GIS Tech News (#57)

5 May, 2008

A New Twist to Petroleum GISp>

Web-based application helps oil and gas explorers stay on track.

By Andrew Roe

Andrew Roe photo

In the petroleum industry, creating exploration maps is key to discovering and extracting oil and gas resources. GIS applications have aided significantly in these efforts, but industry professionals are always on the lookout for new tools.

A Colorado firm recently introduced a tool that enables users to more easily determine geographic points representing land polygons. The PolyBuilder application from Lakewood, Colorado-based WhiteStar allows users to enter a legal description for a property or region and obtain coordinates defining the boundaries of the land area. The points can be identified by either latitude/longitude values or state plane coordinates.

Over the years, exploration map creation has evolved from traditional paper drawings and crayon markings to various GIS- and CAD-based techniques, but boundary calculation has often been treated as a separate task disconnected from the map-building process. "It's hard to plot legal descriptions" using previously employed techniques, according to WhiteStar account manager Anthony Ford.

PolyBuilder allows users to enter a footage call, legal description, or a combination of both, and receive coordinate data virtually instantly. The Web-based application works in conjunction with Whitestar's UGA (Unlimited Grid Access) product, as well as its UWA (well data) and UBA (base data such as streets and land features) products. UGA data can be exported into a variety of mapping formats such as ESRI shape files, DXF, and others. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a licensed civil engineer and president of AGR Associates. He is also the author of Using Visual Basic with AutoCAD, published by Autodesk Press. E-mail him at


Cadalyst Labs Review:

Thin Is In

By Ron LaFon

A large monitor is a natural choice for CAD and graphics work — its larger resolution boasts higher pixel counts so that it's easier for users to see what they're doing. It's also easier to work on models without having to constantly zoom, pan, and reposition. This roundup review looks at new displays from Lenovo, NEC Display Technologies, and ViewSonic.

For this year's large LCD monitor roundup, Cadalyst sent invitations to vendors requesting the latest flat-panel LCD monitors with a minimum 20" diagonal viewable screen area with at least 1,280 x 1,024 resolution. Only three vendors sent displays. This response almost certainly reflects vendors' announcement schedules rather than a decrease in the number of available new large monitors. Indeed, just as this article was being published, Cadalyst received announcements for a variety of new displays, including a 30" display from NEC. Suffice it to say, a wide range of flat-panel displays are available today, evenly split between the more conventional 4:3 aspect ratio and the wider 16:10 aspect ratio. Monitors in this particular roundup review ranged in price from $449 to $1,199.99. Read more »

Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Autodesk 2009 Technology for Civil Professionals
May 6-21, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
In this free 2009 Autodesk Rollout series of events for civil engineering and survey professionals, Avatech Solutions' technical experts will take attendees on a tour through the latest features that will affect the way they work. Read more »

Webcast: Design + Construction of Hospital Renovations + Additions
May 22, 2008
2 p.m. EDT
This webcast will focus on case studies of hospital renovation/addition projects and will offer prescriptive advice for dealing with them. Read more »

Field to Finish Workshop
May 27, 2008
Morristown, New Jersey
In this workshop, Autodesk experts Jerry Bartels and David Blanchette will demonstrate the new survey functionality in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

GeoWeb 2008
July 21-25 , 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The GeoWeb 2008 conference welcomes both public and private organizations to meet, discuss, and learn about today?s most innovative geospatial technologies. Read more »

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.