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Searching through BIMs in cGIS Pro

  • Team
  • February 27, 2023
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Nowadays, a BIM modelling has become commonplace, and for some cases - a legal necessity.

Building business quickly appreciated the opportunities offered by the BIM - modern software allows to check for compatibility and to detect collisions of various interacting elements of the construction object (walls, communications, electrical and decorative elements) long before the facility’s construction stage begins.

Sketchy LOD 300 models are now a thing of the past, modern BIMs are complex models having the highest level of detail and serving as the basis for "Digital Twin" concept. 

Since the concept of "Digital Twin" provides support for the entire facility’s life cycle, a detailed information not only about the construction characteristics of the object, but also about the installed equipment, furniture, office equipment and furnishings are included in the BIM even at the design stage.

After the construction is completed and the facility is put into operation, the BIM is handed over to the maintaining company.

Definitely, the BIM must be kept up to date, because as the equipment could be replaced, local redevelopment takes place, and so on. The “Digital Twin" starts to match its prototype less and less, and its business value decreases.

The cGIS Pro platform provides convenient set of instruments to support a whole life cycle of facility. Our goal is to provide the Common Information Space that includes BIMs as well. Search tools for spatial and attributive data and documents have already been described earlier, and in this article we will talk about the cGIS Pro’s ability to search through BIM’s properties.

So, what kinds of searches does cGIS Pro offer? To answer this question, let's take a brief look at how the BIM stores its properties. And these are stored as sets of records having a name (usually standard for similar elements within the model) and a value. And it's not surprising that cGIS Pro also provides two types of searches:

  1. Search by name, which allows you to find model elements whose property names contain the specified search criterion.
  2. Value search, which searches for model elements whose property values contain the specified search criteria.

In both cases it is not necessary to specify the exact name or value, specifying a known part of it is enough, and the case of characters is also not important.

As a result of the search, we will get the elements with their names, types and information models, which contains these elements (this is especially important for composite models).

The found elements are displayed in the form of a table. If there are a lot of such elements, the standard sorting and filtering functions may be used.

What can you do with the search results? Well, at least to see where the elements are located on the general plan of the model. To do this, mark the elements of interest in the list with the mouse and click on the "Show" button. And the model will be positioned in the view window to fit all the selected elements.

You should consider, if the model covers a large territory, and selected elements are very far away from each other, it is likely that the elements themselves will be difficult to see because of zoom level. But if we choose only one element, we will see it anyway!

If you click on an element displayed on the model with the mouse, the properties panel of the element will appear on the right side, including both common and quantitative properties.

Moreover, standard document and annotation management functions are available for selected model elements, allowing us to immediately examine the associated documents and view a list of element’s comments.

It should be noted that the annotation function in cGIS Pro was just developed to support the BIM at all stages of the life cycle, which will allow in near future to make changes directly to the BIM itself, or export annotations to the standard BCF (BIM Communication Format) to be subsequently merged into the BIM.

We are working hard to constantly improve the BIM search functions. Soon we plan to expand the existing searches with new features.

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