How GMSG is Helping to Make 3D Data Exchange Easier and More Effective

Currently, mining companies use multiple applications to manage and manipulate their 3D models. Many job functions including surveyors, geologists, mine engineers, and managers, need to be able to move from one 3D data application to another with consistency and relative ease in order to manipulate 3D projects while collaborating with clients and colleagues. This is where issues arise, as many of these applications and software do not allow for easy, clean and accurate movement of 3D information.

Having multiple applications creates common technical and process challenges that can result in significant setbacks, some of which occur more than others. These issues revolve around scripts, ASCII, flat files, name conventions, rotation of 3D images, validity, colour models, managing coordinate systems and file size, while the significant process challenges are the time loss, reverse engineering, restricted use of available technology, additional costs, and increased risk. All of these challenges result in additional costs to maintain the solutions and they cause significant time lost to manual maintenance of the processes.

A new report from GMSG highlights these issues and proposes the creation of an Open Mining Format (OMF) as a better solution to transferring, managing and manipulate 3D information. The creation of a successful OMF would require development of a common syntax for 3D objects. By developing a common definition for 3D objects mining organizations may improve the compatibility of mining software packages, which will allow for fewer issues with manipulating 3D information. The report is based on recommendations from interviews with personnel from industry leaders such as Teck, Barrick Gold and Newmont.

The report-recommended next steps steps are as follows:

  • Researching Existing Open 3D Formats
  • Summit on 3D Solutions Outside of Mining Industry
  • Continued Challenge Capture: Workflows and Open Survey
  • Develop Formal Work Plan for Format Development and Validate Users
  • Open a Shared Script Library and Host Online Solutions Forum

According to the report, GMSG would be managing the hosting responsibilities usually managed by the vendor, as well as providing a rich source of user data, and an ongoing beta/feature testing audience. Creating an OMF will allow mining organizations to effectively eliminate process challenges, reduce setbacks and decrease unnecessary expenses.

Read the full report here.