News & Updates

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  • 17 Sep 2014 7:56 PM | Anonymous
    Volunteers Needed for the APSG Booth at the Houston Area GIS Days
    Houston Area GIS Days
    September 17, 2014
    Houston Area GIS Days - We need your help! 

    APSG is one of the sponsors of the upcoming Houston Area GIS days to be held on November 19th and 21st. The November 19th activities are for GIS professionals and the 21st activities are for students. We are looking for volunteers for managing our booth and making a presentation on any GEOSPATIAL TOPIC which may be of interest to the attendees (from city and industry) at:


    1. November 19th professional day to be held at City of Houston office downtown on Walker Street

    2. November 21st student day to be held at Texas Southern University -managing the booth only.


    APSG will also be participating in the TEXAS A&M University GIS day on November 19th.


    If you are interested in attending and helping out, please contact Samantha,  
  • 13 Aug 2014 4:02 PM | Anonymous
    Save the Date for the APSG32 Fall Meeting

     Save the Date for the  APSG32 Central Chapter Fall Meeting

    NOVEMBER 6th, 2014
    Location and Social Details to Follow



    APSG Central Chapter Fall Meeting Topics

     Why this stuff matters to our business
     Providing well location data: challenges & solutions
     Data integrity considerations of domestic well location data
    Well bore positions, what could go wrong
     Well bore positioning measurement systems and calculation methods
    Database management of surface and well bore positioning data
     Industry standards now and under development



    We are still looking for sponsors for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and the social. If you are interested in sponsoring the event  you can make a donation directly by CLICKING HERE or you can mail payment to the attention of Robert Edwards:

    P.O. Box 7504
    Houston, Texas, 77270
    *Please make checks payable to APSG

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Best Regards,

    Jackie Portsmouth
    2013-2014 APSG US Central Chapter Chair
    Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics
    O: +1 214-389-7058
    M: +1 972-854-1624


  • 14 Jul 2014 9:31 AM | Anonymous
    Please see the email below from the Society for Underwater Technology:

    Join the SUT Learning Breakfast which includes an International Webinar!

    Thursday, July 24, 2014
    "New Technologies for Detecting Deepwater Gas Bubbles from Natural Seeps, Leaky Pipes, and Induced Fractures"
    Presented by: Dan McConnell, Fugro


    Join the SUT Learning Breakfast which includes an International Webinar!

    "New Technologies for Detecting Deepwater Gas Bubbles from Natural Seeps, Leaky Pipes, and Induced Fractures"

    Presented by: Dan McConnell, Fugro
    Fugro, 6100 Hillcroft, Houston  77081 ; Room 100


    Thursday, July 24th
    7:00 a.m. breakfast / check in
    7:30 a.m. Presentation and webinar begins
    Inludes a 45 minute presentation and 15 minute Q & A.

    NOTE:  Webinar Available!
    You will be contacted by  Lori Smith, SUT Administrator
    (via the e-mail you provided us on your registration)

     on webinar log in guidelines 

    Tuesday, July 22nd

    Webinar guests can type questions during the webinar through GoToWebinar chat

    which will be addressed during the last 15 minutes of the presentation.

    "Walk ups" the day of the breakfast will be charged $50.00 and only available if space permits.

    Apologies for any inconvenience.


    There is a remarkable resurgence underway in the use of geochemical surveys in the marine petroleum exploration industry. This resurgence has been driven by a confluence of: advances in and application of acoustic survey technology; the advent of the “digital bubble”; and market drivers that are pushing for smarter and less expensive exploration decisions in deep water. Applications of related sonar technology are also now being used for engineering and environmental monitoring of deepwater facilities and seabed conditions at developed fields.

    For almost 15 years, a few scientists have been helping innovative, early-adopter, oil companies use seafloor seep detection and precision sampling techniques to find and take geochemical samples at seeps to improve their exploration success. Now, multibeam echosounder (MBES) technology developed by the defense industry is rapidly being adopted to greatly improve the reliability and utility of these smart geochemical surveys.

