THE ISPRS-EUROSDR GEOBIM BENCHMARK 2019
Standardised data formats and data models are essential for data integration and interoperability, which in turn adds value to data by allowing its reuse in multiple contexts. For this reason, in recent years extensive efforts have been focused on standards development. When representing the built environment, 3D city models and Building Information Models are particularly relevant, and their integration is now required to underpin use cases that cover the full life-cycle of a built asset, including design and planning as well as operations and management, and to support legal applications such as cadastral systems. For those kinds of data, CityGML by the Open Geospatial Consortium and Industry Foundation Classes by buildingSMART are the most popular reference standards. However, many users report, often through informal channels, the difficulties of working with these formats. This paper summarizes the outcomes of the GeoBIM Benchmark 2019, a scientific initiative funded by ISPRS and EuroSDR to collect insights into the most relevant issues encountered in the management of CityGML and IFC within existing software. Alongside data management (import, visualisation, analysis, export) problems, issues of particular consequence in terms of integration relate to georeferencing IFC files and the conversions among the two kinds of formats and models. Thus, the benchmark was designed to explore these tasks in available software. Following analysis of the benchmark results, a key outcome is the impossibility to find clear patterns in the behaviour of tools, which consequently means there is no consistency in the implementation of standards. Although the results could seem disappointing, the criticality in managing these standards as they are was described and this awareness can be the starting point for further research or further standards development. Finally, this project was useful to gather a wide community around this topic, and the discussion about the GeoBIM-related issues was definitely pushed.