Information Model of Data Transfer in Infra Construction (infraModel)

Starting Point

First, data transfer is recognized as a problem in infra construction. At the moment, Finnish markets have a need for a common data format to facilitate the exchange of  plans etc., between project participants. Nowadays, data transfer involves the simultaneous conversion of files or redesign of plans. This situation has led to a competition between the infra software houses. Design consultants maintain competitiveness by supporting multiple formats. This raises costs. A Preliminary study done in the INFRA technology programme of Tekes (National Technology Agency of Finland) revealed a willingness for the development of a common information model. 

Product based solutions for this problem have been available for several years. Further, the continuing development of standard formats (e.g. IFC and STEP) facilitates the development of common models for information exchange. Also, the framework for advancing information technology for infra construction data transfer already exists outside the industry.


The short term objective of the project is to advance data transfer with common and transparent definitions. Common customs for data transfer are being developed for plans of roadways, railways and water and sewers. Railway equipments are defined beyond the scope. Common customs are being prepared in cooperation with software houses, design consultants, various authorities and the public.

The project covers the following seven topics. 

  1. Information for maps and designs, defining layers and used file formats
  2. Information for alignments
  3. Terrain model, surface model and ground survey information
  4. Information for cross-sections
  5. Road construction proceedings delivered to the National Land Survey of Finland
  6. Further proceedings delivered to the National Land Survey of Finland, properties and reference points
  7. Label information of export files

The requirement specification unifies data transfer content. The results are presented partly as a LandXML schema -file (.XSD) and partly as requirement specifications and definition documents.


The success of the project is determined by how extensively developed data transfer is approved. Put into action this means attaining consensus in formal (.XSD) and format (XML) presentation and training staff in companies to manage from implementation. Competition of formats in national market could increase if the common format for infra project plans is not agreed, verified and introduced.


Project began on  01.08.2002 
Project finishes on 31.12.2003


Project coordination (Tekes): Tom Warras, Programme Manager

Project execution (VTT): Juha Hyvärinen, Research Scientist and Janne Porkka, Research Scientist


160 000 €