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Just add data: how software interoperability could expedite development

In previous posts on Engage Gov Today I shared how today’s advanced location intelligence solutions can help with the planning phase of development, which is the first of four phases, which includes: planning, designing, building and management. I also discussed how location intelligence can help builders and developers involve the community and “plan with people.”

Unfortunately, even with the inclusion of cutting edge technological solutions into the development process, the four stages can still take about 7-10 years from the time the project is started to the time it is built.

Why? A large part of the problem lies with how these developments are planned and designed.

When designing a large development, planners utilize two disparate software applications. The first is for building information modeling (BIM), the second is for location intelligence. The BIM solution generates 2D or 3D renderings of a building or development that serves as a physical representation of the facility. The Location Intelligence solution puts that facility on a map and helps developers identify and visualize the impact it will have on the community as a whole and vice versa.

The problem for developers is that these two disparate software solutions have, for the longest time, been unable to communicate since they weren’t interoperable. This resulted in a model of a facility or building being designed in the BIM solution and then being plugged into the location intelligence solution, or the other way around. The location intelligence solution would then tell designers if their planned facility blocked too much direct sunlight, or strained the location’s utilities or civil services.

Should the design not work in that geographic location, the designer then had to go back to the drawing board and design a new facility to mitigate adverse impacts. This process could go on repeatedly until a design was finally generated that worked in the location it was designed for, ultimately slowing development to a crawl.

For state and local agencies, planning, community and economic development departments, these delays can be a major problem. If a new development is the cornerstone of a larger economic development initiative, a 7-10 year wait can feel like an eternity.

Now, this process can be expedited thanks to partnerships that are arising between the BIM solution providers, location intelligence solution providers and data providers. Partnerships, such as the one between Autodesk, Pitney Bowes Software and Tom Tom, are making the BIM and location intelligence solutions interoperable, while also bringing in the geospatial data needed to make informed planning decisions.

With increased interoperability, developers now have a common end-to-end solution that supports the entire project lifecycle. The solutions, working in conjunction, give a more accurate view of the data, enable one central data repository and make the capturing, managing, and sharing of location data easier than it was in the past.

The end result is the ability for developers to plan and design a facility while simultaneously being able to visualize it in its intended location. This ensures that the design is correct the first time, and keeps developers from having to rip up their designs and start again. It also ensures that the resulting development is a better fit for the community and takes less time to plan, design and build.

Pitney Bowes, Autodesk and Tom Tom will be holding a Webinar about how partnerships and interoperability are helping to simplify the planning process and expedite the development lifecycle. For more information, or to register to attend, click HERE.

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