Pipeline Open Data Standard member survey

Frank analysis of PODS usage provides insights into deployment, model strengths and weaknesses.

The Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) association has just published its 2012 member survey, a remarkably frank analysis of the pros and cons of this member-supported initiative. 50% of operators deploy PODS on Oracle, 40% on SQL server and 5% on an Esri geodatabase. For service providers, the picture is similar except for the popularity of the geodatabase—supported by 30% of the sample. For GIS/visualization, Esri leads with 85% although 60% of operators report use of ‘other’ tools—MapInfo, Delorme X-Map and Google Earth inter alia.

The 70 page survey is replete with statistics and insightful comments. One service provider reported serious performance issues with inline inspection data and is considering a ‘totally different model outside of PODS for ILI data. Lack of history and a ‘cumbersome’ Esri spatial model were reported as issues by service providers.

ExxonMobil is interested in an extension of the PODS model to design and construction information. This work has already been initiated by Eagle Information Mapping. Other performance issues were reported as well as some fundamental problems regarding performance (querying PODS is ‘very expensive,’ data could be more modular and (again) spatialization is poor. Another service provider complained of the lack of guidance as to real world use of the model.

Notwithstanding the niggles, PODS is being used. Operators have tens of thousands of miles of pipeline data in PODS—often with millions of events and stations. The model is linked to other systems such as risk assessment (30%), SCADA and work order management (29%) and corrosion (23%). Many operators have developed sub models (e.g. for HCA reporting, environmental, facility data and an extended PI table) that they would like to be considered for inclusion in a future PODS release. Highest on the wish list for operators is better documentation of the model—considered a ‘critical’ or ‘important’ by some 88%. Download the survey.

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