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Frederick grads putting their tech application on the map of O&G industry and beyond

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By Jeremy Johnson

LAKEWOOD — Two brothers and Frederick High School grads providing nearly two decades’ worth of digital data services have now developed a mapping application they said is easy to use, even for the most technologically impaired.

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Maperture is an application that helps customers organize and analyze geospatial information in a way that allows even those staffers not generally known for their tech savvy — say, a company’s finance officer or maybe the marketing manager — to utilize and share vital asset information in a variety of formats, information that in turn can be applied to marketing, inventory, market projections, staff reports and more.

“We incorporate web-based GIS (geographic information system) technologies … and expand on those technologies through custom development,” said president and co-owner of Digital Data Services, Scott Carter. Scott’s older brother, David, comprises the other half of ownership of the Lakewood digital data service provider, which provides customers with geographic business solutions. “This includes creating workflows that incorporate datasets that the customer may have internally, or datasets that are offered through public domain.

“Our intention is to create a central repository for spatial and non-spatial information that a company may need access to, and create the tools to organize, analyze and present the information in a way that non-technical users can easily interact with,” he added.

 

To oil and gas, and beyond

It’s a service with many obvious advantages in an industry such as oil and gas, where Carter said Maperture can help both conventional and unconventional drilling companies track not just the number of wells in operation, but their exact location and day-to-day production. 

Carter said DDS is hardly the first company to provide that information — most oil and gas association websites, including the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s, have all that data available to the public. The problem is, Carter said, being able to drill down and find the specific data sought, and then analyzing that information in a way that makes sense in the boardroom or the oil and gas patch.

“(COGA) puts all their geospatial data sets online, as do most of the oil and gas commissions,” Carter said. “But the key is, if you want to use that data you have to have a GIS person or a geotech person on staff who’s savvy enough to download the data from that site, put it into a mapping system and create whatever maps, charts or analytics the non-tech users need.” With Maperture, Carter said all those resources are just a click away.

To demonstrate his point, Carter quickly pulled the Maperture application up on a monitor and began customized searches showing real-time oil and gas well data for the entire state of North Dakota. Similar to what they’ve done with COGA’s website, Carter said his company has written scripts that allow them to automate the process of downloading O&G geospatial information from North Dakota’s Oil and Gas Association into their own database, where Maperture can do its magic. In other words, the little asterisks on the screen denoting active wells and the information that comes with them is in real time, Carter said. 

Carter said DDS then takes that real-time information and converts it into multiple formats, like raster, vector or tabular data formats. He added that DDS’s strength has always been upscale presentations and cartographic maps, and said the company has from the beginning scanned large documents in-house. With Maperture, those scanned documents — which can include everything from drawn maps to written leases — can subsequently be linked and made available to customers by computer, physical maps or even mobile devices, Carter said.

With its broad applications, Maperture also proves beneficial to a slew of other industry-related companies, including mining operations, wastewater disposal services and even litigation firms. Then there are other customers who use DDS’ services in a way more unrelated to the energy industry, such as government groups, engineering firms or even national media outlets. Carter said one of DDS’ customers is a soft drink company looking to analyze demographic data.

 

Diversification
and expansion

Carter said the reason for the broad range of industry interests in the application is because of the way the program is able to not only organize a company’s data but to deliver analyses that is customized to a specific industry’s needs. 

For instance, when it comes to one customer — a wastewater disposal company operating in the busy Williston Basin in North Dakota — DDS’s Maperture provides information on wastewater production coming from nearby wells, allowing the business to target particular companies or operators as potential customers in need of their service.

But aside from the appeal of a customized approach, Carter said it’s also the simplified final product that allows Maperture to be effective across multiple industries and with various users. Carter said web mapping is an old industry standard but has historically been delivered in ways that are too “clunky” and too layered for the average person to utilize properly. Maperture sidesteps those roadblocks by meeting not just a customer’s needs, but adjusting to their abilities.

“What we’re doing is putting desktop GIS capabilities into the hands of non-technical individuals through and easy-to-use web viewer,” he said. “Web mapping has been around for a long time … but our application is customized to specific needs of a customer.”

Carter said DDS is still working on deciding how to market their product to a larger audience. And while they have customers from Texas to North Dakota, they are still seeking a customer base in their “home” — industry-heavy Weld County. Carter said DDS has done some prototypes for water hauling industries working the Denver-Julesberg Basin, but has yet to fully integrate into an industry that’s prevalent in and around their former Frederick home. To do so, Carter said he believes his firm needs to target the tech-starved ancillary and service businesses that support the industry, such as customer Select Energy Services in Brighton and Longmont.

“We think there’s a need on the service side of the oil and gas industry — not the production side of things — but services such as water hauling, water disposal, drill bit sales, anything that’s service related to O&G,” Carter said. “We feel they’ve been traditionally overlooked by these kind of solutions.

“But the fact of the matter is, they need this information,” he added. “They need to know how has permits or how much water is being produced. They need know who has what assets where, and we can help them.”

For more information visit DDS’s website at www.digitialdataservices.com.

 

Contact Staff Writer Jeremy Johnson
at 303-659-2522, ext. 217, or
jjohnson@metrowestnewspapers.com.