Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pebbles or breadcrumbs: Navigation through a set of typical building-project-drawings...

...should be easy and straight forward.
It is not, firstly because of the sheer number of drawings that are needed to be opened (or even worse, located, then opened), secondly the information is usually highly fragmented, duplicated and uncoordinated throughout the drawing-set.

Let’s for the moment accept that for the immediate future we are stuck with 2D PDF (soft) prints of drawings provided by consultants.

Still feel that we should be able to get more out of them. For example at minimum:
Have digital bookmarks and cross references to navigate between various views and drawings.

I expect many of you from the consultants’ side of the fence will be offended, possibly outraged. How dare I suggest extra work for you when you already are overworked under paid and not appreciated?

First, I don’t think this is unreasonable. What other industry is as ill-equipped to sort and package its data in a user-friendly way as AEC?
You go to a fast-food place, order three different types of coffees and all cups will be clearly marked.

Secondly, I have another agenda: I hope, that you’d choose to change some processes.

Digital book-marking and two-way referencing, both significant tasks could be made more palatable by doing 2 things:
Reduce the number of drawings generated to an optimum number and base all information on a digital, coordinated, project model.

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