Building a comprehensive environmental geodatabase, the challenges and the solutions

auburnhairΛογισμικό & κατασκευή λογ/κού

13 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

106 εμφανίσεις

1


Building a comprehensive environmental geodatabase, the challenge
s

and the solutions

Ahmed Wagih Abdel
-
Latif, Ph.D.
1

Namir
F.
Najjar, Ph.D.
2

Mostafa AbouGhanem, M.Sc.
3


The challenge of designing and implementing a geographic database for a single aspect of
environmental protection is
a
huge undertaking, however, this task is dwarfed by the task of designing a
multi
-
aspect environmental geographic database.
In this paper,

the authors are reviewing the challenges
posed by the task of designing and implementing a comprehensive geographic database for
environmental protection covering
Air, Water, Groundwater, Waste,
Marine, Radiation and other

environmental data.

The authors

also review
how they managed to overcome these
challenges
and
reach a design that satisf
ied

the needs of Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection groups. The authors
provide a roadmap for designing similar systems with multi
-
objectives, where objectives mi
ght intersect
or otherwise

diverge.

Keywords
: Geodatabase, GIS System Design, CASE Tools

Introduction

The protection of the environment has become a major component in all human undertakings since it
became clear that any human
activity may

have serious
ad
verse impacts

on life on the planet. In its
quest to satisfy the Kingdom’s obligations as well as its own, Saudi Aramco (SA) has placed great
importance on the protection of the environment of its areas of operations as well as the

entire
kingdom of Saudi
Arabia
.

The task of monitoring all aspects of the environment
for SA

areas of operations, which amounts to a
significant percentage of the entire country
’s

area, requires dealing with huge amounts of data. The vast
majorities of these data are either spati
al data
-
maps
-

or have a strong spatial aspect in them. The best
possible scenario is to create an enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS) for
SA’s Environmental
Protection
that would house all available data

to engineers

and scientists
.




1

Dar Al
-
Handasah Consultants.

2

Environmental Protection Department, Saudi Aramco.

3

eMap Division, Saudi Aramco.

2


There are m
any challenges to make all these data available through such a system. The first challenge is
about the volume of these data
-

including historic data. Huge
-
sized reports will have to be entered into
the system, readings from real
-
time sensors, and field d
ata to name a few.

In addition to the volume challenge, there is also the issue of sources; these data c
ome from different
sources
;

internal and external.
Th
ese challenges

pose compatibility issues because of the various
formats,

representations,

extents,
coordinate system, scale, accuracy, precision and other data
parameters.

The task is even more challeng
ing

by the fact that constructing a comprehensive
environmental GIS Geodatabase has the inherent problems caused by the very nature of environmental
data which cover aspects that not necessarily coherent ranging from marine, radiation, air quality, to
routine

inspection sheets filled by site scientists
.

Having said that, the prospect of creating one single stop shop where all environmental data could be
available to query, analyze, map, and report, is a huge
undertaking
that needs to be leveraged

by the
users
of the newly designed system.

In
the remainder of
this
paper, the authors discuss how the challenges mentioned above were
overcome
to produce a harmonious environmental GIS database that fulfill
ed

the
duty
of supporting the
mission statement of environment
al protection as mandated by Saudi Aramco.


Background

S
audi
A
ramco

intends to build a comprehensive
environmental
GIS to help manag
e

its mandate of
monitoring the environmental aspects of
its
operations. In order to do that,
a comprehensive
methodology fo
r system analysis, design, implementation, and support was devised.

The resulting
system be
came

part of the GIS portal of the company. In order to achieve that, the following steps were
followed
:

-

Conduct a

comprehensive assessment of the existing business
processes and
essentia
l information flow in and among different
internal

and external stakeholders;

-

Complete inventory and assessment of the current technical

and human
infrastructure
at the stakeholders premises
;

-

Design and build a comprehensive
environmental

data model based on best
international and local practices and standards;

3


-

Set the data and metadata standards, procedures, rules, sharing, accessibility, etc.
based on requirements and according to best practices;

-

Design and develop a web
-
bas
ed GIS application that would allow for data browsing,
viewing, querying, editing
,

etc
.


-

Implement a detailed staff development, capacity building, and knowledge
-
transfer
plan to selected personnel

who will be tasked to maintain the system
in the future
;

-

R
ecommend the best alternative
s

for system configuration and setup in terms of
software, hardware, networking, etc. that meet the current and future requirements,
which will be based on the available and potential server capacity hosted at
SA’s
IT.

Methodol
ogy

The design and implementation of an Enterprise GIS requires the development of five aspects
:

Data,
Software, Hardware, People, and Methods (ESRI, 1999).

The development of each of these components
is done by one of the tasks shown in
Figure
1
. This paper only discusses the development of the
geographic database which is covered by the System Design and Data Conversion tasks.


Figure
1
: Components of GIS I
mplementation plan

The Design of the Geodatabase went through the following six steps:



User needs assessment



System Analysis
and

Conceptual Design



Logical System Design

4




Physical System Design



Data Conversion, QA/QC,
and

Loading



Metadata and Procedure Docu
mentation

In order to paint a complete picture of
current situation
,

the design team conducted a thorough user
needs assessment study, which included conducting an awareness seminar, the design and distribution
of questionnaire forms, and
repeated face
-
to
-
face interviews with the stakeholders.

