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Digitalization and software solutions


A primer: using GIS to build hydraulic pipeline models

Often the most challenging part of hydraulic modeling is not the mathematics or the analysis of the results, it’s the initial preparation of the data.  Frequently a GIS system is the ‘system of record’ for the starting point of a hydraulic model.  And most likely it is someone other than the hydraulic modeler who ‘owns’ that data.

Have you encountered situations where the GIS data may be good enough for its other uses, but lacking in some aspects for use in hydraulic modeling?  For example, two pipes are ‘close enough’ in the GIS to appear that they are connected, but in reality they are not.  This is certainly not ‘close enough’ for a hydraulic model!

Check out this example:  From this level, all of these pipes appear to be connected, just as required.

GIS - Synergi Gas - connected

A section of the network – from a distance

But if you zoom in further, you will see that this is not the case!  This may be sufficient for the other departments, but not for a hydraulic model; the results will certainly not be as expected.  Customers frown upon open ended pipes venting gas into the atmosphere – it’s just not good business!

GIS - Synergi Gas - disconnect

That same section of the network, zoomed in closer

But in a complex distribution network, there could be hundreds of thousands of components.  It would be impossible to zoom in on every connection to make sure all is as expected.  And there are many other potential issues: ‘orphaned’ facilities, incorrectly defined diameters, and more!  So what can you do?

Brent Mandich

Brent Mandich

Whitepaper: Using GIS information to build pipeline models

Our own Brent Mandich, Senior Network Analysis Engineer, developed a white paper to address this challenge.  He describes GIS data that is required to build pipeline models, the data that is nice to have, and the holes typically found when utilizing GIS information.  He then describes how Synergi Gas helps overcome some of these GIS challenges.

Check out the whitepaper here, and learn how to make GIS your modeling friend!


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