    A recent step-change improvement in MBES technology is the vastly enhanced ability to image streams of gas bubbles in the water column, and hence improve seafloor seep detection.  Echosounder technology had always been able to image gas bubbles, but as the data moved from paper records to digital processing and interpretation, choices made to address data processing and storage limitations resulted in data reductions that no longer included water column data.  The new multibeam technology and processing choices have reintroduced water column bubble detection (WCBD), now in the form of a “digital bubble”, to the interpreter’s toolbox. 

    Today, market forces are driving the need to reduce costs for deep water exploration. Exploration teams are realizing that smart geochemical surveys can help guide where to shoot expensive 3D surveys.  Others are taking the bubble-detection ability further and want to use remotely-operated vehicles and robot submarines to directly sample and analyze the natural seeps.

    The inexpensive bubble-detection technology is now also being used to help: define baseline environmental conditions before field development commences; monitor deepwater developments for gas leaks in infrastructure; and identify and characterize induced leaks and other changes in seafloor conditions resulting from production activities. Improved application of this technology will be part of operators’ regular production field monitoring, maintenance, and environmental stewardship programs going forward.



    Dan McConnell began his geoscience career with Scott-Pickford, a British geoscience consulting group. He began to focus on marine geology and geophysics when he joined Fugro-McClelland Marine Geosciences in Houston in 1997.   There, he interpreted offshore 3D seismic data, high-resolution survey, geochemical, and geotechnical data in support of offshore engineering and drilling operations.   Dan left Fugro in 2003 to start a Houston-based geohazard consulting group at AOA Geophysics, which would augment their seafloor mapping and seep survey business.  Dan returned to Fugro in 2011 when AOA Geophysics was acquired and integrated with Fugro’s offshore consulting group. For a brief time, Dan managed Fugro’s Houston-based offshore consulting business.  He now works on aligning and integrating Fugro’s service offerings across the Americas.

    Dan has written numerous articles about deepwater site conditions. His main contribution has been the identification and quantification of gas hydrate deposits from seismic data that culminated with the landmark Chevron- US Department of Energy drilling expedition in the Gulf of Mexico in 2009. Dan holds two degrees, History and Geology, from the University of Texas at Austin.



    About SUT:
    This multi-disciplinary learned society brings together organizations and individuals with  common interests in underwater technology, ocean science and offshore engineering. The SUT was founded in 1966 in London and has members from more than 40 countries including engineers, scientists, other professionals and students working in these areas.

    The SUT was founded to promote the further understanding of the underwater environment  to encourage cross fertilization and dissemination of ideas, experience and information between workers in academic research, applied research and technology, industry and government development of techniques and tools to explore and study oceans, proper economic and sociological use of our resources in and beneath the oceans, further education of scientists and technologists to maintain high standards in marine science and technology.

    Jackie Portsmouth
    013-2014 APSG Houston Chapter Chair
    Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics                                

    O: +1 214 389 7058
    M: +1 972 854 1625

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  • 01 Apr 2014 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    The APSG31 US Central Chapter Spring Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 22 from 8:30am to 4:30pm immediately followed by a social at The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 705 Main Street, Houston, TX, 77002. We intentionally scheduled the meeting prior to the ESRI PUG Conference being held that same week in Houston so that members can plan to attend both events. The meeting will be hosted at the Hess Conference Center, 1501 McKinney Street, Houston Texas 77010, 4th Floor, rooms 4C and 4D.

    CLICK HERE for Event Details

    The Agenda will be sent out shortly - But don't miss your chance to see this great line-up of talks!


    IMPORTANT: We are still seeking sponsors for the APSG Spring Meeting Lunch and Social. Sponsors will receive recognition in email communications, website pages, on signage at the event, and will also be thanked as part of the meeting agenda. The APSG relies on a slate of volunteers to organize these events, and on sponsors to ensure the success of our semi-annual meeting. Every little bit helps - so please consider sponsoring the event today!


    If you are interested in sponsoring the event  you can make a donation directly by CLICKING HERE or you can mail payment to the attention of Robert Edwards:


    P.O. Box 7504
    Houston, Texas, 77270
    *Please make checks payable to APSG

    APSG Central Chapter Spring Meeting Talks Listing of Talks/Speakers (Official Agenda to Follow)  
     Future U.S. Datums

    PRESENTED BY: Denis Riordan, NOAA/National Geodetic Survey (NGS).


