Elsevier plugs centuries of data into oil & gas map
Corporations given easy access to scientific data through Elsevier’s map interface
Oil and gas companies can now get easy access to 200 years of scientific research, after a partnership between Elsevier and the Geological Society of London sees more than 165,000 different geological maps brought together on a single platform.
The platform, called Geofacets, is a web-based database of geological maps, designed to help oil and gas companies decide where to look for new sources of hydrocarbons. It now allows geoscientists to search and analyse maps from the Lyell Collection, without needing to have access to the original journals. The inclusion of the Lyell Collection will help oil and gas companies with exploration, making the first stages of discovery easier.
“What we do as geologists has little value unless we make it as widely available as possible,” said Edmund Nickless, the secretary of the Geological Society. “Our challenge has always been how best to share our knowledge and understanding of the Earth.”
Richard Hughes, the director of information at the British Geological Survey, said that it is more important than ever to “wring every drop of value from existing resources”.
“The USP of Geofacets is that it is making available the vast treasure trove of very high-quality peer-reviewed research output that has been produced by the academic community over a couple of hundred years,” Hughes told Information Age. “The problem for industry has been locating exactly what [academic research] they need and trying to integrate that within their own enterprise-based information systems.”
The biggest challenge in bringing the old maps and texts into a modern product is the need for the maps to be georeferenced and text to be made searchable. “Elsevier would have had to go through an extensive georeferencing process so that [the maps] could be searched by coordinate basis,” Hughes said. “[They will have] gone through a really massive amount of information and tagged it with the right search terms to make the Geofacets product suitable for the oil and gas industry.”
“The richness [of Geofacets] will make life easier for exploratory geologists. They will spend less time searching for information and more time creating value,” Hughes said. “The oil and gas industry is more dependent now than ever on high-quality information, enabling companies to make decisions before entering the field.”