New Data Model Release of PODS 7.03 Utility Network + Advanced Pipeline Referencing (APR)

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New Data Model Release of PODS 7.03 Utility Network + Advanced Pipeline Referencing (APR)

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Logo of the Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) Association (© PODS)
Logo of the Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) Association (© PODS)

For 25+ years, the Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) Association has been the industry leader in providing the exclusive data model standard. As a non-profit, member-driven organization, pipeline operators, service providers, vendors, and regulatory agencies managing pipeline spatial data worldwide have adopted PODS as their go-to source for pipeline data standardization.

The release of PODS 7.03 Utility Network + ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing (APR) is a significant advancement and the first ever ESRI centric PODS Data Model. By including Network Management capabilities, operators can enhance their traditional Linear Referencing data modeling approach. Including a Utility Network within PODS provides a comprehensive framework of functionality for the modeling of connected systems. By including connectivity of these critical devices including pipe, wire, valves, zones, devices, and more the Utility Network functionality allows users to build real world behavior into the network features being modeled.

The PODS Data Model provides the database architecture pipeline operators need to submit regulatory reports, store critical information, analyze pipeline systems data, and manage geospatial data now in a linear-referenced and connected network database of all system assets and components which can be visualized in any GIS platform. The PODS Pipeline Data Model houses the attribute, asset information, construction, inspection, integrity management, regulatory compliance, risk analysis, history, and operational data that pipeline companies have deemed mission-critical to successfully managing natural gas, hazardous liquids, renewables, and water pipelines.

Benefits and Value of PODS 7.03 Utility Network + APR

  • Scalable, high performing model now capable of spatial representation of data, providing a comprehensive view of your network
  • Ability to enforce data integrity, supporting regulatory requirements
  • Improved workflow by having all data is in one system
  • Advanced analysis of your network
  • Reduction of dependency on 3rd-party editing tools
  • Ability to model significant components of your system and how they are connected
  • Cost savings due to accurate data available at all times for example with pipeline modeling and route optimization

This advancement in the PODS data model has been in the pipeline since 2019. Tammy Hall, GIS IT Manager at ONEOK, has been a part of this project from the beginning. “We nicknamed our work project Pegasus, representing the three-headed monster of merging three databases together. I am most proud of working with the talent and expertise of individuals from the ONEOK GIS teams, ESRI and TRC as a group. We came together through thoughtful collaboration with cross-industry expertise to come up with a resolution to work long term. All involved put aside personal preferred direction for what was needed for all.”

Jeff Allen, Global Pipeline Access Lead at ESRI, has been excited to be involved from the start. “We've identified a growing demand in the pipeline sector for enhanced precision and accuracy in data management. This is not just about meeting regulatory standards but also about creating a digital twin of the physical world to empower decision-makers. The need for detailed, location-specific data is rising, and companies are eager to maximize their existing geospatial resources. Partnerships with experts like ESRI and PODS are becoming increasingly vital in transforming this data into actionable insights, allowing us to jointly move forward in addressing the pipeline data management challenges that face our industry today.”

Listen here to the recent episode on Pipeliners Podcast with Russel Treat to hear more from Jeff on PODS 7.03.

Malika Pande, PODS Board Member and IT Analyst IV/GIS Developer at Williams, has felt the incredible impact of how upgrading to PODS 7.03 can make a world of difference, “PODS 7.03 allows Williams to be ahead of the curve in IT standards. Managing our data and infrastructure became easier, allowing us to fully benefit from ESRI technology. With all our data in one system, the Utility Network integrates daily data updates seamlessly. Being able to take advantage of a spatial view through the ease of a visual map allows seemingly complicated data in a table format to be viewed in a real-world application for a digital twin.” 

The PODS Association continues to support all members as upgrades take place from one model of PODS to the next. With an extensive list of service provider members, all PODS users are supported from end-to-end. 

As a community, PODS is made up of thought leaders and innovators who share knowledge and expertise to build and maintain the only geospatial data model specifically designed by and for pipeline operators. Focusing on pipeline safety, single-system-of-record for pipeline asset locations and specifications, regulatory and integrity management, and inspection and repair analysis, our model has been implemented by over 200 pipeline operators in 39 countries, representing over 3 million miles of linear pipeline assets and systems including facilities, storage, stations, etc. over the last 25+ years.

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