    The official geometric datum (horizontal) for the United States is the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).  This national datum has had three major updates since it was first published, with the last one being the NAD83 (2011) national adjustment.  The official U.S. vertical datum is the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) and is referenced through bench marks that are subject to change over time.  This network of passive control has associated inaccuracies, and is deteriorating daily through various types of construction, crustal movement, lack of re-observations, etc.  The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is currently working to define and adopt a geocentric reference datum for the United States to replace NAD 83.  At the same time, NGS is working to compute an accurate geoid model which will serve as the defining surface of a new vertical datum that will be accessed through GNSS technology.  Access to orthometric heights will be determined through future high accuracy geoid models, replacing NAVD 88 as the defining vertical datum.  These two changes are dependent upon one another in a variety of ways and are currently planned to occur simultaneously. 

    This presentation will provide a brief history of datums for the U.S., discuss why we need more modern datums, and how NGS is working to develop these new national datums.  As time allows, information will be provided on two other NGS products, the Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) with emphasis on OPUS Projects and the control mark search program, DSWorld.


    Nightmare on GIS Street: Accuracy, Datums, and Geospatial Data

    PRESENTED BY: Eric Gakstatter, Editor of Geospatial Solutions, Contributing Editor to GPS World Magazine.


    I'm not a trained geodesist. I'm not a mathematician. I know enough to be dangerous, and enough to know this subject is going to be a nightmare for people managing geospatial databases. The only reason it’s not a nightmare today is because most of you don't know it’s even a problem. Or, you know it’s a problem, but let it slide because dealing with it is not easy. It’s going to get worse in the future, much worse. It’s going to get worse because sensors (GPS, GNSS, imagery, etc.) are getting much more accurate. The cost of acquiring high-precision (centimeter-level) data, whether it’s via GNSS, scanning or?? is falling hard and fast. High-precision GNSS receivers are getting much cheaper. Geodata 2.0 is coming, and it is making existing geospatial databases look like my kids’ coloring books. Join me in a discussion about GNSS, horizontal datums, and geospatial data.



     North American Horizontal Datums
    PRESENTED BY: Jan Van Sickle, Van Sickle LLC


    This talk concerns the evolution of the North American Datum from inception to NAD83(2011) epoch 2010 and on to the planned movement away from NAD to a New Geometric Datum (NGD) to support improved GNSS positioning . The NGS 10-Year plan states "NGS [will redefine] the national horizontal datum to remove gross disagreements with the ITRF"

    GIS Skills Shortage - So What Are You Doing About it?

    PRESENTED BY: Ashok Wadwani, Applied Field Data Systems Inc.

    The Worldwide GIS Industry is anticipated to grow from US $4.4 billion in 2010 to US$ 10.6 billion by 2015 driven by growth of Tablets and Smart phones with built in GPS, increased awareness and various compliance requirements. To find new employees, most of the companies no longer offer apprentice/intern programs due to cost and time constraints. Companies are looking for "just in time employees -trained and ready to go". They want fully trained workers but want some others to train them.

    Due to various reasons, colleges and educators are not offering proper curriculum/ courses to future GIS graduates. How often has a educator contacted a business person to see how their curriculum fits their needs?  How often has a business person contacted a college to offer any advice? There is very little communication between colleges and potential employers. To put it bluntly "before you build a better mouse trap make sure you have mice around. Here we are producing graduates but do we know if they have the right skills or employable?

    The presentation will offer suggestions we all can use to improve the upcoming shortage of "Qualified GIS professionals".


    Stories from the Data Wars

    PRESENTED BY: Ellen West Nodwell,  Integrashare Solutioneering, Inc.

    From about the year 1939 AD through time came the Ships (short for shipments) loaded with more and more bits and bytes of data in boxes (tapes, all sorts of disks, USB sticks, hard drives, Bernoulli, ROM, the list is long).  The people who had to manage this data came to be known as the “data management people”.  They wore funny glasses so that they could see the Lines and rows of characters and numbers on the dark screens.  They grew gnarly over time and more cantankerous, as they became virtual curmudgeons, sticklers for accuracy and quality against a world full of defective inaccurate bytes of data.  It became a virtual war to be fought through future times by many brave men and women who call themselves soldiers in these data wars.  On “The Streets of Fire”, they call them the “data wranglers”.  There is more to the story…lots more.

