBIM project can have many Schedule Feature Rules, all of which are created and maintained by the user (see Linking Schedule Data to GIS Features). 

BIM Documents 

Once the Schedules project layer has been created and the associated Link Rules defined, you can use an ArcGIS GeoBIM App to examine all spatial features related to an Activity. The App’s Show Related Features function uses the Schedule Feature Rules to select all features related to an Activity at once. From there, you can step through each related feature using Link Explorer and view the feature’s BIM documents using the BIM Document Viewer. (The BIM Document Viewer uses the Feature Link Rules and BIM Document Rules that are also stored within the Link Rules table to locate the related documents). The Show Related Features workflow and how it relates to ArcGIS GeoBIM Schedules data is laid out below: 

Figure 4 - Schedule data relations within GeoBIM
Figure 4 - Schedule data relations within GeoBIM


ArcGIS GeoBIM allows users to bring their schedule activities, GIS, and BIM project data together in one place. GeoBIM can leverage schedule data imported from ArcGIS Pro, link those schedule activities to user-defined GIS feature maps and scenes through custom link rules, and step through the related GIS features to link users to relevant BIM documentation. From disparate sources, ArcGIS GeoBIM allows users to bring their assets and project data all together in one place to share with stakeholders.

To learn more about the Schedules feature, ask the ArcGIS GeoBIM team here.

About the authors

Jonathan Salomon

Jonathan Salomon (he/him/his) is a Senior Software Development Engineer for ESRI focused on UX design and web application development. He is currently working on delivering new features to the ArcGIS GeoBIM product. Jonathan has worked in web application development for over 5 years, and web design and development for over 10 years. Jonathan holds a MA in Geography from Boston University, where he specialized in remote sensing and spatial analysis using ArcGIS, and a BS in Geology from Brown University.


Aaron Cheuvront

Aaron Cheuvront is a Product Engineer on the ArcGIS GeoBIM Team. He joined Esri in 2021 with a background in system administration, design, and development of an indoor GIS platform at a large US university for almost 20 years.

Kachy Nwobi is a Product Engineer on the ArcGIS GeoBIM team. She joined Esri in 2020 and her primary roles are product documentation and testing. She has a Master's degree in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign from Thomas Jefferson University and a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University. She currently lives in Washington DC.

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