IDV visualization for BP Crisis Management

Virtual Base Map leverages Microsoft Virtual Earth and real time data in GeoRSS feeds.

Old timers will remember the days when a draftsperson painstakingly added scouting information, well spots, seismic lines and permit boundaries onto a Mylar base map. About 20 years ago, restructuring and computerization blew this activity away and since then, industry has been struggling to rebuild and keep updated a decent base map from a plethora of distributed data sources.

Virtual base map

Lansing, MI-based IDV Solutions has been providing BP with a replacement for the draftsperson, in the form of its Visual Fusion (VF) composite application builder. Visual Fusion comprises a Microsoft .Net-based server that orchestrates business data integration with location services such as Microsoft’s Virtual Earth Web Service, overlaying the results as interactive features on a ‘virtual base map.’


Dan Shaver told Oil IT Journal, ‘BP is IDV’s largest client with some twelve of our composite applications. Typically, our apps are built atop a Microsoft .Net stack and corporate ‘silo’ data from disparate sources into the Virtual Earth/Map Point viewers. Web services are widely used—we are particularly keen on the GeoRSS format which we use to stream features into our virtual base map. Visual Fusion lets BP color code its maps to show key performance indicators (KPI).’ Following hurricane Katrina, BP asked IDV for help in assessing and visualizing real time data from its offshore Gulf of Mexico assets. The resulting Crisis Management System (CMS) blends some 24 data feeds including production KPIs, hurricane path predictions—showing the 70% chance of impact swath and HR information—notably where employees are located. Third party feeds add real time updates for weather, rig and seismic activity and a messaging system warns employees and other stakeholders of dangers via SMS, phone calls and email.


IDV has deployed a Microsoft stack for the BP CMS. In fact, Microsoft has funded a movie of the CMS application which will premier at the Microsoft Global Energy Forum next month in Houston. Shaver remarked that in fact, IDV is ‘map agnostic’ and can also stream data to Google Earth/Map if that was what a client wanted. IDV recently signed a joint marketing deal with CH2M Hill’s Enterprise Spatial Solutions unit. Shaver explained, ‘We are a small company and want to focus on visualization, offloading the integration to CH2M.’ Checkout the results of IDV’s craft on

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