A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, and present all types of geographic data. Many natural gas utilities utilize GIS to store information about their gas transmission and distribution systems. Pipes, valves, regulators, compressors, etc. – facilities that are important to hydraulic modelers often have information stored in GIS that can be utilized in hydraulic models.

The challenge presented is how best to get this data out of GIS and into a hydraulic model, along with the issues to be considered with this interaction. This paper will discuss the GIS data that is required to build pipeline models, the GIS data this is nice to have, and the holes typically found when utilizing GIS information.

Lastly, a look at how GIS can be used in maintaining and updating the hydraulic models moving forward will be discussed.


A Geographic Information System is a computer system that can be used to map, model, and analyze large quantities of data within a single database. GIS can be used to create maps, integrate information, and visualize scenarios and is used by a wide variety of organizations including schools, governments, and businesses.

As time goes on, more and more gas companies are utilizing GIS to store their transmission and distribution assets. Finding a way to use this data efficiently for network modeling is a challenge.

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