What is a Facilities Information Infrastructure?

I have a new concept called a Facilities Information Infrastructure (FII) that I am pretty excited about.  I wish that I could claim that it was my idea, but it was not.  The idea belongs to Mark Sorensen.  I had the great pleasure to spend a few days in Abu Dhabi last week with my friend Mark.  Mark is one of the world's leading authorities in the implementation of national Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI).  He has helped countries all over the planet lay SDI foundations and he and his team are currently doing some amazing work in Abu Dhabi.  In our discussions with Mark about the work we have been doing to bring GIS inside the building he viewed the problem through an SDI lens and the concept of a Facilities Information Infrastructure was born.

Lets start with the basics of Spatial Data Infrastructure

Wikipedia defines SDI as "the technology, policies, standards, human resources, and related activities necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve spatial data". This infrastructure is the foundation that enables the collection and maintenance of spatial data and services to support a wide range of business processes and other requirements for your nation, state, county, town, defense agency, business, etc. When building an SDI, there are certain "Framework Layers" that form the basic geographic core of the values enabled by the SDI.  Road centerlines and edge of pavement, for example, provide basic geometry, transportation value, enable delivery systems, and form the backbone of many addressing systems.  Similarly, the parcels layer forms the foundation for a wide range of land administration functions.  These Framework Layers, then often deliver business value far beyond the missions that they were originally developed for.

Defining a Facilities Information Infrastructure (FII)

A Facilities Information Infrastructure is essentially an SDI for facilities.  We take the same basic concepts that are delivering great value to us in the landscape and apply those concepts inside buildings.  And because many of the entities that are leveraging GIS for in the landscape have interests inside the building too (cadastre, public safety, security, environment, etc. ), we can serve those interests with similar systems.

As with a national level SDI, there are Framework Layers inside buildings as well.  These layers serve to establish the geography primitives (floors, spaces, walls, doors ) from which many other features will be derived.  A very simple diagram of some FII Framework Layers is illustrated in the diagram below.

Facilities Framework Layers Facilities Framework Layers

From these Framework Layers, other more interest specific layers can be developed in more detailed interest-specific data models like the one shown below.  This particular data model was developed to support space management.  We are currently working to develop a data model specific to security interests.

Data Model for Space Management Data Model for Space Management

When you develop a whole series of data models and interest-specific information systems related to buildings, you have a true Facilities Information Infrastructure that looks diagrammatically something like this:

Facilities Information Infrastructure Facilities Information Infrastructure

The beauty of this concept is that it takes technologies and personnel capabilities that are already well developed in many organizations and leverages those investments to drive further value for the organization.

So...  What do you think of the concept?  Does this work for you?  What would keep you from building your very own Facilities Information Infrastructure?