While geospatial data is a powerful tool for many industries, it is especially influential for oil and gas, particularly for midstream companies. By helping to reduce costs, manage risk, and improve operational efficiency, geospatial data has been key to supporting midstream companies and helping them thrive. Part of what makes high-resolution geospatial data unique is that is allows Midstream companies to create new insights to streamline pipeline construction, management, and regulatory compliance.
Save time and money on materials with measurements you can trust.
Instead of relying on maps or sending teammates on-site visits, geospatial data provides you with a remotely accessible digital twin model of the project site created with the data your initiative depends on quickly and efficiently. That means less time survey crews have to spend in the field when they can precisely plan their route or manage extensive imagery databases and more time analyzing and turning that data into valuable insights. When projects or RFPs are up against the clock, saving time means money and resources. Accurate pipeline measurements, right-of-ways, and other materials are vital for a successful project.
In the past, oil and gas companies would send a crew to perform manual measurements of pipes to determine any changes in diameter or distance over time. This process could result in errors due to the human element (we’re simply more prone to mistakes than computers). Using geospatial data instead of traditional methods, pipeline operators can accurately measure their pipes from their desks without spending extra resources on manual measurement processes. This method also allows them to catch potential problems before they become more costly issues that could damage the pipeline.
Land Acquisition Management
One of the most considerable expenses in developing a pipeline is acquiring the land. Midstream professionals can use geospatial data to identify every property owner within a right-of-way corridor, whether public or private. In addition, professionals can use geospatial data to determine the location of federal and state public lands that may require additional permitting prior to acquisition. The use of this geospatial data enables landmen and legal teams to reach out to landowners prior to engaging in negotiations, resulting in quicker acquisitions and a more efficient process overall.Another area where geospatial data can help Midstream companies is by identifying challenging surface contracts.
In many cases, pipelines are routed through rural areas where older parcels with very long legal descriptions exist. These parcels often have multiple owners, making it difficult for landmen to identify all owners of interest for negotiation purposes. Using geospatial data, brokers & agents can identify these challenging parcels before acquisition or construction to contact landowners quickly and easily before any field operations occur.
Regulatory Compliance Support Documentation & Management
Midstream companies have to meet federal, state, and local compliance requirements. These entities require monitoring and reporting of the pipelines that cross their territory. Geospatial data can provide support for these compliance requirements. These regulations include The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is responsible for regulating the transport of hazardous materials throughout the United States by pipeline, aircraft, vessel, rail, and highway. PHMSA provides numerous resources for understanding midstream companies’ compliance requirements, including High-consequence areas (HCAs) are defined by PHMSA as densely populated areas or areas where there could be significant environmental consequences.
Geospatial technology effectively manages data collection, reporting, and inspection processes required by state and local regulations. High-resolution geospatial data such as aerial imagery and elevation data can help create databases for managing all the needed compliance information in an organized fashion. Many organizations that audit midstream pipelines utilize geospatial technology to streamline the audit process by mapping data points and providing a common platform to share information between respondents and auditors.
Get started with geospatial data today.
Ready to take your midstream project to the next level? Get a free consultation with one of our midstream specialists. They’ll work with you to determine how Prius Intelli can help you jump-start your new project or shed light on an old one.
When RFPs go live, it’s a race for industry players to submit their proposals to the potential client. Often, the project can go to the service provider, who is one of the first few to turn in their RFP since their timing is often seen as a reflection of their ability to stay on time and budget. But RFPs can be messy, time-consuming, and come at short notice. How can your business gain a competitive edge? Various industries use geospatial data for planning, analysis, and decision-making – and it’s just what you need to ace your next RFP. Why? Let’s discuss.
Base decisions on the best available data.
Most of your competitors are using outdated, low resolution publically available free, satellite maps and data, leaving them in the position of having to make educated guesses based on outdated, site conditions that could cause issues down the line, from encroachment issues to unexpected encumbrances. On the other hand, geospatial data from Prius Intelli can provide current insights into your area of interest instead of antiquated, irrelevant information. You’ll have access to the best available information on site conditions to create your designs and plans. When choosing between a proposal based on guesswork or a proposal based created with the certainty of solid, traceable data, we know who is coming out on top.
Get flexibility with the Cloud.
Unlike physical maps, teams can store & share geospatial data easily in the Cloud. This methodology provides your entire team with the easy access they need the most. At Prius Intelli, we deliver data through WMTS/WMS or slippy map formats and host the data securely on our in-house servers. And you get easy access through the Cloud. That saves you space on your network drives and enables fast data rendering. With flexible, secure storing, you can rest assured your data is safe and ready for action. No more looking through old filing cabinets for maps and notes when all the information you need is at your fingertips.
Analyze faster and more accurately.
Geospatial data is more than just maps. It provides a detailed analysis of geographic areas. For example, GIS maps can feature up-to-date data on features like streets, waterways, water run-off, and more. Elevation models are another format you can use to shed light on a project. These can provide better context for your plans. Furthermore, because a dashboard or platform like ESRI can read geospatial data, you can analyze it quickly and efficiently. And when it comes to RFPs, we know that speed and efficiency are crucial to developing a winning proposal.
