Penobscot Bay Media Collaborates With ESRI to Publish Open Data Model For Managing Facility Assets and Operations

Camden, Maine, November 10, 2008 Penobscot Bay Media (PenBay), in partnership with ESRI and other organizations from the facilities management and GIS communities, has played a significant role in developing and publishing a data model for creating, storing, and sharing information about structures and their assets.


The Building Interior Space Data Model (BISDM) is GIS-based and helps companies share data and collaborate with other technologies for improved real property, asset and facilities management.  Additionally, the model can be extended for other uses, such as, landscape-level planning and site selection, building-level energy and environmental management, as well as security and emergency preparedness.


Traditionally, computer-aided design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies have focused on the building, but made no accommodation for information about the larger, exterior landscape within which buildings and building systems operate.  By comparison, the core strengths of GIS are managing information about and applying spatial analysis tools to objects and locations on the earth.  However, historically GIS technology made no accommodation for building interiors and the built environment. This data model and the applications that use it will overcome this artificial barrier by allowing GIS, computer-aided facility management/integrated workplace management (CAFM/IWM), and BIM systems to tightly integrate data and workflows from a national and global level down to an individual office or workspace. With all of this data pulled together into a single geospatially-enabled facility information management system (FIMS), facility management and real property professionals can use the powerful GIS query, analysis, reporting, and visualization capabilities to get a faster, more accurate assessment of all their facility assets.


The BISDM committee was formed in late 2007 as a group focused on creating a GIS data model for building interiors.  The committee consists of more than 30 volunteer organizations dedicated to developing a collection of best practices, case studies, and templates that individuals can adopt or adapt to their specific project needs.  Facility and real property managers who find it difficult to query, analyze, and report on information about buildings and assets, because it is not stored in a common database, will find the BISDM overcomes these challenges by creating a foundation for a seamless "all-buildings" data source, available throughout their organization.


“PenBay played a critical role in driving the design and development of the BISDM and continues to be a leader in this emerging market of GIS for the built environment,” says Matt Davis, ESRI Regional Manager for the Northeast. “PenBay has earned several awards from ESRI in recognition for their excellent work in all areas of GIS. This recognition continues in 2008 with the Business Partner of the Year Award for their work in the FM space and the larger GIS community.” 


In February 2007, PenBay published the first GIS Data Model for Interior Spaces under a Creative Commons open source license.  Later last year, PenBay joined forces with ESRI and Archibus to invite a wide variety of companies and organizations into a community project to build and evolve a common GIS data model for buildings. 


According to Davis of ESRI, “Publication of BISDM is validation of PenBay’s vision and commitment to a shared data model for integrated GIS and facilities management information systems. With their excellent technical capabilities and market knowledge, ESRI feels that PenBay is an extremely capable solutions provider. We look forward to a very strong continued relationship with this excellent company.”


The BISDM can be integrated with other technologies for a complete FIMS. The model supports common standards for defining, classifying, and evaluating building space and assets, as well as scalability for all levels of detail; enterprise system interoperability with CAFM/IWM; enterprise resource planning and enterprise asset management systems; and business workflows through application programming interfaces, Web services, and service-oriented architecture.


The BISDM will help users in many industries manage information about assets and operations more effectively. Increased revenues through opened lease space, reduced operations and maintenance costs by better management of facility spaces, more efficient staff moves, and the ability to plan for lower energy costs are just a few of the benefits of applying the BISDM and using GIS-based solutions for facilities management.


"There are many applications where GIS is being used with CAD, CAFM, and BIM today. This data model makes it easier to combine the strengths of all these systems and make the data much more useful and applicable," says Stu Rich, PenBay Principal, and GIS Practice Manager. "Any models or spatial analyses that were traditionally applied to the outside world can now be used inside the building. GIS analyses, like way finding and environmental assessment, can now be fully connected to the design, management, and operation of buildings and assets themselves. It doesn't stop with visualization or space optimization—the possibilities are endless." 


The BISDM community ratified the data model at the 2008 ESRI International User Conference. ESRI released the model on behalf of the community, along with supporting templates and documentation, at the end of August 2008. For more information, please visit



About Penobscot Bay Media

Penobscot Bay Media is a software solutions and professional GIS services company. We are trusted and recognized experts with considerable depth and breadth of experience in the design, development and implementation of geospatial and information technology solutions. Our company is focused on empowering business transformation for our customers through the development and implementation of INFORMATION VISUALIZATION solutions. PenBay is the world leader in bringing GIS inside the building.

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