ArcGIS GeoBIM

Modernizing Infrastructure & Facility Operations with ArcGIS GeoBIM

In an ideal world, data amassed from the planning, design, and construction phases of built assets would serve as the foundation of a digital handover — from project delivery into operations and maintenance (O&M). Operators would continue to include additional existing and updated information through their process insights. Not only can this valuable information be used over the asset’s lifecycle, but it can also inform future planning processes throughout a portfolio of facilities and assets. However, the reality is often very different. 

With O&M accounting for the bulk of infrastructure lifecycle costs, how can operators and owners reduce time-to-operations, increase operational efficiency, and comply with both regulatory mandates and growing public demands for smarter cities and infrastructure? This is where ArcGIS® GeoBIM℠ supports coordinating infrastructure projects moving from delivery into asset portfolio management.  

ArcGIS GeoBIM delivers an innovative, easy-to-use web-based experience for project and asset teams to efficiently collaborate on BIM projects and issues using data from multiple systems in a geospatial context. 

ArcGIS GeoBIM connects ArcGIS with the Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360.
ArcGIS GeoBIM connects ArcGIS with the Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360.

What are the key challenges facing infrastructure operators and owners? 

Data, data everywhere:

From engineering models, MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) plans, and historical documents to contextual geospatial information — such as flood hazard maps, asset locations, network models, or zoning — infrastructure projects generate enormous amounts of data throughout their lifecycle. The challenge, however, is that this disparate data often resides in multiple systems, spanning teams, disciplines, and geographies where each is very important for different business workflows. This siloed reality involves a stack of platforms, applications, and software that each requires skillsets to access, use, and maintain. 

When project data needs translation from static sources like PDFs, or from one file format to another, the process is slow, costly, and impedes opportunities for process improvement. This duplicated data also puts teams at risk of using outdated information. To avoid ‘drowning in data,’ operators and owners need to blend different types and depths of data to enable effective decision-making from the value embedded in the project record. 

Increasing operational efficiency: 

When information is disparate, incomplete, and inaccurate, locating the right details needed to complete tasks can be tedious and time-consuming. Time-to-operations can be impacted by the effort required to populate facility management systems with new data, and verifying assets in the field can be difficult, even dangerous. Knowledge loss from exiting or retiring staff also presents challenges when information and its context leave the organization without being documented.  

Asset managers are under pressure to increase the productivity of staff, reduce reactive maintenance, improve response time, and provide greater transparency to the public – whether for scheduling pot-hole repairs or reviewing potential utility service disruptions. Saving even 10 minutes when searching for asset or engineering documentation to support a work order can provide considerable time and cost savings annually, and even more so over the asset’s entire lifecycle. 

Portfolio managers need to plan for and mitigate these challenges to improve their operational efficiency, but they also need to be able to use the insights gained from asset maintenance to improve the planning and resiliency of future projects. 

Communicating effectively and securely with multiple stakeholders:

Poor communication with various teams and stakeholders can be a huge headache for asset owners and operators. They need to provide different views of information at varying levels of detail to the correct groups to ensure that the conditions and status of assets across their portfolio are managed efficiently. There are also increasing regulatory pressures and requirements to modernize operations for smart cities and infrastructure initiatives that many operators need to contend with over the next decade. 

Even on the same infrastructure asset, historical and current information may be needed depending on the specific end-user workflow needs. Directors overseeing assets or portfolio performance are charged with communicating fixes to the public and reporting outcomes to upstream levels of government or regulators, such as progress on replacing lead pipes. Asset and facility managers need insight into asset logistics, status, and operational performance. Engineering teams and contractors need to understand asset conditions, access their historical designs, and coordinate plans within the group’s organization.  

Ensuring that information is presented in the most intuitive and useful way to stakeholders has typically meant relying on ad hoc printouts, translated data files, or even one-off custom-built applications, all of which cost time and money. However, these are prone to becoming outdated, lost, or most concerning of all, at risk of security breaches or access to the wrong people. 

What is ArcGIS GeoBIM? 

ArcGIS GeoBIM enables the linking of projects and workflows by connecting ArcGIS with the Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360. 

Within an ArcGIS GeoBIM project, teams can link georeferenced features in ArcGIS with Autodesk records — meaning that it’s easier to access, visualize, and query project and O&M documentation across multiple sources. 

ArcGIS GeoBIM also enables easier communication and collaboration within a secure, web-based environment that can be tailored to the needs of every involved stakeholder. Powered by ArcGIS Online, Esri’s software-as-a-service offering of leading GIS technology, ArcGIS GeoBIM comes with industry-standard security controls and configurable role-based permissions for every user. So you can be assured knowing that you have full control over the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data. 

