The present research project is devoted to the analysis, modeling, and management of 3D spatial data about one or more buildings. The proposed solution must combine the advantages of BIM (Building Information Modeling) design, that supports that entire life cycle of buildings, with the advantages of GISs (Geographic Information Systems), that make it possible to locate spatial objects and phenomena in a geographical domain of interest. A special attention wlll be given to recent developments in the area of 3D data and framework management via Web. The focus of the project will be on IT asset management in a Web environment. A major functionality of the system will thus be the possibility of interacting with 3D models in an effective and efficient way. To summarize, the project aims at devising and developing a system architecture for the definition, visualization, and update of (IT) building assets via Web.
The work will be organized in the following steps:
- Analysis of the state of the art. The first step of the work will consist of a systematic analysis of the standards used in the contexts of BIM design (IFC) and webGIS (GML and CityGML) and of their interrelations. Moreover, we will study available technologies in the area of BIM document recording and sharing systems (one relevant solution here is BIMServer). A special attention will be devoted to the investigation of available technologies for the interaction with 3D models, such as, for instance, WebGL. Such an analysis will include, in particular, the compatibility checking between commonly-used browsers and API WebGL libraries, e.g., ThreeJs e SceneJs. Finally, the analysis will provide an up-to-date account of the development of client and server sofware, released with an open source licence, the makes the standard CityGML available via Web.
- System architecture. On the basis of the analysis of the state of the art, we will identify the basic elements of the architecture of the system to be used for asset management. The system will be built on top of the CMDBuild (Configuration and Management DataBase) system, that will be extended with a set of primitives for the implementation of services for the management of IT assets. The system will provide a number of advanced functionalities for the visualization of 3D models via suitable Web interfaces and for the direct interaction with these models (to make changes in the spatial positioning of the assets). A very important requirement is that the interaction with the model (visualization and update) must be performed by making use of standard Web browsers, that is, no special solutions are needed. Besides the management of a single building model, the proposed method will allow on operate on complex structures consisting of more than one building. To this end, we will refer to those tools, that will be studied in detail during step 1, that support the CityGML standard.
- Implementation of a prototype. The last step of the project will consist of the implementation of a prototype of the proposed architecture that, together with the functions to connect to the BIM / CMDBuild repository, will provide the user with suitable tools for the visualization of the 3D models and their management via Web interfaces. The prototype will be validated on some case artificial and/or real-world studies (among the real-world case studies we include a case study provided by the municipality of Tavagnacco). As we already pointed out, a fundamental requirement of the prototype is that a standard Web browser must suffice to connect to the server BIM. The reason is that we do not want to force the user to install any specific plug-in on the browser like, for instance, Cortona VRML. This last condition plays an essential role as it makes it possible to a large class of Web users to benefit from the developed prototype