Madagascar—ready for prime-time?

The open source seismic processing system currently lacks data management tools.

Nick Vlad writing on the Madagascar development blog asks, ‘how far is Madagascar from being a production system?’ Madagascar is a seismic processing environment with a mission—to foster ‘reproducible research’ (Oil ITJ July 2010). The system has now reached a degree of maturity that might qualify it for production use.

Madagascar currently falls short of ‘production’ status. It lacks dataset exploration tools for understanding headers and data and for deciphering ‘messed-up’ SEG-Y and ‘arcane’ formats like SEG-D! Better handling of geometry mapping between coordinate systems and grids is another requirement as are interactive picking, editing and handling of borehole logs other objects.

But Vlad insists, the tool is an ‘excellent research, learning and technology platform.’ Further progress is hampered by the fact that established companies already have such features. Start-ups might be a source of new modules but appear to be reticent to contribute, hoping to monetize their work at a future date. Vlad encourages developers to regard Madagascar as being ‘like the operating system.’ The required infrastructure (as opposed to algorithm kernels) should not provide a competitive advantage. Sharing development costs is the logical thing. The result would be an improved platform, a larger user base and more resources available for core business. More from Madagascar.

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