Pipeline open data standard user meet

Pods 101. Pods/Esri spatial. Corrosion data integration. Model modularization. Spatial data validation. Aegis and the Pods-CAD gap. Will the OGC’s PipelineML compete with Pods?

At the 2014 Pipeline Open Data Standard association’s annual user conference in Houston earlier this year Rod Burden (Moore Resources) presented a Pods 101 introduction to using the data model. Pods is a moderately complex relational model with a table count of 201 (Ppdm 3.9 has 2,700). Pods 6.0 is delivered as 31 modules. These can be implemented independently, letting operators tailor a solution to company requirements.

Enbridge Pipelines’ Lorne Dmitruk reviewed Pods Esri spatial, a Pods 5.1 model embedded in an Esri geodatabase. The approach aligns Pods with the large Esri user base and provides ‘out of the box’ functionality and interoperability.

The Pods technical committee presented a new module for external corrosion direct assessment data interchange with the ECDA/Innga format. Work on modularization continues using Sparx System’s Enterprise Architect UML modeler and an upgrade of the spatial edition to Pods 6.0 is coming ‘real soon now!’ A survey showed that over half are planning to upgrade to Pods 6.0. Service providers currently support all versions. Several report that ‘heavy customizations hinder upgrade.’ Respondents also asked for an extension to offshore data.

A couple of presentations focused on the minutiae of real world usage. Michael Ortiz described a survey data validator developed for Plains All American Pipeline by New Century Software. The Arc GIS validator provides fast, robust validation of raw survey data prior to load along with tabular and graphical data QC. Nick Sines (Tallgrass Energy Partners) presented the Pony Express pipeline conversion project whereby a 432 mile pipe was converted from gas to crude oil involving modifications to some 400 sites, 100 reroutes and 264 miles of new build. An innovative use of barcoding fixed numerous worksite issues during construction.

Keith Winning (CB&I) described ongoing attempts to close the gap between CAD and GIS and how a Pods based GIS model could be used in the design and build phases of a project. This requires a change in perspective, from Pods as a repository of as-built data to its use across design and handover. Enter Aegis*, a means of storing PODS data in a CAD model.

John Tisdale (Enterprise Products) introduced PipelineML, a new spec from the Open geospatial consortium for the exchange of pipeline data between disparate systems. Will PipelineML compete with or conflict with Pods? Not according to the authors, the ‘open and independent’ standard can be adopted to any data storage model (Pods, Spatial, APDM, Updm, Isat). Yes but will it compete with Pods?!

* Advanced engineering geographical system for pipelines.

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