Technology Integration

The internet of things (IoT) is increasingly gaining popularity across industries such as smart cities, public safety, agriculture, healthcare, utilities (energy, water, and oil and gas) and transportation. With the increase in IoT applications, more and more devices are getting connected, generating huge volumes of data in real time. To manage such large data volumes, the seamless integration of devices is required, and this is where geographic information system (GIS) plays a key role. It is only through the integration of GIS and IoT that businesses can utilise real-time data for effective business outcomes.

ArcGIS, developed by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), offers best-in-class mapping and spatial analytics technologies. The real-time GIS capabilities of the ArcGIS platform have transformed the way information is processed and utilised. Real-time dashboards connected to the IoT devices provide actionable insights into the daily operations of organisations, empowering decision-makers and stakeholders with the latest information to drive new ideas and strategies.

IoT and GIS integration

IoT is an integrated solution that senses and collects data from devices at the edge, analyses it and takes action based on the data in line with the business goals of an enterprise. An IoT solution consists of three layers – edge, IoT platform and enterprise. The edge consists of embedded technology, which senses, acquires and disseminates data. Edge communication uses protocols such as message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT), hypertext transfer protocol-pushed or polled (HTTP), advanced message queuing protocol (AMQP) and constrained application protocol. The IoT platform layer accepts, stores, analyses and shares intelligence gathered from data. Its data processing consists of data ingestion, streaming analytics, action and intelligence, data storage and batch analytics. The enterprise layer comprises applications and processes that act upon the intelligence as a result of analytic results. It includes visualisation and dashboards. GIS plays an important role in the enterprise framework by visualising the collected and analysed data on the map.

The IoT platform integrates with ArcGIS to expand its capabilities with spatiotemporal analytics, visualisation and dashboards. ArcGIS as an IoT platform performs the following functions:

  • Feeds high velocity real-time IoT data into ArcGIS
  • Performs continuous analytics on IoT events as they are received
  • Stores IoT observations in a spatiotemporal big data store
  • Visualises high velocity and high volume IoT data either as an aggregation or as a discrete feature
  • Notifies IoT patterns of interest
  • Adjusts behaviour of things in the environment through actuation

Network modernisation

Network modernisation involves replacing old pipes, upgrading control devices and implementing sensor networks. Soils, floods and various other threats can disrupt the pipeline network. ArcGIS helps uncover hidden hazards and threats with advanced analytics. It unifies information and operational technology to create operational awareness. Location plays a key role in this. ArcGIS spatial analysis tools enhance the company’s understanding and help identify the risk-prone areas of the pipeline network.

In sum

In the wake of increasing regulatory and market changes, many oil and gas companies are looking for ways to achieve their business objectives in a more efficient and optimal manner. This is driving them to relook at how they conduct their business and modernise their existing technology systems. This has led to an increasing demand for location-based services, which is driving the growth of the GIS market in the oil and gas industry.