Calculating True Distance Over a Surface

How to calculate the true distance over a surface A point-to-point distance taken from a map does not provide a true measurement of the distance between those points; I have to take the intervening topography into account, as shown below. To calculate the 3D length of a line (in ArcMap, with the 3D Analyst extension)…

GIS: A Cure for Confirmation Bias?

Confirmation Bias: a tendency of people to favour information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses: Wikipedia*. It’s a terrible disease for the petroleum explorer. Succumbing to confirmation bias often leads to overconfidence in one’s ability to predict outcomes, technical risk underestimation and poor decision making. Wishful thinking syndrome is also a common side effect, and the…

Tip 26: Viewing in Stereo

Stereo viewing, or Stereoscopy, has long been used by geoscientists to create the illusion of depth. Traditionally, overlapping air photographs (“stereopairs”) have been viewed with a stereoscope, where the stereo effect is created from a slight offset in the viewpoint of each of the stereopair photographs. Investigating an area in “3D” affords a greater understanding…

Feeding the GeoEvent Processor

The GeoEvent Processor is an extension for ArcGIS for Server version 10.2 that processes real-time data – for instance, vessel or vehicle position information. In addition to allowing the display of real-time data in, um, real-time, the GeoEvent Processor provides GeoFence and other functionality that enables alerts to be automatically generated – for instance, you…

Making Better Maps 1 – Masking Data

Have you ever wanted to hide sections of the layers on your map but not wanted to clip your data to do so? For example, you might want to show all of the 2D seismic available within your company’s license blocks, but hide the data when it is over another company’s blocks, as illustrated in…

Tip 25: Using the XY To Line tool

Another spreadsheet of coordinates! When planning seismic lines it’s typical to have a spreadsheet of start and end point locations, representing the seismic lines to be shot in the survey. In ArcMap it is possible to generate a set of lines from these points using a single tool – the XY To Line tool. Workflow Prerequisites:…

Extracting Vector Data from PDFs

I’ve got this map, but it’s a PDF… How many times have you found a PDF containing data that you’re really interested in using in your latest project, but for which you cannot locate the source GIS or CAD datasets, even after spending hours trawling through your file system? Have you reluctantly decided to give…

How to find your data (easily)

It can be difficult, when you have a lot of data, to find exactly that you want. There may also be data hiding somewhere in your system that you never even knew existed. So how can you find this data easily? I still haven’t found what I’m looking for One answer is to use Voyager.…

Geotagging fieldwork photos

In a previous blog, we showed how to plot dip and strike readings taken by a field geologist within ArcGIS desktop. This blog looks at acquiring and displaying geotagged photos within ArcGIS desktop, another useful tool in the field geologists’ arsenal. Now, where was that again? Geotagging allows you to automatically capture the location information…

Zen your GIS strategy: part II

In the first part of this post I explored some fundamental truths about GIS and why, inspired by the principles of Design Thinking, a good GIS strategy needs to focus on people not technology. In this second and final part I shall explore how to go about creating a successful GIS strategy, using a simple…