Data missing from Denver SEG (December 1996)

Data Management has yet to penetrate the mainstream of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in as much as there are not, as yet, conference sessions devoted to our subject of predilection.

There was a post conference workshop on Data Models, and in the rush to find the right meeting room one could hear people asking for the "Data Management" workshop. A revealing mistake since while Data Models make for a "serious" subject, data management has a way to go before it is treated as a science. On the exhibition floor things were different, with many exhibitors sporting a variety of data access tools, data management services and impressive bits of hardware. Geoquest demonstrated remote access to their robotic storage system in Houston, with a real-time video link showing a rather lazy robot who was coaxed into action by a guy with a cellular phone wandering around the back of the gathering muttering 'its not moving... its not moving... make it move......make it move!' Good to see that despite Aries and Gigabit bandwidths, the human element is still there! Landmark are still not promoting a global data management solution as such, but was the positioning of the GeoGraphix booth in front of and as large as the main Landmark booth a sign of a change in emphasis? Is Windows NT coming of age?


At the Data Management workshop, which was hosted by BP's Ian Jack, material now familiar to PDM readers was presented from speakers covering POSC's offerings and Project Discovery. A minor mudslinging set piece ensued between Bertrand DuCastel of Geoquest and John Sherman of Landmark. Their respective marketing strategies have come, if not quite full circle, at least a good way around the loop in the DuCastel has moved from slating Epicentre for performance issues last year to being a POSC zealot now that Geoshare is "fully compliant". Landmark's positional shift is less radical, but one senses that Discovery, as the route to POSC compliance via a novel merger is not bearing its fruits as quickly as hoped. POSC COO David Archer, did not enter the fray, insisting instead on business benefits that Texaco have reaped from their POSC based Kern River Project. Stuart McAdoo from Geoquest presented the Geoshare alternative with a quote from a user who stated "we don't want data models, we want integration".


Helen Stevenson from Stevenson and Associates offered a comparison of three industry data models which concluded that - at least in terms of scope, Epicentre was the daddy of them all, PPDM the tiddler and Petroconsultants' Iris 21 the piggy in the middle. Stevenson insisted however that these statistics hid a lot of complexity, and that for example, 10% of PPDM's, and as much as 20% of Iris21's data domains were absent from Epicentre. A statistical comparison of the number of entities, attributes and relations demonstrated that scope is achieved at the price of increased complexity. In our coverage of the Denver SEG elsewhere in this issue, we do not pretend to be exhaustive. In fact some topics and vendors will be held back for future thematic issues. Oh, by the way, the most important thing to come out of the SEG was the general feeling of well-being and enthusiasm that seems to be returning to the business. Things do seem to be picking up, maybe someone will offer me a real job before too long!

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