    Case Study of Integrating the Area of Use Polygons from the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset

    PRESENTED BY: Kris Berglund, Blue Marble Geographics


    Going from theory to practice always presents unique challenges.  As Blue Marble implemented functionality around the EPSG Dataset’s Area of Use Polygons into the Geographic Calculator, some fairly unique challenges arose in the process.  What can be described in fairly simple terms as “limiting choices of coordinate systems and transformations based on geography” turns out to be a fairly complex problem when thousands of polygons and millions of data points enter the mix.  Issues such as data formatting, geography based searching, and processing speed all appeared in this unique development that required a bridge between simple database lookup, and true geospatial analysis.  This talk will explore both the challenges as well as some of the solutions that were arrived upon.









    We hope to see you there!

    Best Regards,

    Jackie Portsmouth
    2013-2014 APSG US Central Chapter Chair
    Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics
    O: +1 214-389-7058
    M: +1 972-854-1624


  • 08 Mar 2014 9:15 AM | Anonymous
    APSG US EAST CHAPTER Spring 2014 Meeting Details   
    APSG US East Chapter: Spring 2014 Meeting
    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014


    Must register by March 14th


    The APSG East Coast Chapter is teaming up with The Appalachia Petroleum User Group (APUG) Spring Meeting.  Please join us for what will be a great educational networking session will featuring two presentations, the first of which will be Jacob Boyle from Seneca Resources. The second presentation is from the Association of Petroleum Survey & Geomatics (APSG) and will feature Sam Knight of Blue Marble Geographics.

    We invite you to come spend an evening with other industry professionals generously sponsored by URS Corporation.

    Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014                                

    Time: 6 - 8 PM

    Location: The Bronze Hood, 5920 Steubenville Pike, McKees Rocks, PA 15136, 412/787-7240,


    RSVP: Please register by Friday, March 14th if you are interested in attending.


    If this invitation has missed the mark in your organization, please forward it along.


    Hope to see you there,


    Patrick Cunningham APSG East Coast Chair                                

    Thomas Mueller APSG East Coast Vice Chair

    Appalachia PUG Steering Committee (

    Michael Mirobelli, Cabot Oil & Gas                                

    Seth Rodriguez, MarkWest Energy Partners

    Ryan Rudzik, Atlas Resources Partners                               
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  • 04 Mar 2014 1:54 PM | Anonymous

     Announcement from the Canada Chapter

    Spring Meeting and Call for Papers

    APSG Canada Chapter Spring 2014 Meeting
    March 4, 2014
    Dear Members,

    The Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics Canada Chapter is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for our Spring Meeting on April 3, 2014.


    This is a Call for Papers to present during the meeting, which is open until March 14, 2014. We are currently planning for a Full Day event. There will be two themes at this event this year.


    Due to the success of the presentations about Oil & Gas Web Map Development at our last meeting, we are asking for more companies to demonstrate their applications to the membership.  Please submit a note to Dean Mikkelsen ( if you are interested in making a presentation.



    In the afternoon, we are looking at discussing an issue of importance to our members here in Calgary: NAD27/NAD83 Conversions and how we handle them from a software perspective, mapping, geology and geophysics, acquisition, pipelines, and what various organizations are doing to accommodate either datum or both datums. We would like to hear from Operators, Pipeline, Service and Government and Regulatory agencies about NAD27/NAD83 and to share your learning and experiences. Again, please submit a note to Dean Mikkelsen ( if you are interested in making a presentation about this topic.



    As with all events we will also be looking for sponsors for the Lunch and Social afterwards. If you are interested please contact Dean Mikkelsen (


    If there are more members interested in joining the leadership committee and helping to build the APSG here in Calgary, please feel free to contact Dean Mikkelsen ( We would like to become active in presenting the APSG and sharing and educating other professional organizations here in Calgary about the importance of geodesy, mapping, and how the importance of knowing your location can help the corporate bottom line.


     Dean Mikkelsen, Mark Dumka, John Spreen, Richard Andrews
    Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics
    Canada Chapter Leadership Committee

  • 14 Feb 2014 9:54 AM | Anonymous

     Invitation to Attend the APSG Spring 2014 Meeting

    Register Online TODAY!

