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Oil & Gas Pipeline GIS Glossary / Dictionary

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Alignment Sheet

Also known as a strip map; specialized map for use in corridor industries such as transportation, electrical transmission, telecommunications and pipelines; they typically include a plan view (map) of a portion of the pipeline, accompanied by plan drawings (schematics) in the same scale and in exact alignment with the map.


An imperfection or defect that may be present in the pipe wall.

APDM : ArcGIS Pipeline Data Model

APDM is Designed for storing information pertaining to features found in gathering and transmission pipelines, particularly gas and liquid systems. The APDM was expressly designed for implementation as an ESRI geodatabase for use with ESRI's ArcGIS and ArcSDE® products.

ASME : American Society of Mechanical Engineers

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) conducts one of the world's largest technical publishing operations, holds some 30 technical conferences and 200 professional development courses each year, and sets many industrial and manufacturing standards. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, today ASME International is a nonprofit educational and technical organization serving a worldwide membership.

Baseline Assessment Plan

A baseline assessment plan (BAP) is the plan a pipeline operator must develop to assess the integrity of all of the lines included in its integrity management program. The BAP must show when each line is to be assessed and the assessment method the operator will use.

Technically speaking: The baseline assessment plan is an integral part of an operator's pipeline integrity management program. The BAP must, as a minimum: 1) identify all segments of a pipeline system that could impact a High Consequence Area (HCA); 2) identify the specific integrity assessment method(s) to be conducted on those segments; 3) specify the schedule by which those integrity assessments will be performed; and 4) provide the technical justification for the selection of the integrity assessment method(s) and the risk basis for establishing the assessment schedule. (Reference 49CFR 195.452).

Cathodic Protection:

Protection against environmental corrosion (soil or moisture) of underground or submerged metallic structures through the use of a negative potential applied by an external source to the structure.

Class Location

Class location refers to a regulatory designation for natural gas transmission pipelines that indicates the level of human population within a certain distance on either side of the line. The class location of a pipeline is a factor in determining the maximum allowable operating pressure of the pipeline.Technically speaking: Class location is a criterion for gas pipeline design set by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 49CFR 192.5. A class location is based on the number and type of buildings intended for human occupancy that are situated in an area that extends 220 yd (200 m) on either side of the centerline of any continuous 1.0-mile (1.6-km) length of a gas pipeline. Class locations are specified as Class 1, 2, 3 or 4. Class 1 indicates the least heavily populated of the class locations, representing an offshore area or an area with 10 or fewer buildings intended for human occupancy. In comparison, Class 4 indicates the most heavily populated of the class locations, representing an area where buildings with four or more stories above ground are prevalent.


A group of GeoFields solutions that manage pipeline and facility data

DataFrame™ ASG

DataFrame™ ASG is GeoFields software that dynamically generates alignment sheets from the common pipeline database. Sheet design is entirely in the hands of users with a library of bands available and output options to a range of file formats as well as directly to a wide range of printers and plotters

DLG : Digital Line Graph

USGS digital vector file containing points, lines and areas of planimetric information (polygons)

DOQ : Digital Orthographic Quadrangle

Aerial photograph which has been processed to remove all distortions caused by camera tilt, perspective, and topography; the scale is uniform across the entire image

DRG : Digital Raster Graphics

Scanned image of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) standard series topographic map

DIMP : Distribution Integrity Management Program

Distribution Integrity Management Program

Direct Assessment

Direct assessment refers to a method of evaluating the integrity of a pipeline. Various indirect measurement tools are used to determine locations on the pipeline that may require direct examination to verify pipeline integrity. These locations are then excavated and examined to verify that the pipe is in good condition or to make necessary repairs.

EDMS : Electronic Document Management System

System that supports the transmission, storage, and retrieval of all documents relating to an organization’s business activities

EDM : Enterprise Data Management

Organizes the storage and retrieval of all data vital to the operation of the enterprise

ERP : Enterprise Resource Planning

Software and systems that support internal business processes with real-time access to information across the enterprise; these systems typically service human resources, supply chain management, and back office financial functions


U.S. government agency that regulates hydroelectric dams and interstate commerce in oil, gas, and electricity

GFDM : GeoFields Pipeline Data Model

GeoFields format for the design of pipeline databases, based on the PODS standard

GIS : Geographic Information System

A Geographic Information System is a computerized system for capturing, maintaining, analyzing, integrating and displaying any data that can be related to maps or locations.

HCA : High Consequence Area

A High Consequence Area is an area legally defined by the OPS as being especially vulnerable to damage in the event of a pipeline leak or failure.


A type of map drawing that emphasizes landform morphology by using colored, shaded relief.

ILI : In-Line Inspection

In-Line inspection is a method of inspecting a pipeline using an in-line inspection tool or smart pig. ILI is also known as Internal Inspection or Smart Pigging. Different ILI techniques and tools are designed to detect defects in the pipe wall and on the internal and external surfaces of the pipe. Defects can include areas of corrosion, dents, metal loss, and the presence of cracks.

