The Lost Art of Auto-Magically Creating Maps

A long, long time ago MapInfo was the gold standard in mapping applications and an application called GES97 enabled users to spot wells and or leases through an automated batch process. Fast forward 20 years to present day where few use MapInfo (in our industry) and even fewer spot wells or create leases automatically from legal descriptions.

Smart Grid loaded into LandNet

Of course, there are those more expensive land systems that handle both the accounting and spatial aspects pretty well, but for a large price tag that only enterprise GIS departments can afford. 

So – the quesion. Do you ever need to spot wells or leases based on footage calls? Without the XY locations and a smart grid file this can be a pretty daunting task. For some of us this is going to be old hat, while for others, it is going to save a ton of time.

Take a step back to 1997 (and probably further back) where a program called GeoGraphix (and then Petra) enabled users to spot wells or leases from the legal descriptions on a spreadsheet.

Time and time again, we see GeoGrahix and Petra users downloading shapefiles, and shapefiles only. First of all… it’s always a good idea to select shapefiles and the format which is native to your mapping application. For GeoGraphix choose CDF (or PRA – T/R Digitizer format), and for Petra, choose PRA (T/R Digitizer).

One of the best things about these two mapping programs (from a GIS perspective) is how they automap batch footage calls for well spots and leases. You can’t do this with a shapefile. You will need your native file format. Once you have your PRA or CDF files load them into the land grid database within your mapping program. Within that database you should see fields populated that include Meridian, Township, Township direction, etc.

You now have a smart land grid database loaded.

You can now batch spot your wells or leases (PLSS states only – Texas is another article!) from a spreadsheet or from with your mapping program. If you are a GeoGraphix or Petra user – when acquiring your land grid data, think of shapefiles as visualization only. CDF or PRA (T/R Digitizer files) are going to be your smart grid or you grid database files. You can still use the shapefiles you acquired for the display layer as some people find the labeling to be more appealing. In other words, get both file formats if possible.

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