Many companies have invested heavily in search engines, technical databases and computing technologies to enable its personnel to make better, faster decisions with reliable data. However, lack of integration of content and technologies, prevents full realization of the value of these investments. These investments can be greatly enhanced by implementing an ‘integration’ layer to connect a geological interface with seemingly disparate content repositories and third party applications and by using a common vocabulary for access between them. The technologies for geological references, search engines, and information catalogues are not new. What is new is the integration of those technologies and the classification framework into a geological work place.

The integration layer merges structured, (i.e. third party technical applications), and unstructured information-content typically stored in documents such as reports and presentations. An asset identifier, such as well number, usually links technical databases, which may/may not be valid search criteria in unstructured data. Those likely rely on common names or phrases more than numeric labels. Even within the structured databases, greater flexibility is needed to retrieve technical information by multiple industry terms, i.e. SID or OFID, or aliases. An integration layer is currently necessary to manage the translations for retrieval from these systems. Hopefully over time, industry and open standards will emerge to reduce this effort.

While our scope focuses primarily on the geological and geophysical domain, future implementations will easily include additional subject areas, disciplines, and departments across the organization as interest grows to tie not only technical information, but relate cost, schedule and workforce data to quickly identify success areas. (Near) real-time events such as vessel movements, weather changes and high resolution imagery for facilities and terrain, can be incorporated to make a more dynamic experience. This new experience could enable a better business practice in digital knowledge management by linking seemingly unrelated information sources while still allowing for more in-depth reviews and retrieval of information using specific searches within the particular repositories themselves. A key factor is using a seamless translation from more common terminology to their native applications and therefore, makes it easier for the user to find and discover knowledge in the organization.

Furthermore, as software products have reached functional maturity and high saturation levels within organizations, the challenge now is to integrate old and new technologies and the associated data management for both technical professionals and IT. By exposing the data within these applications through easy to understand, defined relationships, the true data owners and their customers can view the end product, understand the quality, and actively reuse the information.

The true value of this workspace is that it will help protect investments in proprietary knowledge, which is vitally important in today's environment of retiring workforces, advancing globalization, information overload, and scarcity of trained personnel. This new workspace has the potential to expedite problem resolution, emergency responses, and assist less experienced employees accelerate learning or at a minimum be able to find relevant information to support the learning process.

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