39. Model Uses Taxonomy
41. Macro Diffusion Responsibilities

40. Project Information Taxonomy

Updated June 30, 2019 (original post was June 20, 2016, updated November 29, 2019)

The Information Taxonomy (previously Project Information Taxonomy) extends the Modular Requirements Clarification Language first introduced in Paper A10 . The taxonomy currently includes concepts/terms to be used in defining information requirements within mission-critical documentation (e.g. within an Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR), a BIM Management Plan (BMP) or similar).

The term ‘information’ – here used to describe Digital Assets - can be subdivided into three Information Representation Types or ‘digital artefacts’- documents, models, and data:

  • Document: A digital medium (e.g. an email, web page, or a PDF document) carrying a variety of information including text, metadata, or embedded 3D models. A document refers to “information and its supporting medium” [i.e. when the information is placed within a medium, it becomes a document] ….“the medium can be paper, magnetic, electronic or optical computer disc, photograph or master sample, or a combination thereof” (ISO, 2009, Item 4.5) Item 4.5, adapted from ISO (2015, Item 3.7.2) - Items 3.7.2. In this taxonomy, the term Document refers to a digital medium or an analogue medium that need to be digitised in preparation for management and utilisation; non-digital documents will be qualified (e.g. paper document). Examples of Documents include a Master Plan Drawing, a Performance Certificate, or an Audit Report;
  • Model: A digital three-dimensional medium carrying a variety of information and may embed or reference both documents and data sets. A model is a “representation of a system that allows for investigation of the properties of the system” (ISO, 2016). As a term, it may refer to digital models (e.g. shell/boundary or solid geometry graphical models), physical (e.g. a sand castle, Lego model, or 3D printed shapes), financial, mathematical, or conceptual models. In this taxonomy, unless qualified, the term Model refers to 3D computer-generated graphical models representing a discipline/ specialty (e.g. architectural model), a state (e.g. record model), or base technology (e.g. object-based model); and
  • Data: A digital sequence of symbols – typically letters and numbers - that can be collected and parsed/ interpreted by an actor. Data may be statically embedded within Documents and Models or drive their dynamic generation/ modification - adapted from ISO/IEC (2015). Data can be captured through sensors, actuators, and scanners; derived from connected data sources; or generated through machine learning. The term Data may be coupled with other terms preceding it (e.g. structured, unstructured, or meta Data) or following it (e.g. Data Set, Cloud, Table, Script, or Routine) to indicate functional groupings, relationship structures, internal cohesion, semantic inference, or coded computer instructions. Data can also be represented as a variety of charts and diagrams. In this taxonomy, the term Data refers to digital computable data; data sourced from analogue devices (e.g. heat sensors and legacy imaging equipment) need to be converted into digital data before it can be managed and utilised.

This representational subdivision is intended for practical purposes: to allow more accurate identification of targeted digital deliverables and – as illustrated in the Information Taxonomy  below – to provide flexibility in specifying information delivery uses, views, view definitions, viewers, and environments.

Information Taxonomy - Table

Information Use: The intended uses/applications of information

Document Use

The intended or expected types of deliverables from developing and exchanging information through Documents

Examples: document-based reporting, certifying, or warranting

Model Use

The intended or expected types of deliverables from generating, collaborating-on and linking Models to external databases

Examples: model-based representing, simulating, or quantifying

Data Use

The intended or expected types of deliverables from generating, exchanging, and manipulating Data

Example: data mining or scripting (e.g. using code to drive cutting, milling or sintering equipment

Information View: How information is represented to enable its use

Document View

A view enabling one or more Document Uses. A Document View can be a drawing, schedule, report, an instruction memo, or a set of specifications. A Document View may be drafted (computer-assisted) by a human-actor or derived automatically from a Model or Data source

Example: Product Data Sheet or Room Data Sheet (a drawing detailing an operator’s requirements for each room type including room layout, furniture, fittings, equipment, and surface finishes)

Model View

A view enabling one or more Model Uses. A Model View can be a static/ dynamic 3D view, an animation, or a holograph. A Model View follows the specifications within its corresponding Model View Definition or reflects custom project/asset requirements

