ZADCO's Health, Safety and Environment department has recently realized the challenges associated with managing large data volumes generated from various surveys, more specifically from environmental baseline surveys. To respond to this challenge, HSE with collaboration from the company's GIS applications section have initiated the use of Geographical Information technology to produce an effective HSE data management system, referred to as ECOGIS.

The primary objective of ECOGIS is to furnish a central database with defined standards in order to retrieve, manage and analyze geographically-related HSE data in a Web based GIS framework. ECOGIS is developed within the framework of a broader corporate GIS data management platform in ZADCO, referred to as iMAP (intelligent Mapping Application Package).

ECOGIS mainly incorporates environmental datasets as well as supplemental data layers for Health and Safety such as risk maps, noise level contours and so forth. Project data delivery guidelines have also been defined to provide to future survey contractors for a consistent data delivery. In addition to the creation and mapping of available HSE data and parameters, an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) has been developed based on existing baseline data. The ESI serves as a necessary support tool to ZADCO's oil spill response team and as an input to the oil spill modeling application called OILMAP.

This initiative will effectively facilitate the resolution of the following problem areas associated with the data management system in the company: 1) varying data formats; 2) constraints in tracking, analyzing and interpreting data; and 3) systematic data storage and retrieval. This paper details the phases and considerations in developing the ECOGIS and ESI model and the potential it offers for further data analysis and interpretation. We also shed light on the methodologies used to develop the conceptual design of ECOGIS and the way forward for realizing the full functionality of the system.

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