Software Review - Digital Composite Maps of Tertiary Sediments in Offshore East and South East Asia (November 1996)

PDM tries out a new digital atlas of SE Asia. Features include various structural and facies maps together with reserve estimates.

This product is the result of a mega-regional compilation by the Committee for Coastal and Offshore Geoscience Programs (CCOP), a group of Asian Governmental and State Oil Company Organizations. Funding for the project came from Norway's NORAD program. The Digital Atlas includes regional structural, facies and isopach maps, 5 regional cross sections. Also included are bitmapped images of individual basin areas and a chapter on remaining undiscovered reserve estimates. The results of the compilation are supplied as an A4 Atlas together with a CD-ROM version of the data which integrates the publicly available Digital Chart of the World (DCW) and allows viewing and printing of the maps with Cambrian's GISMO MS-Windows software. The CD-ROM installs to three files, a vector map viewer and two windows help files, one a real help file, the other an information viewer help file presenting the non-vector information of the Atlas. This latter file offers on-line access to all the textual information in the Atlas, and can be cut and pasted using Control + X,C,V. Likewise the reserve computations supplied on the different basins can be cut and pasted into an Excel spreadsheet, although a little more thought to layout would have made this exercise more useful. The bitmaps can also be copied with Alt + PrintScreen, although the scanned images of plates from various reports are not of a very high quality.


This is most certainly not true of the mainstream component of the Atlas, the vector maps and sections. While we did not have access to all the other products necessary to give the software a thorough test, what we could do was impressive. Printing from the Windows Printing System to a 720x720 dpi plotter gave a very professional rendition of the DCW data, and the colour shaded isopach maps also look very good. Of course the detail on the geological compilation maps is nothing like as fine as on the DCW. The maps were prepared at a scale of 1:2,000,000, making them adequate for a display down to the individual basin level, but not of great usefulness in analysing a single permit. This of course is not what such a report is intended for, and is more than counterbalanced by the facility of exporting data to a variety of industry standard formats. Output formats for the following products are supported - Corel Draw, Autocad, Microstation, Arc Info as well as the generic DXF and CGM formats. Some datasets are supplied in x,y,z, format and can even be utilised directly in a mapping package. The lack of political boundaries and permits, while undoubtedly letting the authors off a hook, is a drawback to the geographically untutored. Navigating between the basin names and bitmapped images is not easy. Equally the absence of well data detracts from the products overall usefulness, although there are placeholders in the menu structure for all of the above.


A few final niggles - or suggestions for improvement - an un-install routine would be nice for the busy software reviewer, a way of killing a lengthy redraw (Escape) and the dialogue boxes would benefit from a true Windows look and feel, but overall this is a workmanlike product offering a company coming from scratch to an analysis of East Asia a valuable jump-start. More information on the CCOP Atlas can be obtained from Phil Carpenter, Cambrian Group, at (44) 1291 673022, fax (44) 1291 673023, via e-mail at or through the World Wide Web at


Publishers Committee for Coastal and Offshore Geoscience Programs (CCOP) and The Cambrian Group.


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