    APSG Spring 2014 Meeting
    February 14, 2014
    Dear Members & Guests,
    The APSG is pleased to announce the details for the Spring 2014 Meeting. The APSG31
    US Central Chapter Spring Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 22 from 8:30am to 4:30pm immediately followed by a social. We intentionally scheduled the meeting prior to the ESRI PUG Conference being held that same week in Houston so that members can plan to attend both events. The meeting will be hosted at the Hess Conference Center, 1501 McKinney Street, Houston Texas 77010, 4th Floor, rooms 4C and 4D.
    The theme of this meeting is “Geospatial Data Nightmares - How to deal with Datum & Accuracy Issues”. Dennis Riordan from the NGS will be the keynote speaker and will be providing an update on the new horizontal datum the NGS is implementing. We are looking for 3-4 additional speakers who are passionate about all things Geospatial to deliver presentations on datum and accuracy issues as it relates to the petroleum industry.
    Interested in Speaking? Please submit your presentation title and abstract to John Conner  by March 7th.       


    For event details or to Register CLICK HERE


    Whether you are a new, recent, or veteran member of APSG I encourage you to join us for a great day of learning, discussion, networking, and fun. 


    Best regards,

    Jackie Portsmouth

    2013-2014 APSG Houston Chapter Chair

    Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics


    O: +1 214 389 7058

    M: +1 972 854 1625

  • 19 Dec 2013 10:52 AM | Anonymous
    Facebook   Twitter

    Wishing APGS Members, Family, and Friends every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year. 
    Our sincerest thanks for your membership and support this past year. We wish for the safe travel of anyone visiting family and friends. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our members and thank you for your continued support - Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2014.

    Jackie Portsmouth
    APGS Chair - Houston Chapter
    (O) 214-389-7058
    (M) 972-854-1625

  • 18 Dec 2013 9:25 AM | Anonymous
      The Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 is now available.
    Facebook   Twitter


    Dear APSG Members,

    Please see the news release sent out by Natural Resources Canada in regards to the new Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 being released:

    The Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 (CGVD2013) is now available!

    Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is pleased to announce the release of the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 (CGVD2013), which is now the reference standard for heights across Canada. This new height reference system replaces the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1928 (CGVD28).

    The chosen reference height of CGVD2013 derives from collaborative work and is formalized in an agreement between Geodetic organizations in United States of America and Canada. The vertical datum is now compatible with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS.

    The height of benchmarks is also now available in CGVD2013. These heights come from a readjustment of the entire existing federal first-order levelling network. Please note that the age of the benchmarks and the impact of regional instability since they were last observed may render them unreliable.  Re-observation is always recommended for critical applications requiring utmost accuracy.

    NRCan is maintaining the publication of heights at benchmarks in CGVD28 for those who prefer to continue using the old reference and to assure a smooth and gradual transition period to the new height reference system.

    More information is available at the web site of the Canadian Geodetic Survey, Surveyor General Branch, Geomatics Canada.


    Jackie Portsmouth
    APSG Chair-Houston Chapter
    (O) 214-389-7058
    (M) 972-854-1625

  • 01 Dec 2013 10:27 PM | Anonymous
    Further Details in Remembrance of Jim Cain       December 1, 2013  

    On behalf of the APSG Committee we would like to relay further details in regards to the sudden passing of our Dear Friend and Colleague Jim Cain.

    Dear APSG Family,

    Jim Cain was a man of legendary integrity, good humor, and reliability.  We all feel an emptiness and he will be greatly missed.  His obituary will be published in the Houston Chronicle on Monday, December 2nd, and Tuesday, December 3rd.

    Visitation will be at Dettling Funeral Home, 14094 Memorial Drive, Houston, on Tuesday December 3rd, from 6pm to 8 pm. The Funeral is Wednesday, December 4th at 10am at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 15015 Memorial Drive, Houston. The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Texas A&M Alumni Association.



    Michael Barnes
    APSG Foundation Chair 2010-2011
    APSG Past Chair 2008-2009
    APSG Strategic and Technical Advisor (STAC)

    Association of Petroleum Surveying and Geomatics                              

    M: +1 713 409 8747


    Jackie Portsmouth
    APSG Chair

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