OMF Updates: January 2019

So far, 2019 has been a productive year for GMG’s Open Mining Format (OMF) and the growing community surrounding it. 

GMG’s Data Exchange for Mine Software sub-committee is committed to making OMF implementation straightforward. To this end, they have developed a support document that as project lead Sam Bain, Partner Integration Manager at Seequent describes, “provides easy-to-follow instructions for making the most of OMF in your chosen product.”

The document illustrates how to use OMF with Deswik, Seequent, and Dassault Systemes products currently supporting it.

Further elaborating, Bain explains “OMF is a straightforward format that is easy to implement…The format can be used to transfer points, lines, meshes and regular block models, as well as the metadata on these objects.”

Gustavo Pilger, Technology Research and Development Director at Dassault Systemes explains that the document “shows the community that the file format exchange is real as it is already implemented across a few applications.”

Pilger hopes the document will, “help improve the format and frame its second iteration” and “spread the word that there is a file format exchange that supports interoperability across applications.”

 

The community adopting the OMF is widening. Bane Sullivan, a graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines created an open source viewer for OMF (omfvtk) on GitHub. We will interview Bane next week to talk more about it.

This viewer offers a way to view an OMF file without having to buy a software package. “It is a great sign of a community developing around the OMF,” says Sam Bain. “It can only be a good thing if a format can easily be incorporated in a free viewer by a student working on their own.”

The sub-committee will also be kicking off OMF 2.0 at a workshop in Toronto on February 28-March 1. OMF 2.0 will focus on block models, chosen in response to feedback from end users. “The end goal of the workshop,” Bain says, “is to agree on what OMF 2.0 will look like and then share this plan with the wider community for review and comment.” Register here.

Why were block models no. 1? They were identified as a priority in our survey of over 250 end users in August 2018. See the results here.

Adam White, Technical Director, Deswik

“[The end users’] highest priority was to support a neutral block model format that could be used to pass block model data between different mining packages. This would reduce any data corruption risks associated with the transformation between different mining software formats as well as save time on running the transformations.”

Sam Bain, Partner Integration Manager, Seequent

 The group will focus on responding to end-user feedback – from the OMF survey in 2018 and direct engagement. The highest priority is sub-blocked model support. There are a range of block model formats across mining software products and we know that moving sub-blocked models between these packages is a major pain point. A single format that provides the parameters needed by the end user will alleviate this pain by facilitating quick and simple exchange of sub-block models.”