A visual and collaborative environment to manage files

The AEC industry, and especially the BIM industry, generates a massive amount of files during project development. Most of these files exist in locations where they are difficult to access without knowing their exact spot. This dilemma is solvable in a system where individuals deal with folder structures on a one to one basis. However, BIM Engineers work on collaborative techniques. Project files may undergo countless reviews or may require a complete revision. Since megaprojects involve multiple teams, handling and maintaining these files becomes a challenging task.

Private and Shared Spaces in Maps

Common Data Environment (CDE) is the concept of sharing information on the project between all members. The infinite canvas of planBIM Maps module acts as a catalyst for creating these real-time environments. Companies and stakeholders may approach this module in a couple of ways. The first would be the creation of a Private Space, which is company-specific. Teams within an organisation can maintain and update their project files in this section of Maps. Shared Spaces, on the other hand, would let companies or teams share particular data. For example, Architecture, Structural and MEP teams working on a project would create Private Spaces for exclusive files. However, for collaborating on different levels, these teams will make use of a Shared Space.


After creating these spaces, users can generate and place file cards on the infinite canvas mentioned earlier. These file cards act like containers for project files. Users can hyperlink or upload different types of data such as Autodesk REVIT families, Shop Drawings, Point Clouds and much more. Maintaining Revision Histories and displaying Viewable formats of such data shows the versatility of planBIM Maps. The feature of tagging team members and companies to these cards ensures responsibility. File cards keep track of the list of users who have uploaded or downloaded any of these files, thus providing a level of transparency. File cards are shareable across different spaces; for example, an Architect may choose to share Architectural BIM Models from his company space to a Shared space.

Various relationship types along with Notes and Groups

As AEC project files are dependent on each other, defining relationships between them is a must. Hence planBIM Maps contains a list of relationship types to associate file cards. These relationships vary from simple linkages to an input-output model depending on the project workflows. If any file undergoes an update, team members of the connected file cards receive notifications. An example of this would be the relationship between MEP and Architecture files. Revisions to any plumbing files would generate notifications for the Architecture team. This system can propagate best practice coordination techniques amongst different organisations.
The feature of grouping up file cards would enable a folder structure in Maps. Colour-coded tags on cards would differentiate various file types for the ease of access. There is also an option to place notes around the file cards in the canvas, which can act as an easy reference of file details for everyone else.
Explorer View is a format of viewing file cards stacked up in a list. The basic idea of this view is to create an area for sorting and filtering these files. Instead of looking up each file on the canvas, this format of viewing files would let users change file properties instantly by just searching them or by applying filters.

Explorer view for ease of access to files

Maps works on the principles of CDE and provides a fresh visual approach. The technique implemented by Maps gets rid of the hassle of curating and updating files. The 2-D use of a canvas assists collaborators and companies to assign accountability. Presence of all these features would help projects achieve deadlines much faster. As the whole module works on live updates, there is a lot less to worry about for everyone involved. To help you or your organisation take advantage of Maps and other planBIM modules, visit and sign up for a free trial today!
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