ESRI Publishes Open Data Model for Managing Information about Assets and Operations

Data Model Helps Integrate GIS with Planning, Maintenance, and Modeling Software for Improved Facilities Management

Redlands, California—October 16, 2008—ESRI, along with other organizations in the facilities management industry, has published a data model for creating, storing, and sharing information about structures and their assets. The building interior space data model (BISDM) is geographic information system (GIS) based and will allow companies to more effectively share facilities data and collaborate with other technologies commonly used for real property portfolio, asset, and facilities management. The model can be easily extended for a variety of other purposes, for example, landscape-level planning and site selection, building-level energy and environmental management, and security and emergency preparedness.

The BISDM was created for facility and real property managers who find it difficult to query, analyze, and report information about buildings and assets because it is not stored in a common database. The BISDM overcomes these challenges by creating a foundation for a seamless "all-buildings" data source, making the information available throughout an organization. The BISDM can be easily integrated with partner technologies ( for a complete facility information management system (FIMS).

"GIS's core strengths are managing information about locations on the earth and applying spatial analysis tools to gain a better understanding of how objects are affected by where they are," says Simon Thompson, commercial business industry manager, ESRI. "Traditionally, CAD and BIM [Building Information Model] users have focused on the building itself while GIS was used to manage infrastructure assets outside and up to the buildings. This data model and the applications that use it will overcome this artificial barrier."

The BISDM 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 computer-aided facility management/integrated workplace management (CAFM/IWM), ERP, and EAM systems; and business workflows through APIs, Web services, and service-oriented architecture (SOA).

"The data model allows GIS, CAFM, IWM, and BIM systems to tightly integrate data and workflows from a national level down to an individual office or workspace," says John Young, account manager, enterprise facility management solutions, ESRI. "With all this data pulled together into a geospatially enabled FIMS, FM [facility management] and real property professionals can use the rich sets of GIS query, analysis, reporting, and visualization capabilities to get a faster, more accurate assessment of all their facility assets."

The BISDM will help users in government, retail, real estate, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and more, manage information about assets and operations more effectively. Increased revenues through opened lease space, reduced operations and maintenance (O&M) 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 for facilities management in general.

The BISDM development program involved more than 30 organizations and has resulted in the first such collaborative effort to apply GIS-based models to different building, real property, and facilities management scenarios. "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 of Penobscot Bay Media, a leading partner in the development of the BISDM. "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 the building 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 ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at


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