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BIM Element Overlay
BIM Element Overlay

Ability to Overlay BIM elements onto 360° images

Updated over a week ago





Site Administrator

Organization Administrator

Create Overlay

Set the Default Model in Project Settings


BIM Element Overlay in OpenSpace BIM+ enables you to quickly see BIM elements in your 360° photos, and improve your quality control. Choose items from the model, such as an HVAC grille, and overlay them onto the image of your on-site condition. This overlay makes it easy to see if anything is missing or items are installed in the right place. You can also use BIM Element Overlay for planning and sequencing work, helping you coordinate how different systems will be installed around each other and preventing field clashes.

Setting a Default Model

With OpenSpace BIM+, you can update multiple models to an OpenSpace site, but you need to choose one model to use with BIM Element Overlay. A Site Admin or Org Admin must select the model to use as the default. For best results, select a model that shows major architectural and structural elements. (Point cloud files cannot be set as the default model.)

The default model is also the model that loads first each time you open BIM Compare. Any user on an OpenSpace project can create a Saved View with their desired model usability settings.

Here’s how the BIM+ tab in Project Settings looks before setting a default model:

Here’s how the BIM+ tab in Project Settings looks after setting a default model:

How to use BIM Element Overlay

To use BIM Element Overlay, select at least one BIM element on the model side of BIM Compare. Then the option to overlay elements (“Overlay in image”) becomes available:

You can easily hide BIM elements such as ceilings in case you want to get to an element that’s modeled above the ceiling. You can also overlay a selected BIM element onto the image:

Hold down shift to select multiple BIM elements and send them over:

You can also move to a different frame in the capture, either nearby or even on a different floor; the elements will stay visible in the image until you manually clear them:

If you want to improve the alignment of a given 360 image frame manually, click “Calibrate,” then follow the instructions:

To capture this view and share it with collaborators on your project, create a BIM Compare Field Note:

To return later to an overlay you created, create a Saved View:


Question: I tried the calibration tool, but it isn’t showing an improved alignment that’s as close as I want it to be. Why?

Answer: If you’re using the calibration tool on a capture that has not gone through AI processing for this feature, the initial BIM Compare alignment of any given frame will likely be off by quite a bit when it comes to discrepancies that are easy to notice in an overlay view. You may need to use more than three pairs of points to achieve a good alignment. If you need help, contact your OpenSpace representative or the OpenSpace Support team.

Question: The Overlaid BIM element is not as close as I’d like it to be to what I know is the correct position when I overlay it on the image. Why?

Answer: We are working on improvements to our AI and user-self-serve manual alignment tools all the time aimed at making the overlay alignment as accurate as possible. That said, the overlay alignment will not always be as accurate as desired, and it will rarely be as accurate as a highly dense point cloud captured from expensive laser scanning hardware will be when overlaid with BIM. Various factors impact the accuracy of the alignment in the overlay state, including 1) if a suitable default model was not set prior to capture and therefore our AI algorithm has not run, 2) if the capture conditions lack sufficient similarity to the corresponding BIM views then our AI algorithm will not be as effective, and 3) If the Capturer experienced a lot of elevation changes during the capture (common in civil projects), it’s likely that the Z height variation of that capture will have a negative impact on BIM Element Overlay accuracy. If any of those 3 factors prevent accurate automatic alignment, then our manual calibration tool referenced in the “How-to” section above enables you to manually calibrate and therefore improve the alignment accuracy of a given frame in your Capture.

If you have any additional questions please reach out to the OpenSpace Support team at

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