In an earlier column (November EXPLORER), we highlighted
the EMD's efforts to establish a training agenda to infuse geospatial
applications into petroleum and energy minerals exploration and
Over the past several months EMD members have been developing
training classes that can be offered in diverse venues. These short
courses are being marketed to AAPG national, sectional and international
meeting planning committees.
The courses also are being marketed to cooperating organizations
including SIPES, local geological societies and the PTTC.
I recently offered a three-hour short course at the SIPES annual
convention in Lafayette, La., titled "Remote Sensing and GIS Applications
for Petroleum Exploration and Production," which included a brief
overview of remote sensing and GIS applications plus several applications
The course was designed to demonstrate that remote sensing and
GIS applications have finally become practical and affordable in
exploration and production activities for companies large and small.
It will be updated now because of the recent launch of the new,
high resolution SPOT satellite that offers 2.5 meter B&W and
five meter color resolution with a large (60-kilometer) footprint.
Attendees learned how to search for and order imagery to meet
their needs, and were also provided contact information for several
value-added companies that can assist in launching geospatial activities.
For a more in-depth look at remote sensing and its applications,
EMD has recruited William D. Di Paolo, formerly with Unocal, who
has developed a one-day short course titled "An Introduction to
Geologic Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation," which includes
hands-on interpretation exercises as well as numerous applications
Of particular interest is the inclusion of information and examples
of the power of data integration, including raster-vector integration
for seismic program planning in the Precaspian area and Pakistan,
as well as examples of enhancement of contoured data including bathymetry,
digital terrain data and aeromagnetic data.
Di Paolo, who has developed a two-day version of this course,
also will demonstrate the integration of digital terrain data with
imagery to develop synthetic stereo and perspective views.
Jim Ellis, a former AAPG Distinguished Lecturer on geospatial
topics and EMD's luncheon speaker on the same topic at the 2000
annual meeting, has developed a course titled "Using New Mapping
Technologies with Your PC to Improve Company Operations."
This half-day short course will demonstrate that managing assets,
planning field operations, evaluating property and facilities and
monitoring environmental conditions are more cost effective and
efficient through the use of remote sensing, geographical information
systems (GIS), GPS and digital databases.
Participants will learn about:
- How to access nation-wide databases of satellite and airborne
imagery and maps using an Internet browser on their office PC.
- The steps necessary to build a low-cost, up-to-date, digital
information system that combines imagery, maps and tabular data.
- Fundamental location and elevation accuracy issues and solutions.
- How to design an effective, PC-based mapping solution for their
property using geospatial technologies and to evaluate the effectiveness
of different satellite and airborne imagery.
- How to integrate both GPS field measurements and data from
spreadsheets with their maps.
- How to use digital elevation models (DEMs) to enhance geologic
- How to download free GIS and image-viewing software.
- Major advances with linking data in a GIS that focuses on integrating
surface features with subsurface data will be reviewed.
All of the short courses described above are ready to go — if
you are particularly interested in any of these topics, contact
your EMD Sectional Councilors about how to get one scheduled for
a sectional meeting that will serve your needs.
We can also help to make arrangements between EMD, the trainer
and your local professional society to have one of these courses
offered in your neighborhood.
Several other courses are under discussion, including an expanded
GIS short course that could be tailored to sectional topics and
use real exploration data for hands-on exercises in integration
Instead of using a course book and data created for general applications,
Jim McDonald of the Ohio Geological Survey's GIS Division suggests
creating a new course book that will use exploration and production
data from the United States, Canada and around the world to teach
the geospatial concepts.
For example, if the course was taught at the Pacific Section AAPG
meeting, data sets from offshore Santa Barbara channel or from Midway-Sunset
field might be used.
If the course was taught at the GCAGS meeting, data from Gulf
of Mexico or onshore Louisiana/Texas might be used.
Have any great examples you might want to share?
Please contact your EMD Geospatial Committee to find out more
about the existing short courses, new course development and, of
course, about how to volunteer to help!