Monday, February 20, 2012

National Pipeline Mapping System

As a result of the San Bruno, CA pipeline explosion of 2010, a great deal of reflection has been taking place about pipeline safety and the Emergency Services Sector's (ESS) ability to respond to these types of incidents.  Unfortunately, one of the issues that has come to light is paper field notes and drawings created many years ago during original construction, may not have been accurately converted into modern electronic geospatial databases (See: Pipelines, Black Swans, and Data Governance).  Additionally, because of various access issues, many police and fire departments have been responding to pipeline incidents with only basic understanding of what's in a particular pipe and how it's routed. 

In an effort to focus the firefighter community's attention on this issue and what can be done about it, recently ran an extensive article entitled: "Pipeline Emergency Planning & Response Tools".  Featured in the article is the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS), a system which provides geospatial data about the nation's pipeline systems on three different levels: public sector, responder, and government agency.  To read more about these capabilities, go here

Comment: Although the online viewer is as basic as it gets, a really nice feature of the system is the ability to quickly generate point of contact information for pipeline operators by political boundary or zip code. 

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