ENGIS: It's not Engineering or GIS; it's Engineering and GIS!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Calgary, Alberta and facilitating a half-day seminar aimed at demonstrating the crucial GIS skills needed by engineering and CAD professionals. This well attended seminar, hosted by Pacific Alliance Technologies, highlighted the differences between CAD and GIS workflows, reviewed the obstacles to CAD/GIS integration and discussed the importance of an Engineering GIS approach.

I was expecting the audience to consist mainly of engineering and CAD folks. So, I was surprised to discover that there was a 50:50 mix of both CAD and GIS professionals. It turned out that some of the geospatial participants were looking for a better understanding of CAD related workflows. They also wanted information on how to work and better communicate with their engineering and CAD counterparts so that they could potentially simplify their geospatial data integration tasks and drive productivity. Similarly, some of the engineering and CAD participants were seeking pointers on how to overcome resistance to GIS within their own engineering organizations.

So, why is there this resistance to GIS by some engineering firms?

Well, engineering is about design; it’s about creating documents that have the exact amount of detail necessary to construct what was designed and then ensuring that construction proceeds according to specification. To these firms, construction represents completion and so their design documents and as-built drawings reflect that.

However, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the cost of inadequate interoperability for U.S. capital facilities during the operation and maintenance phases is estimated at $9 billion US. If you include infrastructure, like bridges and roads, then these costs sky-rocket even further!

Design documents and as-built drawings must be created with a new end in mind.

Engineering and CAD professionals must create their design documents in such a way that the embedded geospatial data can be utilized throughout the infrastructure lifecycle. Design data must be easily integrated with corporate databases so that this information can be used during infrastructure operation and maintenance activities. Engineering GIS can help.

As the original creators of our infrastructure data, I believe engineering and CAD professionals have a responsibility to ensure that this information can be easily integrated throughout the infrastructure lifecycle. To do otherwise, simply contributes to the billions of dollars already wasted due to the lack of interoperability and poor data integration.

Source: geoExpressions – GIS Skills for the Engineering and CAD Professional
Go to Source: geoExpressions