Semantic Integration of Information Models of Different Domains for the Railway Sector

Semantic Integration of Information Models of Different Domains for the Railway Sector

Caner Guney, Berna Çalışkan, Ali Osman Atahan
DOI: 10.4018/IJDIBE.2019070103
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Although BIM and GIS are from different domains, the interoperability of IFC and CityGML is seen today as a needed step for the plan, design, and construction of an infrastructure project. Such an approach utilizes data from both domains by converting two open data standards. However, the interoperability of GIS/BIM convergence with other domains, such as LandInfra, LADM, RailTopoModel, etc., is becoming increasingly more important, particularly in the projects of railway. Thus, the cooperation is not only for stakeholders within the AECO/MEP industry but also other stakeholders within other domains. A decentralized seamless data flow among different domains must be ensured by linking different domain information models. This study presents a comprehensive approach for incorporating information models with a particular focus on the railways. The approach in the study first asserts project information in BIM to be included in GIS using geospatial ontologies and then extends this approach by integrating other information models from different fields.
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1. Introduction

1.1. Motivation

BIM means various things depending on the context, such as ‘Building Information Modeling’, ‘Building Information Model’, ‘Building Information Management’ or ‘Better Information Management’. BIM has the ability to transform current Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) industry and its practices into the different process of collaboration and a new working approach. The BIM domain focuses on information about the design and construction of building sites, and thus has very detailed and semantically rich information about all the physical elements that comprise an individual building as it is designed or built (TUDelft, n.d.). On the other hand, Geospatial Information System (GIS) models reality spatially to solve complex problems around the world by performing spatial analyses. To achieve that, a spatial model is generated within GIS environment that includes geographic layers (such as topography, land cover, geology, soil), built layers (such as land use, buildings, infrastructures, rail tracks), social layers (such as people on the street, railway transport).

In terms of rail projects, GIS can be used to describe existing facilities within the railway infrastructure and its surrounding environment in a larger geographic context whereas BIM can be used to store, manage, and manipulate rail project information. BIM project should not be planned and designed in isolation but should always be considered in the context of its surroundings, including the natural terrain, existing facilities, socio-economic factors, land use, and the utilities (both above and below the ground). These factors can also influence construction and operation activities. (Zhao et al., 2019)

Consequently, the worlds of BIM and GIS are moving towards each other to provide heterogeneous solutions for the plan, design, construction, engineering, operation and maintenance of an infrastructure project.

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