Something is fundamentally wrong with the way AEC manages its information:
We have numerous solutions available to handle large amounts of paper-based (flat) drawings in a reasonably sophisticated way. There exists a significant number of commercially available tools to collect, track, distribute, measure-off, even mark-up these drawings electronically.
Yet, I know of no application that works within these systems with the sole objective to automatically and efficiently reconstruct sets of 2D drawings into a ‘quasi 3D depository’.
Imagine, if Aconex (or equivalent) had created a 3 dimensional grid based on the drawing-set it got fed-in and placed every drawing on it in the right position (i.e. sections, details, elevations…);
Should not be too difficult, should it?
Every drawing is supposedly well referenced (grids, orientation, levels), should be a real piece of cake.
Users would then easily locate details, sections, elevations, zoom in and out, jump between views, a bit like the way Google Map and Google Street view work.
Truth to be told, I’m not that keen on the idea, since even most ‘pedestrian-BIM-approaches’ address this need already adequately.
On the other hand, still experiencing how zillions of non-BIM users within the AEC work, I say, that either everyone truly has the supernatural ability to simultaneously process and cross reference thousands of 2D drawings or a large percentage of them are in fact, faking understanding.