User Needs Assessment
-

Data Requirements

While this was not the only type of data to be collected during this phase, it certainly was an important
component to build the complete picture of the
essential parts of the database to be created. The
analysis used

in addition to the questionnaire survey
-

specific data inventory forms, and follow
-
up
interviews to make sure that all aspects

of data used

were captured including types, sources,
content,
c
urrency,
modality, frequency, custodianship,

ownership

and format.

Other aspects of the system were also collected during the user
needs assessment

including
Application
Requirements
,
Training & Support Requirements
, and
Software & Hardware Requirements
.

Aramco IT
team was also involved in this process to provide information on standards and guidelines utilized at
Saudi Aramco and to determine the data naming conventions, coordinate system and projection,
coordinate domains and finally data security requir
ements.



System Analysis & Conceptual Design

The process of system analysis started with the categorization of the results of the questionnaire survey,
and interviews. These were then compared to industry standard data models extracted from ESRI’s Data
Mo
del repository
(
ESRI
, 1999)

many

standard data models were researched. These were the Marine,
Groundwater, Basemap, Atmospheric, Hearth, Hydro,
and
Environmental Regulated Facilities.

At the end of the analysis, the design team divided the GIS data which constitute the Environmental
Database to
be composed

to
three main groups: Basemap Data, Framework Data, and Group Specific
data as shown in
Figure
2
.

These components will be discussed at length in the next section.

5



Figure
2
: Structure of the Environmental Geodatabase


Logical & Physical System Design

During the System An
alysis phase, the design
team produced

the early conceptual data model which
contained three components; Basemap data entities, Framework data entities, and Environmental
Group
-
specific data entities.

The first task in designing the database was to examine

the industry
standard data
models that have

been prepared for different aspects of the data model
.

T
hese
models
have supposedly gone through extensive review efforts by the industry, and are available
for free
download on the company’s web site.
Figure
3

illustrates the Arc Hydro Ground
w
ater data model used
partly as a model to produce and enhance Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Geodatabase Data Model.

The
initial
database was placed on the ArcSDE/Oracle development servers to link it to the application to
support the different functionalities by group for user testing. This step is crucial part as it helps
determine if the data model does support the business func
tions of the user and whether it requires
further tuning. Following the approval of the development phase the data model will be deployed into
QA/QC environment and then production of Aramco IT.

6



Figure
3
: Arc Hydro Ground
w
ater D
ata Model


as an example of Industry Standard data models examined
4

The industry standard data models were subjected to gap analysis in order to adopt them or use them
partially in the creation of SA Environmental Data Model.
To further the design objecti
ves, the project
design team used CASE tools (MS Visio) to model and represent the geodatabase design. The produced
model in Unified Modeling Language (UML) during the logical design phase represented the entities,
attributes, relationships, and behavior o
f the different elements of the geodatabase. This was converted
into physical tables in the enterprise geodatabase on the test server, and then
on the
production server
using Oracle 11g.

The geodatabase

model is composed of three main entities as follows:

1. Basemap

These are not actually environmental data, but rather
entities
that would provide context to the
database such as the roads network, airports,
built
-
up

areas, places, etc
.

This dataset is read directly
from the company’
s main digital basemap dat
abase, and task of maintaining the data is not linked to the
maintenance of the main environmental geodatabase, which makes the task of
maintaining the

environmental data easier.





4

http://www.archydrogw.com/ahgw/Main_Page

7


2. Framework Data

These are data that
are
used by more than one environment
al group. They include three entities as
shown in

a simplistic representation showing geometric entities in

Figure
4
; these are the Facility
dataset, which holds the
location and attributes of Saudi Aramco Facilities, the Weather Station entity
which holds the geometry and attributes of weather stations throughout the kingdom, and the last
entity is called the Environmental Impact Assessment entity, which is an entity
that covers the location
and area coverage of EIA reports and data produced for different projects.


Figure
4
: Components of

the framework data

It has to be said that the actual model for the framework dataset contains about 20 entities (including
tabular data) in addition to 15 relationships to meet the demands collected in the user requirements
analysis. This is shown in the logical design repre
sented in
Figure
5
.


Figure
5
: Logical design of the Framework dataset

8


3. Group Specific data

The third dataset is the group specific datase
t which contains different entities relating to the different
needs for each group; the Air

quality
professionals
will be mostly interested in managing air related
datasets, while the marine group will be interested mostly in marine datasets, and so on. Th
is division
prompted the design team to create different views for common entities in the same way that was done
with framework data, but this time the separation is less obvious.
Figure
6

illustrates the conceptual
geodatabase design for the environmental protection group
-
specific data within the overall model.


Figure
6
:
Some of the
Environmental
Protection
group
s
-
specific

d
ata
entities


A. Air Quality data
set

This dataset includes mainly emission sources and the tables relating to these emission sources. The
data model
contains eight

entities, and seven relationships
.
Figure
7

illustrates the logical design of the
air quality data.

