Zen your GIS strategy: part I

“All great truths begin as blasphemies,” wrote the playwright George Bernard Shaw. So let’s get the ball rolling with some simple truths about GIS: A five-year old is better at GIS than most companies. Geographic information systems have been around for over 40 years. So it may be surprising that even today, many organisations still…

Creating Layer Files with Python

I have experienced, and no doubt you have too, the tedium of saving out many layer files for the layers you have just created in your ArcMap map document. Having spent perhaps hours perfecting the symbology – getting that labelling to show just as you would like, tweaking the colours so they’re just right –…

Creating a Multi-scale Geological Map

One of the key features of a GIS is the ability to view spatial data at any scale. To do this you need to understand what information should be displayed at what scale. This understanding is useful both for working within the GIS and for creating usable output, such as hardcopy maps or PDF map…

Esri PUG Papers 2000-2012

It’s nearly time for the 2013 Esri Petroleum GIS Conference, or “the PUG”. This year the conference is being held May 7-9, and is back in the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston, Texas. Last year before the conference I posted a blog that looked at the PUG papers back to 2009 and classified them…

Top 10 ArcGIS Printing Checks

Turn good maps into great maps by running some final checks before you print it out. In this blog I’ve put together a list of 10 things to check before printing from ArcGIS that ensure that my maps are as good as they can be. By way of an overview I’ve provided an annotated reference example map…

Tip 24: Successful Editing

For anyone new to ArcGIS, using the editing tools can initially appear a little tricky, and while delivering our training courses I sometimes hear people say the editing process is not very intuitive. In an earlier Exprodat tip (Tip 20: ArcGIS Editing Sessions) I looked at selecting editable elements and organising templates. Here are a…

Benchmarking GIS Performance

Benchmarking GIS Performance: A Multi-client Example In this blog, which follows a previous posting where I described a GIS Strategy Review Approach for the petroleum industry I’m going to look at a real world example of measuring GIS effectiveness: Exprodat’s multi-client GIS benchmarking project from 2012. If you’d like to jump straight into the detailed results please download the detailed 2012…

Measuring GIS Effectiveness

Measuring GIS Effectiveness: Exprodat’s GIS Maturity Matrix Approach How do you measure how well your company has implemented GIS? How do you benchmark your GIS both internally and externally against your peers?  How do you develop a strategy for developing your GIS, and measure how effective it has been? Exprodat developed the GIS Maturity Matrix to…

Plotting Dip and Strike Readings

Dips and strikes? Dip and strike readings are simple but important geological measurements which can be used for structural and stratigraphic analysis. They are generally made by a field geologist directly at a geological outcrop. The dip of the geological layer is defined as the maximum inclination, in degrees, of the layer from the horizontal…

Tip 23: Loading Grids to ArcGIS

As geoscientists, we need to bring into ArcGIS various types of gridded data, including surfaces with elevation values, sub-surface horizons with depth values, or imagery with spectral values. If you don’t have access to a dedicated ArcGIS extension for loading such data types, like our own Data Assistant, then the way to load these into ArcGIS…