How can ArcGIS GeoBIM help? 

ArcGIS GeoBIM enables Owner-Operators to gain a single view of all their projects and assets on a map. This means that teams can search for and zoom in on an asset within its geographic context, while exploring its linked data without needing to navigate through an entire project document tree or file cabinet. As well as automated links generated by ArcGIS GeoBIM through georeferenced models and project addresses, it’s also possible to link existing features to non-geographic data. 

ArcGIS GeoBIM enables you to focus on a single project, or a portfolio spanning the globe.
ArcGIS GeoBIM enables you to focus on a single project, or a portfolio spanning the globe.

You can view up-to-date building plans, construction sheets, asset documentation, and reports with document versioning in their native environment, which reduces having to rework and translate data. By having a single, trusted source of information of your assets and facilities, you can be more certain that teams aren’t relying on outdated information or making decisions with less-than-complete information. 

Being able to search for assets geographically can greatly reduce the time it takes to obtain the information needed for work orders – meaning teams can get more done in less time.  

Reduce the time it takes to prepare work orders by searching, filtering, and finding data directly from a map.
Reduce the time it takes to prepare work orders by searching, filtering, and finding data directly from a map.

ArcGIS GeoBIM supports your creation of web-based apps that link your 2D map and 3D scene services directly to detailed infrastructure assets, facilities, utilities, corridor models, and more. In doing so, project and asset information can be easily accessed by team members and crews without the need for multiple desktop installations and specialized training. This not only maximizes the value of your data, but also enables you to communicate project and asset information more effectively and securely. 

Apps within ArcGIS GeoBIM can be tailored to the particular needs of users. Operators and owners can view dashboards using up-to-date, authoritative data about their assets and operations. Municipalities can provide apps to the public and better meet demands for smart city initiatives, all while ensuring the right information and detail are shared with the right stakeholders. 

Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms delivering new projects and assets can configure ArcGIS GeoBIM apps to share early views of ongoing progress with operators. This assists owners and operators to reduce time-to-operations using data generated from the planning, design, and construction phases.  

Being able to communicate accurate, up-to-date information in a way that stakeholders understand without the need for data translation, custom-built software, or specialized training can be enormously powerful. This holds true whether it’s a capital program manager needing to share a progress view for planning, a municipality coordinating or reporting on road and utility assets, or a facilities manager coordinating a campus.  

ArcGIS GeoBIM gives you a configurable web-based application so that even crews in the field have access to a single source of truth.
ArcGIS GeoBIM gives you a configurable web-based application so that even crews in the field have access to a single source of truth.

Summary 

ArcGIS GeoBIM delivers an innovative, easy-to-use web-based experience for project teams to explore and collaborate on BIM projects and issues using data from multiple systems in a geospatial context. AEC teams can work with linked data from multiple systems in configurable web apps that simplify communication and collaboration with teams and stakeholders. With ArcGIS GeoBIM, teams spend less time on file conversion, thus increasing access to reliable up-to-date data. ArcGIS GeoBIM enables secure access to project information, including BIM content, reality capture, documentation, and issues so that project teams can see active information for better decision making and collaboration. 

Plan, operate, and maintain with greater resilience by connecting GIS, BIM, and asset documentation with ArcGIS GeoBIM. 

Plan, operate, and maintain with greater resilience by connecting GIS, BIM, and asset documentation with ArcGIS GeoBIM.

About the authors

Anthony Renteria

Anthony Renteria is Product Manager for ArcGIS GeoBIM and focused in design and construction project delivery leading into operations. He is currently working with customers interested in GIS & BIM integrations that enhance their processes, provide better engagement opportunities, and transform how projects are delivered to clients. Anthony has worked in industry for over (15) years where he was responsible for assisting AEC teams with project technology planning while integrating innovative solutions to complete tasks faster and with the utmost quality. While Anthony began in general contracting, he has worked extensively with designers and owners to improve standards and develop BIM implementations that encompass the full project life cycle. Anthony is CM-BIM certified (AGC of America) and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

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Geoff Cook

Geoff Cook is Senior Product Marketing Manager for ArcGIS GeoBIM. Based in Toronto, Canada, he has worked within the software, nonprofit, and sustainability sectors, where he has also helped to bring enterprise, government, and nonprofit solutions to market. First encountering ArcGIS while completing his Bachelors in Environmental Studies, Geoff has always had a passion for tech innovation, urban sustainability, and design. Outside of work, he loves to map his bike rides, support the arts, and learn languages.

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