9



Figure
7
: Air Quality dataset entities and relationships



B. Environmental Health Data
set

The next dataset
in the database is the environmental health dataset which basically document the
records of different installations and their inspection results for compliance with health regulations. The
dataset includes one geometrical entity, and fou
r tabular entities,

in addition, the dataset includes four
relationship entities as well.

Fi
gure
8

illustrates the Environmental Health entities within that
dataset
.


Fi
gure
8
: Environmental Health Dataset


10


C. Ground
w
ater Dataset

The third dataset

represents the groundwater entities. The main entity in this dataset is the Well entity
.

I
t has six tabular entities in addition to six relationship
entities.

Figure
9

illustrates the entities making
the Groundwater dataset.



Figure
9
: Groundw
ater Data Entities

D. Marine Dataset

This dataset has its main entity as the Habitat enti
ty; it has four entities

describing different aspects of
the marine environment.
Figure
10

illustrates the marine entities dataset.





11



Figure
10
: Marine Dataset

D. Radiation Dataset

This dataset has
eighteen

entities, including seven geometrical entities,
eleven tabular entities
, and
eleven relationship entities
.

The geometrical entities included representation of the different types of
radi
ation sources, license areas, incident locations etc.., while the tabular part included the detailed
information about these geometrical entities.

Figure
11

illustrat
es the
radiation

entities dataset.


12



Figure
11
: Radiation Dataset


E. Waste Management Dataset

This dataset has six geometrical entities including the spatial representation of landfills, containment
sites, landframs
, hazardous contentment sites, and one tabular entity, and one relationship entity.
Figu
re
12

illustrates the waste management dataset entities.

13



Figu
re
12
: Waste Management Dataset


E. Wastewater Dataset

Wastewater dataset is composed of four entities including two geometric, one tabular, and one
relationship. Most of the data in this area are related to either sampling points or treatment plants.
Figure
13

illustrates the entities of the wastewater dataset.


Figure
13
: Wastewater dataset entities

14



Using ArcCatalog, the project design team converted the logical system design in
to physical
representation in the enterprise geodatabase.
Figure
14

illustrates the environmental geodatabase in
ArcCatalog.

Making separate views for different groups lumping their respective data sets was achieved
in two different ways; the first is through the use of different views to the same dataset, while the
second way was through the application interface which limited

access to users based on their interest.


Figure
14
: Environmen
tal

Protection
Geodatabase physical design


Data Conversion, QA/QC,
and

Loading

Data was converted from different forms,

including coordinate lists, reports, GIS file
s,
spread
sheets, as
well as specialized data such as real
-
time systems

although these are read through intermediate

15


software, and fed into the
company’s
enterprise database before being re
a
d into the environmental
geodatabase. The basemap data were read a
nd integrated into the final geodatabase, and into the
application.

The resulting data were then tested using QA/QC procedures, and uploaded into the
final
geodatabase.

Metadata and Procedure Documentation

The project design team used the ISO

metadata

styl
esheet to
represent the geodatabase metadata.
These represented descriptive data about the database elements. Some of the data are collected
automatically from the system, such as the spatial characteristics of the dataset, and others were
entered by the t
eam including source, reliability, scale, currency, frequency of update, operator, terms
of use, ownership, custodianship, etc
.

Once the geodatabase was designed, implemented, populated, and tested, the system was ready to
start showing results using the w
eb
-
based mapping application.
Figure
15

shows the
screen
displaying

the spatial query widget

of the environmental
which enables end users to formulate complex queries to
support their day
-
to
-
day reporting
on top of the map of the site.

16



Figure
15
:
Querying

different aspects of the environmental
geo
database

Conclusion

This paper presented the methodology followed by the project design team to design and implement an
environmental geodatabase covering different aspects of the environment
inside
and
outside
Saudi
Aramco areas of operations, to support the company in
its e
nvironmental
protection and prevention
effort
s
. The design and implementation followed a six
step process, that culminated in the uploading,
checking, and testing the geodatabase, and making sure that it can be served through
a
web
-
based
mapping applicatio
n

designed for that purpose. CASE Tools were instrumental in modeling and
designing this fairly sophisticated
, new

geodatabse.


17


References


“Arc Hydro Groundwater Data Model”
,

from

http://www.archydrogw.com/ahgw/Arc_Hydro_Groundwater_Data_Model
, as
consulted

on January 10,
2011.

ESRI, 1999, “ESRI Data Models Repository”,
from

http://resources.arcgis.com/content/data
-
models

as
consulted on December 21, 2010.

Tomlinson, Roger, 2007,

Thinking about GIS: geographic information system planning for managers

,
Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.,
Redlands, CA: ESRI Press

W
right, D.J., Blongewicz, M.J., Halpin, P.N. and Breman, J., 2007
, “

䅲挠M慲an攺
䝉G⁦ 爠r⁂汵攠P污l整

Ⱐ剥摬慮T猬⁃䄺s䕓剉⁐r敳e


Zeiler
, Michael, 1999, “Modeling Our World: The ESRI Guide to Geodatabase Design", Environmental
Systems Research Institute, Inc.,
Redlands, CA: ESRI Press