20 Years of PODS Data Models
A Single Master Source of Information
The PODS Pipeline Data Model provides the database architecture pipeline operators use to store critical information, analyze data about their pipeline systems, and manage this data geospatially in a linear-referenced database which can then be visualized in any GIS platform. The PODS Pipeline Data Model houses the attribute, asset information, construction, inspection, integrity management, regulatory compliance, risk analysis, history, and operational data that pipeline companies have deemed mission-critical to the successful management of natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines.
Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) data model is an industry standard, used by pipeline operators to provide a “single master source of information,” and to eliminate “localized silos of information that are often unconnected.” As the US and other parts of the world increase their focus on pipeline integrity management (PIM), the importance of data integration should not be overlooked. Referencing and integrating data within a spatial context can help to provide pipeline operators with a ‘definitive view’ of their pipeline assets. The PODS Data Model provides guidelines for the tedious process of reconciling “as-built” data with Operational and Inspection data in one single source.
Database Architecture for a Linear-Referenced Database
The PODS Pipeline Data Model provides the database architecture pipeline operators use to store critical information and analysis data about their pipeline systems, and manage this data geospatially in a linear-referenced database which can then be visualized in any GIS platform.
This linear reference system incorporates location information with every record stored in the database. The ‘address’ or engineering station describes either a linear section of the pipeline or a point where that particular record applies. For example, a pipeline may have a casing that begins at 1000 m from the beginning of the pipeline and is 50 m long. In the database, this casing is represented with a begin station of 1000 m and an end station of 1050 m. Similarly for a point feature, such as a valve, the begin station and end station are the same value (i.e., 500 m).
In a similar manner, the same linear referencing system is used to locate, and effectively overlay, inspection reports, events, activities, or features, which occur on or near the pipeline.
A comprehensive set of tables and columns store all of the data required for PIM, and other relevant data.
PODS also allows for external documents such as reports, procurement records, hydrostatic test charts, or even photographs, to be linked to the physical assets they describe.
A Repository for ALL Mission-Critical Data
The PODS Pipeline Data Model houses the asset information, inspection, integrity management, regulatory compliance, risk analysis, history, and operational data that pipeline companies have deemed mission-critical to the successful management of natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines.
Typical information stored in a PODS database includes (partial list):
- centerline location
- pipeline materials and coatings
- valves and pipeline components
- cathodic protection facilities and inspection results
- operating conditions
- physical inspection results
- leak detection surveys
- foreign line crossings
- inline inspection (ILI) results
- close-interval survey results
- pump and compression equipment specs
- geographic boundaries
- external records
- risk analysis methods and results
- regulatory reports
- pipeline and ROW maintenance activities
- ….and more….
A GIS Neutral –or– PODS Spatial Compatible Platform
The PODS Relational Model is implemented on either an Oracle or SQL Server RDBMS, and is therefore GIS-neutral. The PODS Spatial Implementation is essentially identical in content to the PODS Relational Pipeline Data Model, but was specifically developed as a geodatabase for implementation on the ESRI platform.
The PODS data model is typically implemented on a relational database management system (RDBMS) such as Oracle or SQL Server. Queries and interactions with the PODS database are written in structured query language (SQL), the most common database programming language.
The PODS relational model does not depend on GIS, but a GIS is the most common method for displaying PODS data, either on maps or overlaid on satellite images. Software applications are available that allow loading and manipulation of data within in a PODS database through a GIS front-end.
The data model itself is GIS neutral, and the fact that it is open allows many software companies to develop applications that can interface with it.
Because of its open architecture, PODS can be accessed and used by multiple vendors who use different platforms. PODS is already an extensive pipeline data model for storing a comprehensive set of critical features and attributes necessary to support PIM. PODS is GIS‐platform independent, meaning it can work with Esri, Intergraph, or any other GIS software. It is available as either a relational database (Oracle and SQL Server are currently supported) or as an Esri geodatabase.
A Pipe-Centric Approach
This pipe-centric approach to managing pipeline data in a single data repository, a PODS database, helps pipeline owners to collect, verify, manage, analyze, update, maintain, and deliver all the information about their pipelines quickly and reliably to applications and end-users. Since the data records are linked to the pipe segment, re-route, change of service, asset transfer or sale, abandonment, removal, repair, and replacement are all managed within the PODS database.
A Holder of Important Historical Records
The PODS Pipeline Data Model is configurable to maintain history of important data records, and accommodates history tracking for re-routes, replacement, looping, coatings, maintenance, crossings, inspections, testing, operations, new data sources (such as GPS), engineering analyses, and regulatory reports, among others.
PODS Lite v1.1 – the Latest Abbreviated Next Gen FREE Release
The PODS Association has launched the PODS Lite Data Model free of charge to anyone wishing to evaluate and understand how the PODS Pipeline Data Model can support their needs.
This latest version of PODS Lite (v 1.1) includes implementations for SQL Server, Oracle, and PostGreSQL in addition to Geodatabase implementation. Version 1.1 also includes schema changes based on testing of version 1.0, new tables, abstract classes and code lists, data type and names changes.
*NOTE: A NEW “PODS Esri Spatial 6.0” release has just been uploaded in November 2016! Go to the Members Only area to download this latest version.
In the current release of the PODS Pipeline Data Model (PODS 6.0, May, 2013) the PODS model has been broken down into 31 modular components which may be implemented independently with certain dependencies.
The PODS Pipeline Data Model release file automatically generates the PODS Database structure, ready to be populated with your pipeline data. The PODS Data Model is copyright-protected, and legal use of the model requires your company be a member of the PODS Association, or to have been a member when the version you are using was released by the PODS Association.