Offering up-to-date, flexible, accurate analysis and enhanced geospatial data should be the backbone of your business. It enables you to gain a deeper insight into your operations, add value and increase productivity. Prius Intelli delivers high-quality aerial imagery and GIS services that work for your team and your budget when you need it. Together, we can help you get the data you need to secure your next RFP and set your project up for success.
Geospatial data is continuing to play an essential role in establishing accurate models of reality for a wide variety of projects. The application of geospatial intelligence has and will continue to impact businesses, such as engineering, oil and gas, real estate, and more, through the implementation of more detailed and valuable models. Proper modeling allows geospatial data users to understand better the relationship of complex systems that vary over space or time. These geospatial data models provide information critical to more efficient risk analysis, land use planning, and even business decisions regarding where to expand.
Decades ago, the only option for creating 3D models of structures and terrain was to build physical miniature replicas or dioramas. Then, satellites and digital imaging delivered higher accuracy views that miniatures couldn’t compete with. In recent years, the advent of cloud computing has made digital geographic information systems more accessible by removing the barriers to taking advantage of these services.
But problems still arise. Budget, accuracy issues, lack of experience, and other obstacles can create challenges for companies utilizing GIS. Prius Intelli makes seeing the reality of your project more effortless than ever by pairing digital modeling with reliable orthoimagery and expert geospatial services.
What Makes Prius Intelli Different
First, we use state-of-the-art technology to capture geospatial data to generate detailed documentation of topographic site conditions through digital elevation models created in the latest version of ESRI ArcGIS Pro. High-resolution data reduces the need for site visits and overcomes the limitations of human error.
Next, we pair that geospatial data with imagery captured of the site so you can see what’s on the ground in incredible detail. Our proprietary processing workflows produce seamless imagery with accuracy you can trust. So you have the confidence knowing that the pixel resolution refers to the actual distance on the ground that each pixel represents in the aerial image.
The accuracy and reliability of the geospatial data captured enable models to be built that can test scenarios under different conditions and empower users to explore creative ideas in their decision-making.
Finally, the resulting high-resolution geospatial data becomes an infinitely valuable tool for analysis and is prime for use in machine learning workflows to help improve understanding of your project over time.
Important business decisions should never be based on inaccurate data. Having current, high-quality data is critical to any project’s success. With that same logic, it’s easy to see why the right resolution and data currency can make or break your aerial imagery. But what is data currency/freshness? How do you make sure you get high-quality aerial imagery? To choose the best aerial imagery partner, it’s important to understand how aerial imagery is made and what impacts its quality.
What is aerial imagery and how is it produced?
Aerial imagery, also known as orthophotography, is the combination of aerial photos and data analytics. It is typically used in conjunction with GIS services, which help break down the data and make it usable. Since orthoimagery provides valuable geospatial data, it is used for a wide variety of projects and industries, including but not limited to the following:
Oil & Gas
Surveying & Land Services
Whether digging a ditch, building a subdivision, designing a pipeline, or assessing downed power lines, orthoimagery provides a detailed bird’s eye view that allows project managers to make the best decisions possible.
There are three main ways to get aerial images for your project: via satellite, drone (unmanned aircraft), or manned aircraft. Each method has its benefits and can vary differently in accuracy. Whichever method you choose, know that the key to accuracy lies in the image’s date of collection and spatial resolution.
What is data freshness/currency?
Data freshness or currency is simply how new the imagery is. So why does time matter with images? Because things change with time.
For example, many popular satellite data providers have imagery that spans the whole globe, but this imagery can be up to a few years old, especially in rural areas. It takes the satellite providers a long time to fully update their data. So it’s common for things on the ground to change between when the satellite image was created and when it is used.
Certain satellite companies do have imagery with a much higher temporal resolution (the time it takes to revisit and collect imagery for a certain place). However, those images are usually low in spatial resolution (blurry, pixelated). Also, tasking a satellite to cover the same area at a quick interval can be very expensive.
Other aerial imagery providers and satellite data companies will often blanket large areas, collecting massive amounts of data, then resell bits and pieces of it to companies that need the imagery. However, based on when the interested company is asking for the data, the imagery can become outdated very quickly.
At Prius Intelli, we produce aerial imagery on demand using our own manned aircraft. And we don’t collect imagery of an area until a customer orders it. This ensures that the data is up-to-date, so you’re getting a viewpoint into time very near to the present. You can learn more about how our services offer a great alternative to satellite and drone imagery here.
Spatial Resolution vs Data Freshness
For aerial imagery, clarity and sharpness are just as important as the time in which it was flown. Spatial resolution describes the size of the pixels (and thus total number of pixels) in an image. The size of the pixels is relative to the size of what they represent on the ground. For instance, 5 cm resolution imagery means that each pixel represents 5 cm (2”) on the ground. The higher the spatial resolution, the clearer the image becomes. When an image has a low spatial resolution, details can become blurred or disappear altogether, which can be frustrating for the user.
