Session Details

Geomatics and Pipeline Data

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The amount of data collected about pipeline’s state and it’s surrounding environment is increasing exponentially.  The session will address history and current practice of  managing pipeline data. The session will also provide a look ahead to future of geomatics and pipeline data.


The stages of pipeline integrity management and, arguably, pipeline design can be described as:

  1. Sensing for data (e.g. ILI, geophysics)
  2. Application of knowledge (e.g. risk analysis, stress analysis)
  3. Visualization of results (e.g. risk matrices, alignment sheets)

Non-technical stakeholders in pipelines are less likely to form opinions based on specialist sensors or knowledge but do tend to trust what they can see. Geomatics involves many sophisticated techniques to enable all three stages described above, in both design and integrity management, but one of its principal strengths is visualization.

This presentation will discuss Geomatics tools and techniques that may assist in the building of trust, understanding, and buy-in for the decisions made in pipeline designs. It will also talk about the challenges for Geomatics to support the understanding of pipeline safety when the subject of the sensing, and application of knowledge, are not visible (i.e. underground).

Pipeline data will be discussed as it bears on the conference theme of building trust, and the difference between data and trusted information.



Matthew Tait, Mott MacDonald


Matthew Tait has worked, researched, and taught in Geomatics since 1994. Since 2008 he has focused on pipeline engineering within Engineering Service Providers. Matt continues to teach Geomatics Engineering in the MEng Pipeline Engineering degree at the University of Calgary. In 2010, Matt was the President of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.