A proposal to Replace LandXML with a New Standard: InfraGML

December 11, 2013

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At a France-Netherlands BIM Geospatial Meeting in Paris, Marcel Reuvers of Geonovum gave an important update on the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) Land and Infrastucture Domain Working Group's (DWG) LandXML/ InfraGML initiative.   

By way of background, LandXML is a widely used standard supported by almost 800 members in the roads and highway transportation sector.  A number of years ago an unsuccessful attempt had been made to make LandXML compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium's (OGC) Geography Markup Language (GML) standard for geospatila data.

The immediate issue is that LandXML, which is not associated with a recognized international standards organization, has been unsupported for over five years. 

To address this issue the Land and Infrastructure DWG chartered a LandInfraSWG (Standards Working Group) for LandXML. Its first activity was to reverse-engineer a UML model and documentation (which were lacking) for LandXML 1.2 as a basis for assessing the viability of supporting LandXML as an OGC interoperability standard. A number of deficiencies relative to the OGC baseline were identified

The LandinfraSWG decided that to be able to support LandXML as an interoperability standard, it would be necessary to fix the problems that had been identified.  But it felt that for a number of reasons this would be difficult to do. The LandInfraSWG therefore proposed developing a new standard, dubbed InfraGML, that would encompass a subset of LandXML functionality, but would be supported by the OGC and would incorporate GML.  It would also be defined by a UML conceptual model. 

It is intended that the new standard would satisfy several important requirements.  It would

  • align with existing OGC standards
  • build on functionality already supported by GML, including features, geometry, coordinate reference systems, linear referencing, and surface modeling (TIN)
  • be more easily integrated with OGC CityGML and TransXML
  • initially focus on survey and alignments
  • be extensible using modular extensions to be able to be extended to support pipe networks, parcels, and other data types
  • be based on explicit use-cases

It is also intended to include recent civil engineering developments such as wider use of 3D modelng.

In addition and very importantly, the LandInfraSWG assessment explicitly stated that InfraGML is intended to integrate with other related, existing standards, specifically buildingSMART's current efforts to develop Infrastructure-based Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), such as IFC Alignment, IFC Bridge, and others.  Among the participants in the France-Netherlands BIM Geopatial Meeting there was an unequivocal consensus that the OGC and buildingSMART need to work together to ensure that  aligning these initiatives is made a top priority.

Reprinted with permission from the Between the Poles blog.


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