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Why I need a CRS Registry – Part 2

Originally published on LinkedIn:

CRS Registry with drilling location for oil rig and drill pipe gets gold star when synchronized with IOGP geodetic data

Modern oil and gas exploration and production makes use of a great number of software packages which store, manage, and manipulate geographic information. Geographic information is routinely passed from one software package to another. Unfortunately, many of these software packages encode a given coordinate reference system (CRS) in their own proprietary way, resulting in poor data quality and problems with interoperability.

An important step toward standardisation is to use EPSG definitions, but a given CRS may still be programmed differently in one package than in another. In fact, the handling of CRS’s and CRS transformations is the greatest single impediment to interoperability between software packages that deal with geospatial information. Resolving these interoperability issues is time consuming and error prone, with potentially significant economic implications.

A CRS registry can solve these interoperability problems and provide increased data quality assurance by providing an authoritative single source of truth, for CRS’s and associated CRS transformations. Using a CRS registry means that CRS’s and transformations can be shared across the enterprise, or across multiple enterprises in the case of joint venture projects or contractors.

Common, well-known coordinate reference systems can be found in the public CRS Registry maintained by the IOGP. However, this does not cover all cases. A CRS may be defined, for example, in a region that overlaps two or more well-known CRS’s and requires the creation of a new CRS, based on a map projection, that is tailored specifically for that area. Special, highly accurate, surveys by your company may lead to yet more CRS’s being created. Engineering CRS’s may be defined on a project basis as well, and can be linked in the registry to the associated projects. In all cases, the objective is to ensure data quality and interoperability across your enterprise, or between you and your partners, and hence to provide a high level of quality assurance for all spatial data that your organization collects and manages.

A proprietary CRS registry for your enterprise can automatically synchronize with the public EPSG registry owned by the IOGP, and interface to other software CRS components added to the EPSG registry, so that their changes automatically appear in your enterprise registry (but not the other way around, of course).

A CRS registry can provide many features for data governance and quality assurance, including user-configured life cycle states and state transitions, and notification of key personnel or software systems whenever specific objects change, or when they change in particular ways such as moving into the approve state.

If enhancing data quality assurance is a key part of your plans for the future, getting your own CRS registry is a good place to start.