An Evaluation of IFC-CityGML Unidirectional Conversion

Ihab's picture
Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
International Journal of Advanced Computer Sciences and Applications
Year of Publication: 
Ihab Hijazi
An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Urban Planning Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, An Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Anders Östman
Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, University of Gävle, Sweden
Mohamed El - Mekawy
Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Interoperability between building information models (BIM) and geographic information models has a strong potential to bring benefit to different demands in construction analysis, urban planning, homeland security and other applications. Therefore, different research and commercial efforts have been initiated to integrate the most prominent semantic models in BIM and geospatial applications. These semantic models are the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) respectively. However, these efforts mainly: a) use a unidirectional approach (mostly from IFC to CityGML) for converting data, or b) Extending CityGML by conceptual requirements for converting CityGML to IFC models. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential of unidirectional conversion between IFC and CityGML. The different IFC concepts and its corresponding concepts in CityGML is studied and evaluated. The investigation goes beyond building objects, also including other concepts that are represented implicitly in building schemas such as building objects relations, hierarchies of building objects, appearance and other building characteristics. Due to the large semantic differences between IFC and CityGML standards, the schema mapping is based on a manual pragmatic approach without automatic procedures. The mappings are classified into three categories, namely ‘full matching’, ‘partial matching’ and ‘no matching’. The result of the study shows that only a few concepts are classified as ‘direct matching’, a few as well as ‘no matching’ while most of the building concepts are classified as ‘partial matching’. It is concluded that unidirectional approaches cannot translate all the needed concepts from both IFC and CityGML standards. Instead, we propose a meta-based unified building model, based on both standards, which shows a high potential for overcoming the shortages of the unidirectional conversion approaches.