Pipeline open data standard 2013 user conference, Sugarland, TX (December 2013)

PODS/Esri/XMap break down data silos. BP on PODS and the OGP seabed model. PODS spatial 101.

Speaking at the 2013 Pipeline open data standard user conference in Sugarland, TX earlier this year, Susie Sjulin (DCP Midstream) provided the keynote on breaking down the data silos with GIS and the Pods/Esri spatial data model. Pods has provided DCPM with a common data language and a single version of the truth. Sjulin’s silos (commercial, operations, land and compliance) have been bridged by using Pods for both records management and mapping. The Pods/Esri framework is also a foundation for third party applications. Documents are housed in a Xerox transactional content management database with links to the Pods master. Delorme’s XMap has proven popular application with 1,500 users across engineering operations and compliance. XMap provides a robust way of synching field operational data and the Pods master. Other key apps include IDV’s Visual Fusion, MapSearch Envision and oil country software from New Century and Coler and Colantonio. Executive backing has enabled DCPM to acquire data of the requisite accuracy and the effort has built a trusted data source and an open data environment for decision support.

Further support for the Pods/Esri combo came from BP with presentations from Craig Hawkins and Narmina Lovely. Hawkins’ presentation was covered in our September 2013 report from the EU Pods Vienna meet. Lovely built on this with spectacular imagery of a complex subsea development, the result of a 2 ½ years program implementing the Pods/Esri spatial model in BP’s major projects. The Pods model has been extended to cater for offshore jumpers and flowlines with a ‘pipe in pipe’ structure. Risers, umbilicals and subsea structures are all accurately modeled in 3D. The resulting enhanced Pods/Esri spatial model is now used to capture subsea inspection data and to provide detailed maps of assets along with detailed bathymetry. The latter has been captured leveraging the OGP’s subsea data model—the subject of a further presentation by Lovely.

Eagle Information Mapping’s Tracy Thorleifson provided a limpid introduction to the Pods/Esri spatial data model co-authored by Lucas Hutmacher of Willbros Engineering. Pods/Esri spatial is the Pods data structure implemented in a ‘geodatabase.’ The geodatabase is a software product from Esri that extends the standard relational database to store geometries and allow the rapid display of geographical information. Thorleifson outlined some of the compromises and differences between relational and spatial editions of Pods to conclude with a strong endorsement for the spatial version. This provides ‘out of the box’ functionality for editing, geoprocessing, web and mobile deployment. ‘With Pods relational you bolt on a GIS, with Pods/Esri spatial your data is the GIS.’

David Harrison (Pacific Gas and Electric) provided a compelling case history of Pods deployment that began with a ‘developing storm’ following the 2010 San Bruno Incident when a 30 inch pipeline failure occurred in a residential neighbourhood of San Francisco, leading to strengthened legislation from the PHMSA/NTSB. PG&E have addressed their data issues with a ‘pipeline features list’ (PFL) spreadsheet that acts as a staging post for data load to the Pods master. The PFL has captured many complex data ‘quirks’ relating to pipe fittings data that PG&E is to share with the Pods organisation. Read the Pods presentations here.

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