Glenn Vlass described how CartoPac’s mobile workforce solutions can help overcome pipeline field data collection problems such as siloed data and formats, ‘office centric’ workflows and the limitations of mobile devices. Even PODS users are not immune to data issues when confronted with the size and huge scope (225 domains) of the data model and the difficulty of field data loading. As opposed to current field data collection techniques which can be time consuming and error-prone, Vlass advocates a PODS-in-the-field approach. This uses a high-end handheld field collection device from Trimble and allows for structured data collection, by-role user functionality, map-based display and query.
Ed Wilson also addressed field data collection as practiced by Oneok, a natural gas gathering and processing company located in Tulsa, OK. Oneok uses a PODS database in a comprehensive workflow for surveillance and maintenance of its natural gas liquids pipeline network. For helicopter-borne inspection, ESRI’s Tracking Analyst is used to document observations made during a flight. Each observation creates a ROW Patrol report and starts an Inspection and Investigation workflow which kicks off further work in the field – all meticulously recorded in the PODS database and, when the repair is complete, used to produce a new alignment sheet. The system leverages Outlook’s public folders for electronic forms, GIS validation by a survey group, automated spatial enablement and, if everything passes the QC checks, automatic data upload into PODS. Microsoft MapPoint is also used by field and office personnel. This enables search for a particular equipment item – returning GPS coordinates to the user’s laptop along with ‘turn by turn’ driving directions. Oneok also creates KML files of point and centerline data for consumption by GoogleEarth. This allows field and office personnel to make their own ‘what if’ maps and to preplan new pipelines and stations. More from www.pods.org.
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