Get new articles sent directly to
Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.
March 5, 2017
March 1, 2017
February 28, 2017
February 28, 2017
January 19, 2017
By Natalie Green
First there were megabytes, then gigabytes, and now terabytes. But have you ever heard of a petabyte? Just one petabyte is the data equivalent of a stack of DVDs from here to the moon, and they’re coming to an exploration office near you.
As the quantity of exploration data increases exponentially – one estimate has it doubling every 12 months – companies that fail to efficiently organize, preserve, centralize and collaborate with their data will experience delays and missed opportunities.
Based on a combination of wider industry best practices and our own experiences helping companies effectively manage exploration data assets, Geosoft has come up with five best practices to make exploration data management more efficient:
One exploration group we worked with was using more than a hundred data products. That number is not sustainable. Identify which applications and formats are essential for your business and cull the rest. Here’s what you should consider keeping:
It is not uncommon to hear about a target on the wrong datum or a drill hole that missed the target due to been located in wrong location; a costly mistake. All data is associated with a place on Earth – either on the surface or below the surface – and GPS has been an invaluable tool for recording accurate geographic coordinates in the field. But still errors occur in the management of coordinate systems.
Geoscientists need both spatial information that tells them precisely where the data originated and physical information that tells them where it is stored.
Classifications should be used to organize the data to make the discovery of data more efficient. For example:
Continent > Country > State/Region > Project Name > Data Type
When classifying data, it is important to be consistent, use clarification as needed (e.g. the year the data was collected), and avoid burying data in too many levels: six is plenty, ten is too many.
Metadata is essential for exploration information management. The metadata for a digital photo, for example would include both data that is captured automatically (i.e. the date, aperture, camera, GPS location) and data filled in manually (i.e. tags and people). Geosoft recommends a standard set of minimum required metadata fields for every dataset, and provides tools and workflows to capture these in industry standard formats.
Workflows move the data through the system from collection to collaboration and ensure that all users know where to find existing data and put new data. The workflow should be relatively painless, allowing spatial and metadata searching. Ideally, one person - a data manager or steward - is responsible for the data and data contribution processes.
The flow typically follows this cycle, with data continually being added to the flow:
Managing new data and transferring existing data assets into new solutions requires effort. Geosoft Professional Services group has created tools to help exploration companies automate some of these procedures, such as the capture of coordinate system details.
Often these are custom tools that specifically meet the needs of one organization. For example, we created a specialized tool that outlined survey boundaries for one group that wanted to integrate their GIS and exploration solutions. Other tools, such as a configurable metadata editor, meet a more general need.
You can learn more about Geosoft Information Management Solutions online.