Create an open source file interchange format that will allow transfer of geometric objects and other attributed data without adhering to restricted or proprietary file formats or compromising the original data content.
The Data Exchange for Mine Software Sub-committee is made up of representatives from software vendors and mining companies. As a first step in moving toward an open standard, the committee has used the Open Mining Format (OMF) file specification to develop a software for easily transferred data.
The current data-model and file specifications offer the ability to easily share data between software packages, providing a common data-model and file format for companies to seamlessly share data internally, or with outside vendors and customers. This eliminates the need to export to specific file formats and then re-import the file into other software, allowing a more streamlined approach. OMF version 0.9 code libraries are available on the Global Mining Guidelines Group servers.
Current project objectives are:
- Release the full OMF version 1.0.
- Demonstrate use case with version 0.9 or 1.0.
- Analyze use cases by vendors to begin work on version 2.0.
- Initiative a global outreach program, including collaboration with other industry associations, to ensure broad implementation of standard.
- Move to integrate standard with other industry associations to develop a global standard.
- Hire a project manager to oversee the work of the sub-committee and to develop an open process for managing and implementing future feature requests (i.e. new versions).
Modern mine planning and exploration routines often require geometric and topological data to be shared between different software programs. Vendors tend to restrict direct access to proprietary Application Program Interfaces in order to protect their intellectual property. This “locking up” of data either limits users to one vendor compatible software suite, or forces them into an inefficient workflow of exporting and importing, resulting in data loss. Generic file export formats are also becoming less able to accommodate increasingly large and complex data files.
The Data Exchange for Mine Software standard will create an open source software library to export and import simple geometric data (geometric primitives). The standard will also support properties (attributes) associated to the primitives, thereby maintaining data integrity throughout the transfer. The standard will be free and open.
The working group has identified that getting a minimum viable product into the hands of users and developers as soon as possible is the best means of growing awareness and adoption of the prototype standard. Building momentum on this project within the wider mining community will result in continual development and evolution.