Digital twin
Unleashing the Power of Digital Twins in EAM

Deciphering Floor Maps and Floor Plans: Unveiling the Key Distinctions

As we work with clients, we hear questions about the difference between floor maps and floor plans and how they are used in today's IWMS platforms. Distinguishing between them can pose a challenge to some. Still, it's a distinction that carries relevance, particularly in facility management and space allocation. Facility managers often encounter these terms in decision-making regarding spatial organization and resource allocation within buildings. Let's explore these differences to equip facility managers in their roles better.

A floor map is a simplified image of a floor's layout that could be created with computer-aided design (CAD) or generated from a PDF, photo, or other sources. It serves as a visual reference for understanding the spatial arrangement of a floor, often using symbols or markers to denote rooms and spaces. It lacks specific data such as square footage, scale, or detailed attributes of rooms and objects. This is especially useful for general visualization and reference. However, updating the layout generally requires manual reassignment of room markers, as there's no underlying data structure to facilitate changes.

On the other hand, floor plans tend to be highly detailed and precise. They include specific measurements, scale, and all relevant architectural and design elements from CAD/Revit. Each room, space, and architectural detail is precisely defined and tied to a comprehensive database, allowing for seamless updates and modifications without the need to reassign everything from scratch.

Therefore, floor plans go far beyond a visual layout, providing accurate information, efficient updating capabilities, and a solid foundation for the planning and execution of construction and design projects. Additionally, they play a crucial role in Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) for optimizing space utilization.

They provide accurate square footage (sq ft) data essential for:

  • Benchmarking - Enabling organizations to compare their space utilization and efficiency with industry standards or best practices. 
  • Leasing - Detailed floor plans aid negotiations and ensure compliance with lease agreements.
  • Funding and Budgeting - Accurate floor plans and square footage data are critical for budgeting and securing funding for construction, renovation, or maintenance projects.

Typically, the ability to toggle layers on and off is available in floor plans. In contrast, maps are static images and do not support layering. These layers may encompass elements such as furniture, other assets, or MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) layouts. While you can include these elements in a map, they will remain constantly visible without the option to display or hide them selectively.

Some of the tools we support utilize floor maps and plans in different ways. For example, the Space Connect mapping tool provides a valuable advantage when dealing with small floors that do not change layout, especially for straightforward tasks like booking desks or meeting space reservations. You can efficiently manage space-related tasks in a simplified manner without requiring a comprehensive IWMS system.

Another platform in our portfolio is the Envoy Interactive Mapping Tool, which goes a step further by enabling employees to see the location of meeting rooms, visitor and delivery areas, and more. This is useful for employees visiting other offices who need to find their way around.

We hope this explanation helps you understand the various benefits of using floor maps and plans. If you are looking for a way to plan your workspace more efficiently, gain a better understanding of its usage, save time through improved workplace orientation, and assist employees in welcoming visitors and locating package pickup areas, please don't hesitate to contact us.

To learn more, request a no-obligation product demonstration.