Project Information Taxonomy


from BIM Framework

Project Information Taxonomy – Table

INFORMATION REPRESENTATION TYPE How information is represented

A physical or digital medium (e.g. a paper or an email) carrying a variety of Information including text, Data (e.g. hexadecimal code) and embedded Models (e.g. a 3D PDF document) [Partially adapted from ISO 14050:2009 and ISO 9000:2005][1]


A digital three-dimensional representation of Information. A 3D Model may embed or reference both Data and Documents. The term ‘Model’ refers to both digital and physical models (e.g. a 3D printed shape) but does not refer to financial, mathematical or conceptual models…Also refer to BIModel[2]


A reinterpretable representation of Information which can be collected/parsed with or without the human actor. Data is either statically embedded within Documents and Models or drive their dynamic generation/modification [Adapted from ISO/IEC 2382-1:1993][3]

INFORMATION DELIVERY FORMAT How information is – or need to be – delivered on a project
Documented Project Information[4]

Project information collated within Documents for functional purposes. Documented Project Information are captured and exchanged either manually or through digital means, and are intended for use by the human actor (e.g. drawings, maps and reports)

Modelled Project Information

Project information collated within Models for functional purposes. Modelled Project Information are generated by the human actor or driven by machine-captured data (e.g. structural analysis and asset tracking)

Structured Project Data

Granular project information collated within Documents and Models, or driving the generation of Documents and Models; Structured Project Data are captured through sensors and scanners; derived from connected data sources; or generated through machine learning

INFORMATION USE The intended uses/applications of project information
Document Use

The intended or expected project deliverables from developing and exchanging information through Documents.

Examples: Master Plan Drawing or Minutes of Meeting.

Model Use

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

Example: model-based Urban Planning or Lighting Analysis.

Data Use

The intended or expected project deliverables from generating, exchanging and manipulating data.

Example: Fabrication Scripting, using code to drive cutting, milling or sintering equipment.

INFORMATION VIEW How project information is represented to enable its use
Document View

A view representing 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 analogue or digital, developed manually or derived automatically from a Model or Data source.

Example: A Room Data Sheet

Model View

A view representing one or more Model Uses. A Model View can be a static 3D view, an animation, a holograph or a 3D print. A Model View follows the specifications within its corresponding Model View Definitionor reflects unique project requirements

Example: A Model View showing only Mechanical and Structural elements

Data View

A view representing one or more Data Uses. A Data View can be a code snippet, a Computer Numerical Control(CNC) file, an XML file or similar information not primarily intended for the human actor.

Example: An If This Then That (IFTTT) recipe or a visual script in Autodesk Dynamo

INFORMATION VIEW DEFINITION How Information Views are defined to enable the consistent use of Structured Project Information
Document View Definition

A specification which identifies the contents, attributes and formats of Document Views. Document View Definitions are typically generated by authorities and large clients.

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. the Industry Foundation Classes) and is typically intended for software developers (not end users) to implement into their BIM Software Tools.

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 Project Participants to formalise their data exchange scenarios

INFORMATION VIEWER The software allowing access to Structured Project Information by a solitary user
Document Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and manipulate of Structured Project Informationaccording to pre-set Document Views.

Example: A PDF reader or a 2D CAD viewer

Model Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and navigate Modelled Information according to ad-hoc or standard Model View Definitions. As opposed to Model Servers, Models accessed by a Model Viewer are read-only and cannot be modified.

Example: Autodesk Navisworks or Solibri Model Checker

Data Viewer

A software application allowing users to inspect and manipulate data according to pre-set Data View Definitions. An example of a Data Viewer is an online project dashboard merging data from several sources

Example: Google Flux or Tableau

COMMON INFORMATION ENVIRONMENT The digital environment  allowing access to Structured Project Information by multiple concurrent users
Shared Document Environment

A central source for Documented Project Information. A Shared Document Environment is not necessarily a single software tool but a combination of several software solutions – including: a Document Management System, a Document Viewer, a Model Viewer, and a Project Managementsoftware. A Shared Document Environment may connect several software tools and desperate data sources through middleware and plugins

Federated Modelling Environment

A central source for Modelled Project Information used to collect, store and allow controlled access to model-based information by project/asset stakeholders. A Federated Modelling Environment differs from a Shared Document Environment by allowing the isolation of Structured Project Information by Model View

Integrated Data Environment

A central or distributed repository of Integrated Data feeding from multiple data sources and information systems across disciplines and domains. An Integrated Data Environment allows manipulation of data by multiple stakeholders according to access rights and agreed Data View Definitions



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