FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WITH LONG ANSWERS: PART I
There are a number of questions that come up frequently when we’re at a tradeshow or performing a product demo. In the complicated world of data management, short answers, like those typically found on an FAQ page, sometimes come up…short. With that in mind, I’ve decided to use this blog post to address a couple of these more complicated questions we commonly receive:
Question 1: Where do you get your data?
This is a simple question, without a simple answer. MAPSearch sources data from a variety of channels, in a variety of formats. This includes, but isn’t limited to: regulatory filings, news media, corporate communications, press releases and printed materials. However, good data can sometimes be elusive. This is where our research team really shines by using their experience and industry contacts to locate that hard-to-find information. Without giving away our trade secrets, you would be surprised by what sources can yield quality energy infrastructure data!
Question 2: How accurate is your dataset?
The short answer is that the data accuracy on any given asset is that it is as good as the source data that was used to place it. That being said, like the question above, there is more to the story. That story is most easily told in two parts:
This is the ‘who, what, and when’ part of our dataset, and includes the following: owner, operator, commodity, voltage, capacity/diameter, year installed and more. The sources we use for this data must be independently verifiable – if we can’t confirm it, it doesn’t go into our dataset.
This is the ‘where’ part of our dataset and refers to the geographic placement of assets. Spatial source data is more difficult to acquire than attribute data and the accuracy ranges from very good to very bad. For instance, if we are able to collect digital survey data on a pipeline, the accuracy will be excellent. However, survey grade data is not available for every asset, especially in the case of proposed pipelines and older gathering systems. In these cases, we must rely on the best source of information we can find.
So how do you, the user, determine the spatial accuracy of an asset? Good question! The MAPSearch data includes an attribute called a “metacode.” The metacode tells you the accuracy of the source we used to place the data, so that you know what to expect. Our research and GIS teams are continually seeking the highest quality sources of spatial data available so that they may implement them into our dataset.
See, I told you they were long answers. Long, but hopefully, informative. There are several more of these FAQs that I’ll address in a follow-up posts (hence, Part I). In the meantime, if you have questions that you would like to see answered here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!