The people, science and technology behind discovery

Technology Review:
The latest technology developments in exploration data management









Exploration and Production (E&P) industries are experiencing unprecedented growth. There are a record number of projects being explored and developed, and projects are expanding to include more surveys and drills than ever before. Here are some of the latest technology innovations in geospatial data management that are helping exploration companies manage their growth and their opportunities.

Building a strong foundation. Building your data and knowledge foundation begins in the field, with data collection, and includes everything from data organization, consolidation and archiving to metadata management. Beyond data management, a strong foundation ensures that your data is reliable and ready for delivery to all the people that need it, within your team, or global organization.
Geosoft DAP data cataloguing and server technology has matured to support every stage of building your foundation.

Data Catalogue. Geosoft DAP establishes a catalgue of all your available spatial and earth data resources. This includes data stored on organized file systems in the many common formats (grids, images, raw data, and file documents), metadata stored in RDBMS systems, spatial data stored in certain RDBMS systems (such as acQuire and ArcSDE), and data stored within corporate archiving systems.

Metadata Management. DAP’s Metadata Editor Tools allow you to modify and maintain your metadata schema. You can integrate your own existing corporate Metadata models and databases into your Foundation. Or you can use one of the three metadata models available through our Global Solutions Group. The Metadata Editor Tools are easy to use and support both Users and Administrators. Users have the ability to enter Metadata and submit the data with metadata to the Data Administrator. Administrators can also enter Metadata, and have the tools to review submitted data and metadata, for upload to the DAP Server and Metadata database.

Secure Data Access. Increased exploration activity has resulted in a need to access and share data within your organisation and with external partners and consultants. To maintain control and security of your data foundation Geosoft has implemented a DAP security model by integrating with Microsoft Active Directory. This allows organizations to maintain users and groups in Active directory, and the DAP Data Administrator will be able to assign rights and privileges to DAP data based on these users and groups.

Scalability across your enterprise. Your exploration data management solution needs to be scalable across your enterprise, whether you need to implement a single server solution for a defined group of users or to deploy a company-wide strategy serving many users at multiple locations worldwide via an Intranet and the Internet. The scalability of Geosoft DAP technology has been proven over eight years of successful deployment within global exploration organizations. DAP server technology can catalog and maintain several hundred thousand data sets. Geosoft HyperStore allows administrators to publish certain performance-sensitive data as a "hyper-store", which is optimized to support high-performance windowing and extraction for very large datasets. A good example is the 60,000,000,000 points global SRTM topography data stored as a hyper-grid that users can access remarkably fast.

Improved data access. Important to the success of any data management strategy is your ability to provide seamless access to your data foundation. Geosoft DAP enables efficient search and evaluation of your data for project needs and opportunity development. DAP was designed to make finding data fast and easy. You can search for data by area of interest, data type, and full metadata evaluation to determine the value of each dataset for a particular use. Before downloading your selected datasets, you can quickly preview the content to make sure it’s what you need. Users can retrieve your data from anywhere in the world, and share it. Data retrieved from your DAP servers can be windowed to the area of interest, re-projected to an appropriate coordinate system, sampled to an appropriate scale, and instantly transformed into your application. This includes simple retrieval of documents and reports that support the data, which can be viewed in their native formats such as .doc and .pdf files.

Support of 3D sub-surface datasets. As the use of subsurface 3D data continues to expand within exploration, so does the need to archive and support it within your organization. With the latest release, Geosoft DAP now supports the cataloging, discovery, and delivery of Geosoft voxel data along with all the standard exploration data types. For cataloging, DAP will find and visualize 3D Geosoft voxel files and extract metadata for data discovery purposes. Voxel data will then be visible in a spatial context to DAP clients. Clients will be able to resample voxel data to meet their needs and extract the data to their application. The windowing/sampling/extraction process includes re-projection of the 2D coordinate system to the client context and high-performance streaming of the data to the client.

Geosoft Voxel data clients include Oasis Montaj and Target for data discovery, simple 2D visualization and file download. The DAP high-performance compression and streaming technology on the network will make voxel retrieval practical even for relatively low-bandwidth connections (such as office-to-office).

Integration with Globe Viewers. Geosoft’s Dapple globe viewer is an open source alternative to Google Earth that combines Google’s usability with more advanced workflow for exploring large, earth data. Dapple provides geoscientists with a better way to work with the hundreds of online WMS server sites that provide useful images of geospatial data. Dapple support of Geosoft server technology, DAP, delivers a whole new value to Geosoft Global Solution customers, enabling them to search, find, and see data from their own massive data resources, as well as public sources in one viewing environment.


The Benefits of Metadata Management

In order to establish data management best practices, it is important to set a standard for handling of metadata by employing a comprehensive enterprise metadata management system that includes xml support for offline metadata. Through your metadata management system you ensure:

  • Support of internal corporate standards, business rules and protocols to enforce the preparation of metadata for exploration data files.
  • Metadata is secured by the integrated security mechanism of the Microsoft SQL Server. Users can only see and/or edit what they are allowed.
  • The metadata entry tools allow multiple users to enter metadata into a metadata database at the same time.
  • Exploration data and metadata, saves as xml, can be shared easily, internally between offices and externally with venture partners.



Metadata Editor supports standard for handling of metadata. New Geosoft Metadata Editor Tools allow you to modify and maintain your metadata schema. You can integrate your own existing corporate Metadata models and databases into your data foundation. Or you can use one of the three metadata models available through our Global Solutions Group. Metadata Editor Tools are easy to use and support both Users and Administrators. Users have the ability to enter Metadata and submit the data with metadata to the Data Administrator. Administrators can also enter Metadata, and have the tools to review submitted data and metadata, for upload to the DAP Server and Metadata database. The xml files created by the Geosoft Metadata entry tool are designed to be compliant with FGDC and ISO19115 metadata standards.

Metadata Templates. Supplementary metadata can be catalogued using supplementary metadata templates. Metadata templates refer to the structure of the relational database that store the supplementary metadata, DAP dataset directory structure, and the link between the two. With the Metadata User version, geoscientists who submit the survey data will be able to enter the metadata and save it as xml files. They can then submit the original survey data and the metadata to the Data Administrator(s) for cataloguing and publishing. The Data Administrator(s) can then use the Admin Version of the tool to load the metadata in the xml files into the metadata database. This practice is expected to save valuable time that can be better spent on gathering the metadata for the datasets to be published.