There’s more to explore – more data, more projects, more
urgency – and never enough people or time in the day. The latest
software developments are all about helping geoscientists recapture
the time lost to finding, handling and working with data, so they
can explore more efficiently, and with better results.
What are some of the latest software solutions? Globe data viewer
applications are starting to prove out their value in exploration,
by providing a way to search and view huge amounts of spatial, earth
data. Finding data is one of the biggest time wasters for earth explorers,
with estimates of 50 to 70 percent of geoscientists time being spent
hunting down data for their projects. While not new to the industry,
the latest generation of viewers, like Dapple
are more useful and relevant to geoscientists because they simpler
and more intuitive to how geoscientists work, and now provide easy
and efficient access to WMS servers. This is important, as much of
the useful image data that’s publicly available online from
government surveys, and other data providers, resides in WMS servers.
As these viewers start to become better integrated with geoscience
and mapping applications, their contribution to improving workflows
can be very powerful. Speeding up the process of finding and viewing
data means geoscientists can spend more time on creating knowledge
outcomes, like maps, reports and presentations.
Automated and production mapping tools
are taking the guesswork, and
unpredictability out of map creation. Making maps is another staple
of exploration projects, and can be, surprisingly, time-consuming.
Even with the myriad of tools available, generating a presentation-worthy
map, or producing multiple maps, can still take a lot of fiddling
around – especially if you’re not a software power user.
Automated Map Sheets are one of the latest additions to Geosoft’s
Oasis montaj mapping system and Target exploration geology software.
The Map Sheets enable faster, easier generation of multiple map sheets.
They can be easily applied to a single map template to multiple maps.
With the new Map Snapshot function you can bookmark your map projects,
return to areas of interest and preview new data, as new data arrives.
Bookmarked areas of interest make it easy to go back and review potential
targets. Once you take a Map Snapshot of the location, it’s
embedded in your file, and can be easily shared with colleagues.
The newest innovations in 3D subsurface visualization
improving our ability to view and see data in different perspectives,
quickly and easily. With the wealth of rich, digital earth data
now available, there’s less focus on data collection and more
on making the best use of available data. The more you can see,
the better your understanding; and working in three dimension is
no longer considered exotic or sophisticated functionality for advanced
software users only, it’s become an essential part of how
we all need to work with our data. Geosoft’s recently added
a number of new visualization tools to its 3D environment. The Geosoft
Plot Isosurface tool is a simple-to-use tool that allows you to
display isosurfaces from your 3D grids and, thereby, gain a better
understanding of geological formations. The ability to do anisotropic
3D gridding of subsurface point data and models enhances visualization
of targets in their 3D environment. You can grid in your preferred
direction, or incorporate geological strike, dip, and plunge data,
to better represent the data and preferentially enhance trends in
a specified direction. When you present in 3D, the new 3D viewer
spinning mode provides a more accurate, and visually impressive,
interpretation of targets and other objects. This interactive ability
improves the collaboration and understanding amongst groups of geoscientists
of subsurface anomalies and drill holes and is used to enhance presentations
to project managers and stakeholders. All of Geosoft’s 3D
subsurface enhancements are available in Geosoft’s Oasis montaj
and Target environment as well as in Target for ArcGIS and ESRI’s
Making the best use of your geophysics data has also become easier
with Geosoft’s newly enhanced MAGMAP extension software for
geophysical filtering. A new Interactive Spectrum Filter provides
instant visual grid updates, while applying MAGMAP filtering techniques.
Users can now preview results prior to their application, for an
entire grid, significantly reducing experimentation time.
For specialized geophysical applications, like UXO detection, Geosoft
has created a more intuitive, streamlined workflow within its UX-Detect
extension software for Oasis montaj. There are now fewer steps required
to prepare, process and manage UXO targets, minimizing the possibility
of error, and each step flows seamlessly. The UXO software has been
reorganized to include three distinct menus: one for data preparation,
another for parameter determination and processing and a third menu
for target management.
Improved support for GIS, GOCAD and other geoscience applications
is making a difference in how earth scientists access and share
their data. Data compatibility and interoperability remains a big
challenge earth scientists, and it can add a lot of complication,
and aggravation, to the tasks of analyzing and sharing data visualizations.
Progress in connectivity is being made by software developers, and
Geosoft continues to lead in data format support. Surface files
created in GOCAD can now be displayed and worked with within the
Geosoft 3D subsurface environment. The SEG-Y Reader now included
in Geosoft enables easy import and viewing of SEG-Y files. Seismic
data SEG-Y files are converted to either a database, voxels or grids
that can be integrated into your projects. Improvements have been
made to both data handling within Target for ArcGIS, and the representation
of ArcGIS maps within Geosoft’s Oasis montaj and Target environments,
achieving a more seamless workflow between GIS and Geosoft’s
robust earth data applications.