5 Reasons to believe in Context Modeling

Context Modeling is the process of building an enriched, existing conditions project framework. With the tools found in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection you can process LiDAR and/or drone-based data, connect to ArcGIS organizations, and import many other data types to build an intelligent model to base your project designs from. By utilizing current, high quality, and intelligent information for your project context, you can perform analysis and make design decisions early in the design process that will have a significant impact in the final design, budget, and schedule.

Check out 5 reasons you should incorporate context modeling into your practice below:

Context Modeling


Reason 1: Early impact on the final design

Having accurate existing conditions data allows you to perform advanced, intelligent analysis and modeling early in the design. This, in turn, results in being able to make critical design decisions early in the project. By creating an intelligent project context, you can perform flood and traffic simulations, create watersheds and drainage analysis, and utilize intelligent GIS data to make critical design decisions. These decisions can have a significant impact on the direction of the design, including reducing costly rework at later design stages, providing clear, data-driven initial concepts to the project stakeholders, decreasing the project spend, and saving time.

Reason 2: Quickly establish and update existing conditions data

Reality capture methods, such as drones and LiDAR, make the process of capturing existing conditions of a project site fast and painless. Unlike traditional survey methods, creating a point cloud from this data capture and importing it into your model can take hours instead of days or weeks. For example, utilizing drone-based data, you can quickly fly the project site to create base terrain and imagery to start your project. The process of flying and reducing the data can be done within a day. Additionally, you can also re-fly the project and import the data into your model if the site changes during design.

Context Modeling

Reason 3: Eliminate the tedium of importing and exporting GIS data

Prior to the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS, you had to spend time importing and exporting data from databases into each software you were using in your design and back again. The Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS, on the other hand, allows you to access and connect to up-to-date public and privately hosted GIS data from within Autodesk software. This connection eliminates the tedious task of import/export, as well as ensures the data you are designing from is the most current available. The Connector for ArcGIS also allows you to have a central location for all your GIS data. Your GIS data is no longer buried or duplicated on your servers. With the Connector for ArcGIS, your shape files are all in one spot and everyone can access the same template files.

Reason 4: Reduce risk of RFIs and change orders

When your design is based on real-world conditions, it’s more likely your design will be more accurate. This reduces the risk of RFIs and change orders in the construction phase. By basing your designs on up-to-date, high quality, and intelligent existing conditions, the contractor can be confident in the constructability of the project, providing better cost estimates and reducing time spent going back and forth with the design team on RFIs and change orders.

Model with Underground Utility View


Reason 5: It’s fun!

Check out the models created with existing conditions data! Instead of rough boxes for buildings, you can see how the complete design is going to look. You can take into account line of sight from a specific room in a building on the site. You can use mobility simulation to see how the cars and people commuting will interact or where a potential bottleneck in the parking lot entrance might affect the occupants. Imagine what you can do with all the time you save in design from having a context model.


arrowLearn about how context modeling is being used at the Eiffel Tower


arrowBringing GIS Data into InfraWorks with the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS


arrowWatch the webinar Introduction to site collaboration with Civil 3D, Revit & BIM 360