Shell Oil and IOGP

Coordinate Reference System Registry

When Shell Oil and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers wanted to build a new Geodetic Parameter Registry, they selected Galdos INdicio™ as the base technology. Ensuring the use of the right coordinate system and its associated parameter values is crucial in all kinds of geographic computations for oil and gas exploration, mining, defense, and even archeology. A mistake in CRS parameters can easily lead to a costly error in exploration drilling.

Galdos developed an open standards based Coordinate Reference System (CRS) registry for deployment within Shell and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers to manage the coordinate reference systems, parameters, and units of measure.

The Challenge

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies that use advanced technologies and take an innovative approach to help build a sustainable energy future. Shell’s aim is to meet the energy needs of society, in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally viable, now and in the future. Worldwide, Shell operates in more than 70 countries, runs more than 30 refineries and chemical plants, and has more than 44,000 service stations.

The International Association of Oil & Gas producers (IOGP) is a global forum encompassing most of the world’s leading publicly-traded, private, and state-owned oil & gas companies, industry associations and major upstream service companies, and its members produce more than half the world’s oil and about one third of its gas. The backbone of IOGP is a network of committees, subcommittees, task forces and work groups that manage the exchange and dissemination of industry knowledge and experience through publications and events around the world.

The IOGP Geomatics Committee, through its Geodesy Subcommittee, maintains and publishes the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset, which is a dataset of parameters for co-ordinate reference system and co-ordinate transformation description. The committee is also responsible for the maintenance of positioning data exchange formats through association with other organisations.

The EPSG publishes a number of guidance notes with information about coordinate reference systems, and about the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Registry and dataset.

Drill an exploration well in the wrong place and you could be looking at tens of millions USD in costs. Geospatial Solutions, 2006

With so many companies involved around the world, managing relevant location data, and the reference systems necessary to translate that location data into physical locations on the Earth’s surface, was an increasing problem. Many companies had their own proprietary data, which resulted in significantly high costs related to managing proprietary data formats when sharing data. Data was managed in a relational database which provided no way to manage critical coordinate reference systems data, meaning that there was no way to store and retrieve data in real-time. Lack of data integration led to a lack of data for important decisions such as exploration planning. Using coordinates with the wrong CRS can result in significant discrepancies between the documented location and the actual place.

Geographic locations are specified in terms of coordinate reference systems. A Coordinate Reference System (or Spatial Reference System) combines a Coordinate System, which is a set of mathematical rules that specify how a set of coordinates are assigned to a specific point, with a datum, which gives the relationship of the coordinate system to the surface and shape of the Earth. A Datum is a set of parameters that define the point of origin, scale, and orientation of a particular coordinate system, and which serves as the basis for calculating other parameters. Each datum can support multiple coordinate systems.

The Solution

Galdos Systems leveraged its many years of experience with geographic information and information management systems to create a registry for managing coordinate reference systems and related data and information that was based on the INdicio Framework.

The purpose of the INdicio CRS Registry system was to create a central, global access point for all of the coordinate reference systems and their related data and information so that users would be able to search for and acquire the most up to date CRSs from a single source.

Galdos worked closely with members of the IOGP Geodesy Subcommittee to build in to the registry support for managing all of the coordinate reference systems and associated objects, including an audit trail to track who made changes to what objects when, as well as life cycle management so that out-of-date information could be archived when replaced with newer information.

Galdos created a configurable AJAX client interface that was layered on top of the INdicio CRS Registry to provide support for managing the registry, and to provide a variety of modes for retrieving content, including search by identifier, search by location (spatial extent), and search by CRS component type (e.g. Coordinate System, Datum, etc.). Returned results, which may be coordinate reference systems or components, are displayed in a flexible and easy-to-read manner.

The INdicio CRS Registry supports any coordinate reference system that can be defined using GML v3.2, including the European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) reference system, various types of Engineering Reference Systems, and the coordinate reference system model defined by the ISO 19111 standard.

The Outcome

The EPSG Geodetic Parameter Registry, an implementation of the INdicio web-enabled CRS Registry management system, is now available with the current European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) content. Users receive the latest updates directly from the IOGP, who maintain this content. The Registry is being used to remotely manage and track changes made to the CRS entities over time. Changes to the datasets are easily distributed and available more quickly to EPSG customers.