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Geological Data Design's Field Data Integrator tablet app collects data from a variety of instruments, synchronises it with an Actian Vectorwise database, and presents the results of analysis.

"For the last 25 years GDD has been helping companies in the resource sector collect, manage and analyse their data. Today's technology enables us to do this more quickly and effectively," said Tony Shellshear, principal and founder of GDD.

"Geologists traditionally carry a lot of different field equipment to explore, record observations and take samples. They make notes and drawings, record co-ordinates, take photos, videos, or perhaps audio recordings.

"Collating this data can be very time consuming, and geologists can spend up to 1-2 hours a day manually entering these different information types into the database. GDD's Field Data Integrator does all this automatically by synchronising information from the various devices to the tablet computer, which then uploads the data to the main Vectorwise database when in reach of a wireless signal.

"This means geologists can spend more time collecting samples, or analysing the data, rather than being tied to the clerical work."

Such analysis includes the creation of geological models, the calculation of mineral deposits, and planning mines.

While any one set of field data may be relatively small, the combined databases can run into billions of records, so a high-performance DBMS is essential.

"We chose to use the Vectorwise database for its ability to quickly analyse data," said Mr Shellshear.

"Vectorwise allows the consideration of a much larger number of scenarios, improving the sensitivity analysis on aspects of the project. This provides a clearer picture of potential project timings, cash flows and profitability, with improved confidence in decisions as a result."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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