13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2012 8:20 AM by Robin Verhoek

    Experience with linking GIS spatial database with PI data


      Can anyone share some experience with linking spatial data located in another database with PI data for display in ProcessBook? Did you do it programatically or is PI AF the way to go for this? Do you use PI SDK?  Is "auto creation" of PI AF elements part of it for when new assets are added to the spatial database?


      This question comes in the context of an oil and gas company with wells, compressor stations and pipelines with associated spatial coordinate data stored in corporate applications.

        • Re: Experience with linking GIS spatial database with PI data

          In the old days you would probably look at interfacing with other systems and replicating their data in PI.  In the modern days of PI you would likely look to use AF to bring together your asset data from various systems - the AF dataset is a core part of ProcessBook.  You can make use of AF Element Templates to simplify your creation of new assets but if you want new assets created in AF/PI when your other systems are updated then you would need to build your own synchronisation engine.


          Do you have good data models for your assets and the systems where the asset data is mastered?  I worked on such a project for an oil & gas company and their assets, it was a must before beginning to bring the data together from all the systems.  Once this was done and templates created, maintenance is a breeze.

            • Re: Experience with linking GIS spatial database with PI data
              Ahmad Fattahi

              As Rhys pointed out, PI AF is a central piece of today's PI System. You can think of PI AF as the database for elements and structural information while PI Server would hold the process and time series data.


              External systems/devices/equipments would be modeled in PI AF as elements (using element templates would be a huge plus in mass implementations). The attributes and data references of each element would correspond to data streams stored in the PI Server.


              PI Processbook is then capable of communicating with PI Server and AF Server (through add-ins such as AF Dataset, AF Modeler, Element Relative Display) to retrieve corresponding data.

                • Re: Experience with linking GIS spatial database with PI data

                  Agreed, the PI Asset Framework (AF) should be the preferred way to go to retrieve these longitude/latitude/etc. type of details from an external database - and access them alongside other asset information (e.g. timeseries data and others). Then which Data Reference to use (i.e. the regular Table Lookup or a custom one) depends on which GIS system the information is stored in, and how it exposes its data. We would need more information to make sound recommendations.


                  This begs another question: what do you want to do with that data, where do you want to display it? In most cases, you'll realize it's easier to bring PI System data in your GIS visualization/analysis tools (using products from the PI Data Access family) than to visualize PI+GIS data on the PI Clients side. Again, we would need more information on what that GIS system to help you further.