The Esri UC has been over for less than a week and we’re still buzzing over the technology, conversations, and ideas that were shared. With over 18,000 attendees, a huge exhibit hall, countless sessions, demos, and networking events, it was a lot to take in. Despite the blur of geo-excitement, we honed in on three key messages that apply specifically to pipeline operators….
ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing (APR) is Ready
Of course, the most well-attended, pipeline-relevant session was APR: A Look at the Commercial Release. Living up to expectation, we viewed a full demo of APR and took note of positive additions that the Esri team has made since the first Beta released last year. While the actual release is slated for the fall, we’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Beta program and have been actively working with it, UPDM, and PODS for APR to be ready for the launch.
As we’ve worked with and continued to view versions of APR, we’re uncovering clear advantages for pipeline operators. First, and most simply, it's out of the box Esri. Being able to implement a data management system that’s so tightly coupled with the platform enables a seamless integration to spatial analysis and reporting that enable better asset management decisions. Additionally, and more importantly, it allows vertically integrated gas companies to store linear referenced and network data in a single system. Establishing a single system eliminates redundancies and improves data quality, giving departments across the pipeline organization more confidence in the GIS.
One of the benefits of APR is that it lowers the cost of entry for smaller pipeline operators (those with less than 1,000 miles of pipeline). In the past, implementing a robust pipeline asset management system with limited resources and staff has been a challenge for these size operators. APR offers a viable and valuable solution for operators who haven’t had traditional GIS implementations, or who have found traditional implementations to be too cumbersome when coupled with complex data models.
Web GIS Empowers Power Users
We mentioned this before we left for the UC, but found our message to be echoing through the San Diego Convention Center halls. Our industry is buzzing with the idea of integrating web maps into enterprise systems to showcase the true value of the GIS to integrity departments, field personnel, and pipeline executives. While the concept of enabling non-GIS users to use maps has been around for awhile, the technology is now truly capable of producing the simple, yet informative, maps that various operational business units need.
Our industry is embracing the necessity of equipping field personnel with an efficient means to collect data spatially and through standardized forms. We’re seeing the path to provide HSE with critical location information for faster response to events. We’re enabling the integrity department to plan and prioritize repairs and remediation, confident in the location of the anomalies or corrosion.
Our clients, the pipeline GIS power users, are leveraging the geoinformation model and delivering a solution to the entire organization that allows them to access and interact with geographic data in a meaningful way. As a result, we believe the system of engagement will be rapidly adopted by the pipeline industry.
Insights Takes Integrity Management to the Next Level
At our core, New Century loves data. And, figuring out new ways to share that data, really gets us going. With Esri’s new business intelligence platform, Insights, we see endless possibilities for pipeline integrity reporting.
With Insights, pipeline operators gain the ability to integrate data stored in industry data models, engineering spreadsheets, geodatabases, and even big data into one interface. The analytic capabilities allow operators to identify trends, explore what-if scenarios and make better asset management decisions. It’s simple, integrated with the platform, and allows data visualization via maps, charts, and graphs.
Our risk engineers and integrity analysts are getting a first look at the Insights Beta and testing its capabilities with risk results, HCA data, and spill information to better visualize pipeline threats and the consequences of pipeline damage. Additionally, our ILI experts can now consume and report on enormous amounts of inspection data from pig runs that have held up traditional reporting engines due to volume. Insights and big data offer the pipeline industry the next level of business intelligence that will further ensure the safety and reliability of our pipelines.
In summary, the New Century team had an incredibly successful week at the Esri UC and we’re gearing up to rollout our take on the latest technologies in the second part of 2016. To get more information or to sign up for a pilot program of APR, Web GIS services, or Insights, email us at .