If you are shopping for aerial imagery, look for resolution specs described in terms of centimeters or inches to understand the quality and clarity of images you’ll receive. However, that clarity means nothing if it is out-of-date. That’s why we produce images on demand instead of relying on historic databases.
When paired together, spatial resolution and data currency can produce incredible high-quality imagery, giving you the details and data you need to make informed decisions.
Is accuracy worth the investment?
For clients using aerial data to plan, proactively monitor, or perform diligence on important projects, positional accuracy and data freshness are difference makers. Poor quality aerial imagery can result in obsolete imagery, missed details, or outright inaccuracy. Because of the problems, low-quality images can cause, investing in high-quality imagery can be a money-saver later down the road.
However, the reality is that your budget can often define the accuracy of your photos – but it doesn’t have to. While satellite imagery can be cheaper, the spatial resolution may be less than desired (or outright useless for your use case). On the other hand, many companies offering high-quality images can have minimum cost thresholds that prevent smaller companies from participating. Our team has developed a proprietary workflow to produce high-quality orthoimages at an incredible value. Because we produce images on demand and have our own fleet of manned aircraft, we are able to deliver detailed images quickly, giving you the current data you need to succeed.
While aerial photography provides bird’s-eye images of the surface, orthoimagery takes it a step further by combining it with the benefits of enhanced maps. From pipeline development to real estate valuation, many industries depend on this accurate, up-to-date information about land to make key decisions. Erroneous or outdated information can cause major delays “ or worse. That’s why accurate, real-time imagery is imperative to the success of any business. While some of the use cases for orthophotography may be obvious, you might be surprised at all the ways it can be used:
1. UPSTREAM OIL & GAS
Those in the oil and gas industry can benefit greatly from orthophotography. Specifically, orthophotos can be used for surface monitoring and change detection and tracking in upstream projects to give an updated look of a project’s process. While many in this field opt for pre-existing satellite imagery, those images can be outdated and don’t provide the accuracy and resolution of custom orthophotography.
2. MIDSTREAM OIL & GAS
Orthoimagery is also incredibly valuable for midstream businesses and the use cases are many. We’ve seen orthoimagery used for a variety of projects, including route planning, right-of-way encroachment, construction monitoring, pipeline classification, PHMSA compliance studies and overall line monitoring. Specifically for pipelines, orthophotos provide the accuracy needed to confidently break ground on a new pipeline and comply with the necessary safety guidelines.
3. RANCHING & HUNTING
When ranching, it’s key to have an intimate understanding of your property. That’s why the terrain and elevation data collected during an orthoimagery project can be extremely useful to ranch brokers. Water-related data like stream networks, basins, and contour lines can inform surface water decisions regarding livestock and other ranching needs. Additionally, viewshed data can be used for building blinds when hunting is allowed on the land.
4. SURVEYING & LAND SERVICES
Orthophotography can be a cost-effective way to gather key data used in surveying and land-related services. When used in the planning stage, high-resolution orthophotos can provide a strong foundation of knowledge for project leads and engineers. Instead of choosing traditional methods that are often expensive and time-consuming, orthoimagery can provide a more affordable alternative that’s just as useful.
5. REAL ESTATE (DEVELOPMENT & VALUATION)
The data collected from orthoimagery is incredibly valuable for real estate developers, appraisals and valuations. Consider the water-related data, contour lines, slope rasters and elevation data available in a properly developed aerial image. This data can be used to plan out retention ponds, determine areas of high erosion, project planning and more. Plus, unlike satellite imagery that is often of a wider area than needed (not to mention obsolete), orthoimagery can be made of specific locations for more accurate, time-sensitive information.
While helpful in planning stages of most relevant industries, orthoimagery can also help businesses respond to unplanned events. Consider the utilities industry. After a large storm, an orthoimage of the affected area can help identify downed power lines and poles much more effectively than doing physical drive-bys. As another example, orthoimages can help monitor tree overgrowth so utility personnel can maintain the integrity of the power lines over time. Knowledge is power “ and the data from aerial imagery can empower your business to respond effectively whenever the unexpected occurs.
7. RENEWABLE ENERGY
A lot goes into the planning and development of renewable energy products. For example, solar farms require detailed analysis to meet slope requirements and dam construction requires an informed understanding of the streams and run-off systems in the area. Orthimagery and its related GIS services can provide all this and more. When processed properly, aerial imagery and elevation data can provide a real-time understanding of the environment, allowing you to use an area’s natural resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.
THE RIGHT ORTHOPHOTOGRAPHY MATTERS.
At Prius Intelli, we know how important it is to understand the value of your project’s environment. Our dedicated team delivers accurate, high-resolution orthophotography, GIS services, and elevation data on demand and at an incredible value. We collect our imagery on an order-by-order basis, so your data is gathered in real-time and delivered on time. For more on how we can help your business, reach out today for a custom consultation and a free quote.