ARC GIS Geodatabase for Pipeline

Peter Veenstra of MJ Harden contributed this piece on the new GIS data model for pipelines. The model leverages ISAT and PODS data standards along with ESRI’s latest Geodatabase technology.

The new ArcGIS Pipeline Data Model (AGPDM) uses ESRI’s Geodatabase technology to manage transmission pipeline data. The model derives from the Gas Research Institute’s ISAT model and borrows many aspects from the ISAT 2.0 and Pipeline Open Data System (PODS) 3.0 models. The AGPDM was presented to the Pipeline Special Interest User Group at the ESRI User Conference in San Diego last month. The AGPDM supports all facets of data management for transmission pipelines including routing and centerline information, facility and operations data, integrity and inspection information and links to an active land base including parcel fabrics and environmental data.

Route & Meaure

The model supports several methods of stationing—notably the native ESRI ‘Route and Measure’ system of linear referencing. The facility section stores information on on-line fittings and facilities. The facility feature dataset offers a geometric network for modeling product flow. Operations data includes right-of-way, pressure and other information required for regulatory compliance. The integrity and inspection portions of the model contain information describing in-line testing, close interval survey, cathodic-protection, and pipe inspection and remediation activities. The land base or ‘geobase’ contains information describing cultural, political, environmental, encroachments and other geographic features that the pipeline encounters.


The AGPDM can be built into a Geodatabase, ESRI’s object-relational construct for organizing and managing GIS data. The Geodatabase offers built-in network and attribute validation and referential integrity—with the introduction of full linear and polygonal topology with ArcGis version 8.3. The Geodatabase leverages ESRI’s ArcGIS software for spatial analysis, cartographic display and query tools.


The AGPDM was developed by an industry consortium with representatives from implementation vendors and pipeline companies. A ten member technical committee is responsible for the continued development of the model. The committee plans to present a finalized version of the model at the ESRI PUG meeting, scheduled for March, 2003.


Data modeling was performed in UML with Visio Enterprise 2000 using ESRI’s Geodatabase templates and the semantic checker macro to identify model inconsistencies. A Microsoft repository was built for use within ArcCatalog and the schema wizard was used to build the Geodatabase. The next AGPDM review is scheduled for October 17th following the Electric and Gas User Group meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and is open to anyone who wishes to participate in the design of the AGPDM. More from Peter Veenstra.

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