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5 ways how GIS can maximise the value of legacy data

What's the challenge?

With an increased demand for survey and site investigation (SI) services in mature basins or margins, the collection of data creates a bottleneck for offshore energy projects.

Accessing existing data collected over the years to avoid the constraint is often difficult as the data are fragmented, lost or access to them is problematic.

Here are five simple ways how Geographic Information System (GIS) can solve this problem and can help leverage the value of Legacy Data:

#1 Legacy reports

In many cases, only the legacy survey & SI reports are available. Although basic, georeferencing the report enclosures and harvesting any important tabular data can at least give an indication of what / where to look for data, and who to ask to obtain the actual datasets.

#2 Public datasets

Publicly available datasets & reports can be obtained from providers such as the Marine Data Exchange and the National Data Repository (in the UK). These can be used to fill gaps in existing datasets or initial screening purposes.

#3 Visualisation

Where geospatial data is available, it’s often in multiple different formats (DWG, geopackage, shapefile/geotdatabase, CSV, TIF & XYZ, DB, WMS, WFS etc). GIS can easily bring these together to visualise centrally with figure production and 3D modelling tools.

#4 Open-source

Quality, free and open-source GIS software such as QGIS makes data access very easy for other disciplines enabling expert insight and visualisation. Where legacy data formats are encountered, numerous tools are available for converting into those that are readily useable.

#5 Data-sharing

Data sharing – GIS can provide the foundation for presenting data via web mapping tools such as Seekat®. This way data can be made available instantly to view 24/7 providing maximum stakeholder engagement on multiple platforms.