Level of detail (LOD)

Level of detail (LOD) it is a term introduced by PAS 1192, used in relation with management of the progression and uses of information. Typically referred to geometrical information

There is general confusion with the use of the term, due to range of other interrelated terms often used without due explanation. The PAS1192-2:2013 has been withdrawn and the new ISO 19650 framework intending to clarify the terminology in 2018 introduced a new term: ‘Level of information need’ which was designed to replace the terms used in BS EN 1192 such as Level of model definition/level of detail (LOD) and level of information (LOI)

PAS 1192ISO 19650
Level of model definition (LOD)Level of information need
Level of detail (LOD)Level of information need
Level of information (LOI)Level of information need
Level of development (LOD)Level of information need

All of the terms are used often without further explanation which leads to confusion.

BS EN ISO 19650:2018 set of standards introduced a new term ‘Level of information need’ which is designed to replace the terms used in PAS1192 such as Level of model definition/level of detail (LOD) and level of information (LOI). Since the PAS1192-2:2013 has been withdrawn the new BS EN ISO 19650-2:2018 term Level of information need shall be used.


The LOD term contributed to a lot of confusion on global scale mainly due to differences in interpretation between US & UK guidance, it is likely that the term LOD (graphical definition of an object) will remain to be used in conjunction with LOI (Level of information – information definition of an object) nevertheless both terms can be contained under the umbrella of the new ISO term level of information need

For an up to date definition of the term Level of information need go to Information Management according to BS EN ISO 19650 Guidance Part 1 quoted below:

6.5.1 What is the level of information need and why do we need it?
Information is required for a purpose, such as to perform a task or support a decision.
The level of information need is defined to enable the right level of information to be provided
to satisfy the information related purposes at each information exchange. It is important to avoid
the delivery of too little information, which increases risk, and the delivery of too much
information, which is wasteful.
The level of information need is a broad concept which represents the framework for how the
“richness” of each information deliverable is going to be defined. There are many different ways
to express the level of information need, including the richness of geometrical details and the
richness of datasets.
Note that ‘level of information need’ should not be abbreviated.

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