IMP : Integrity Management Program

An integrity management program is a documented set of policies, processes, and procedures that are implemented to ensure the integrity of a pipeline.

Technically speaking: In accordance with pipeline safety regulations for oil pipelines, an operator’s integrity management program must include, at a minimum, the following elements: – a process for determining which pipeline segments could affect a High Consequence Area (HCA), – a Baseline Assessment Plan, – a process for continual integrity assessment and evaluation, – an analytical process that integrates all available information about pipeline integrity and the consequences of a failure, – repair criteria to address issues identified by the integrity assessment method and data analysis (the rule provides minimum repair criteria for certain, higher risk, features identified through internal inspection), – a process to identify and evaluate preventive and mitigative measures to protect HCAs, – methods to measure the integrity management program’s effectiveness, and – a process for review of integrity assessment results and data analysis by a qualified individual. (Reference 49CFR 195.452)

Linear referencing

A system for identifying the location of pipeline features and characteristics by measuring distance from the start of the pipeline. An example linear reference address is: Engineering Station 1145+86 on pipeline Alpha = 114,586 feet from the start of the pipeline.

LNG : Liquefied Natural Gas

Liquefied natural gas is natural gas or synthetic gas having methane (CH 4) as its major constituent, which has been changed to a liquid.

NED : National Elevation Dataset

A seamless mosaic of best-available elevation data from the U.S. Geological Survey, used for improved base of elevation data for calculating slope and hydrologic derivatives. This data set replaces the earlier Digital Elevation Model

NHD : National Hydrography Dataset

A comprehensive set of digital spatial data from the U.S. Geological Survey that contains information about surface water features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, springs and wells

NPRM : Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A notice of proposed rulemaking is a formal notice by a federal agency of its intent to adopt specific proposed requirements into regulations. The NPRM is published in the Federal Register (unless all persons subject to the proposed requirements are personally served with copies), invites comments from the public on the proposed requirements, and specifies when, how, and to whom comments are to be submitted.

NPMS : National Pipeline Mapping System

The National Pipeline Mapping System is a full featured GIS database containing the locations and selected attributes of natural gas transmission lines, hazardous liquid trunk lines and LNG facilities operating in onshore and offshore territories of the United States. Created by a joint government-industry effort between the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety, other federal and state agencies and the pipeline industry.

NWI : National Wetlands Inventory

A department within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that produces information on the characteristic, extent, and status of the National Wetlands and deepwater habitats

OPS : Office of Pipeline Safety

A division of the US Department of Transportation, with a mandate to oversee and enforce federal pipeline safety regulations

Open Architecture

Refers to databases and technologies that easily connect with and exchange data with other databases and technologies


The practice of having a third party perform functions that are not in the organization’s set of core competencies

Overland Spread™

GeoFields’ proprietary process for modeling the potential spread of liquids from a ruptured pipeline. Potential spreads are modeled over land and along waterways

PHMSA : Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is the federal agency charged with the safe and secure movement of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation. The agency also overseas the nation’s pipeline infrastructure.

PIMS : Pipeline Integrity Management System

Pipeline Integrity Management System

PODS : Pipeline Open Data Standard

The Pipeline Open Data Standard is a standard format for the design of pipeline databases.


A group of GeoFields solutions that provide support in anticipation of and during pipeline construction

Qualitative Risk Analysis

A qualitative risk analysis is an analysis of hazards to determine which ones should be of most concern to address in preventing an accident.

Technically speaking: A qualitative risk analysis is a disciplined analysis of the event sequences that could transform a potential hazard into an accident.

The process is used to identify and assess risks to determine which ones should be of most concern. The identified hazards can then be ranked according to risk, allowing preventive and mitigative measures to be prioritized and taken to prevent accidents.

Quantitative Risk Analysis

A quantitative risk analysis is a numerical analysis of risks.

Technially speaking: A quantitative risk analysis is a process of hazard identification, followed by numerical evaluation of incident consequences and frequencies, and their combination into an overall measure of risk. Often associated with expressions of absolute risk but can also include methods expressing risk in relative terms, such as indices or scores.


A group of GeoFields solutions that support integrity management programs

SCADA : Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition are hardware and software components that gather data in real time from remote locations in order to monitor conditions and control equipment.

SCC : Stress Corrosion Cracking

Stress corrosion cracking is cracking that occurs in the steel pipe material that is caused by a combination of stress, corrosive environment, and temperature.

Technically speaking: SCC is environmentally-assisted cracking that can result when the combined action of stress, an electrochemical cracking environment, and temperature causes cracks to initiate and grow in susceptible line-pipe steel.

VPN : Virtual Private Network

A network that leverages public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide secure (private) access to the organization’s network from remote offices. This is in contrast to using owned or leased telecommunication lines