Examples: Model View showing only Architectural elements, or another showing both Mechanical and Structural elements within a Model Viewer (see further below)

Data View

A view enabling one or more Data Uses. A Data View can be a code snippet, a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) file, an XML/JSON file, or similar

Examples: a data chart, a node-link diagram, an If This Then That (IFTTT) recipe, an FME translator, or a visual script in Grasshopper or Dynamo

Information View Definition: How Information Views are defined for consistent use of information

Document View Definition

A specification (or template) which identifies the contents, attributes, and formats of Document Views (see above). Document View Definitions are typically generated by authorities, technology advocates, and associations promoting standardisation

Examples: Product Data Template (a document identifying the data that need to be collected for each product - e.g. model, manufacturer, performance attributes, and maintenance requirements)

Model View Definition (MVD)

A specification which identifies the properties and specifies the exchange requirements of Model Views. A 'standardised' Model view Definition (MVD) can be a subset of an established schema (e.g.   Industry Foundation Classes) and is typically intended for software developers (not end users) to implement into their Software Tools (ISO, 2016)

Example: the IFC4 Design Transfer View by buildingSMART International

Data View Definition

A specification which identifies the properties and specifies the exchange requirements of Data Views. Data View Definitions are generated by a variety of information actors to formalise data exchange scenarios and harmonise data analysis methods

Examples: a data representation template, data translation script, or data analysis formula

Information Viewer: The software allowing access to information to human actors

Document Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and manipulate Information according to pre-set Document Views

Examples: PDF reader or a 2D CAD viewer

Model Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and navigate Models according to ad-hoc or standardised Model View Definitions

Example: BIM Vision, BIMx, Dalux, or Solibri Model Viewer

Data Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and manipulate data according to pre-set Data View Definitions

Examples: Tableau or Business Intelligence tools

Common Information Environment: The distributed digital ecosystem allowing the collation and utilisation of information by multiple stakeholders. A Common Information Environment may include a combination of software solutions connected to disparate data sources through middleware and plugins

Shared Document Environment

An ecosystem for managing documents, composed of several software modules – including a Document Viewer, and allowing the isolation of Information by Document View

Example: A digital ecosystem built around a Document / Project Management System

Federated Modelling Environment

An ecosystem for managing Models, composed of several software modules - including a Model Viewer, and allowing the isolation of Information by Model View

Example: A digital ecosystem built around a Model Server or BIM-enabled Software as a Service (SaaS)

Integrated Data Environment

An ecosystem for managing Data sets and structures, composed of several software modules – including a Data Viewer, allowing the isolation of Information by Data View

Example: A digital ecosystem built around Data Warehousing and Data Integration solutions

 

More info

This post is part of the BIMe Initiative Integrate Information Platform project and contributes to the ongoing effort to clarify the language used (or to be used) in defining project requirements within Noteworthy BIM Publications. Some of the concepts introduced above are still being refined, connected and reconnected to multiple models, taxonomies and classifications. For an update-to-date description of these concepts and their relations, please refer to respective terms within the BIM Dictionary.

 

Endnotes

[1] A document refers to “information and its supporting medium” [i.e. when the information is placed on a medium, it becomes a document] … “The medium can be paper, magnetic, electronic or optical computer disc, photograph or master sample, or a combination thereof” – [SOURCE: ISO 14050:2009, 4.5 - adapted from ISO 9000:2005, 3.7.2]

[2] Another definition is a “representation of a system that allows for investigation of the properties of the system” [SOURCE: ISO 29481-1:2016(en) Building information models — Information delivery manual — Part 1: Methodology and format]

[3] “a reinterpretable representation of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or communication, or processing” [SOURCE: ISO/IEC 2382-1:1993, Information technology — Vocabulary — Part 1: Fundamental terms.01.01.02]

[4] Note: Documented Project Information should not be confused with Documented Information which is defined in ISO 9001:2015 as meaningful data that is required to be controlled and maintained by the organization and the medium on which it is contained (Source: ABP Consultant)

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