ESRI’s Open Database

Four oil companies are working with ESRI to fast track development of an upstream spatial Geodatabase, leveraging the PPDM data model. Rollout of the public data model is slotted for mid-2002.

ESRI has fleshed-out its proposal to build an industrial strength, spatially enabled data model for the upstream, as revealed in PDM (Vol. 6 N° 3).


Speaking at this month’s PPDM spring member meet in Houston, ESRI’s Andrew Zolnai described how the project will assist the large number of commercial and in-house ArcView-based developments, by providing a standard framework integrating a lightweight, PPDM-derived data model with ESRI’s latest Geodatabase technology.


The Geodatabase, introduced with the ArcGIS 8, is the modern equivalent of the ESRI Shapefile used in previous manifestations of ESRI’s products. In ArcGIS 8, Microsoft’s Visual Basic replaces ESRI’s proprietary Avenue scripting language.


Bill Wally, Chevron Research Scientist and Chairman of the ESRI Petroleum User Group (PUG) told PDM, “It’s encouraging to see ESRI take an interest in spatially enabling PPDM. This will benefit PPDM database users by making it easier to create maps and analyze data using powerful GIS software.”


“ArcGIS now also includes many features requested by the PUG, such as SDE image storage, projection-on-the-fly, comprehensive metadata support, linear referencing, and improved map symbology. These new ArcGIS features provide important new capability to the petroleum industry, helping us conduct our business in a safe, environmentally responsible, and efficient manner.”


PDM asked Alberta Energy Company’s Mike Loughlean, Team Leader of Earth Science & Engineering Systems, if the modeling initiative would have international scope. Loughlean opined “I do not see why this cannot be transformed to an international context. We already use the PPDM model in a number of other areas within our company other than merely domestically.”

North Sea

Andrew Zolnai is even more bullish - “The whole of the North Sea is interested.” Other vertical data models have been developed in utilities (see PDM Vol. 5 N° 11), telecoms and the defense sector. The current schedule provides for implementation early in 2002 with model publication later in the year.

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