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Before the advent of Blue Sky Evolution, pipeline operators relied on pre-construction blueprints for the initial use, which varied slightly from the actual groundwork of the pipelines. These variations, although small, could have a detrimental effect on the safety of the pipelines when they are first operated. In this scenario, the question lingers: Why aren’t the operators updating their maps as per the construction changes in the field? To answer that, it is important to remember that the deadline of a pipeline project does not extend and updating maps is a slow process owing to the lack of appropriate tools to efficiently collect and communicate the changes in data from all the different sources. With legacy systems in place, the data communicated to the operators have to be manually adjusted to re-design the whole alignment from scratch. Blue Sky Evolution’s entry into the market successfully solved this predicament with innovative tools to create alignment sheets faster through Esri’s ArcGIS platform while simplifying pipeline mapping and upholding the safety of the pipelines.
In a conversation with CIO Applications, Jacob Ramirez, president of Blue Sky Evolution shares insights on the company’s journey in becoming the go-to Esri pipeline alignment and mapping solution provider for the pipeline industry.
What makes Blue Sky Evolution the leading Esri solution provider in the pipeline industry?
Blue Sky Evolution was established in 1998, and we have been an Esri silver partner for almost two decades. We not only work but also communicate with the Esri team constantly on upcoming technologies in the geographic information system (GIS) landscape such as mapping solutions, spatial data analysis, and ArcGIS. As the leader in the GIS solutions arena, Esri’s mapping power is unmatched. We leverage Esri’s training program to help our new team members strengthen their knowledge of GIS.
What sets us apart and boosts our pipeline mapping solution’s popularity is our core focus on helping our clients input and deliver high-quality field data to their end users. Our unique value proposition is our ability to connect different data and technology platforms, with Esri being the largest that we work with, to create a seamless data flow. Our innovative tools are designed to automate reports as well as bring accuracy to pipeline maps and alignment sheets for the operators.
What sets us apart and boosts our pipeline mapping solution’s popularity is our core focus on helping our clients input and deliver high-quality field data to their end users
Could you please provide an overview of Blue Sky Evolution’s flagship offering?
Our mission statement focuses on pipeline safety. We strive to achieve this by ensuring that the pipeline operators, when they initially start the operation after having built the pipeline are equipped with all the necessary data to safely operate it for its entire lifecycle.
Lightning, our main application on the Esri platform is an incredibly dynamic alignment sheet generator geared for the rigorous changes associated with new pipeline construction. Before Lightning was introduced, mappers had to redraft and redraw everything on the alignment sheets every time there was a change and had to almost restart the project from the beginning. Lightning makes it extremely easy to load data from the field into Esri's ArcMap application to create alignment sheets very quickly. With Lightning, clients can re-process the new data and generate an alignment sheet within a few seconds. The Lightning application runs station calculations on the linear length along the alignment and readjusts the line swiftly with every new change in the field, which generally happens multiple times in a day.
Please share a customer success story that substantiates the advantages of your solution offering and adds value to your customers.
One of the major engineering, procurement and construction companies in the U.S. managed all information for a particular pipeline project that related to 1500 land properties. The data was managed in AutoCAD which turned out to be inefficient, as numerous new changes were coming in and it was time-consuming to update all the data manually. They were looking for a solution that would help them share the data to Esri’s Arc server and approached Blue Sky Evolution. We worked with their CIO, and AutoCAD drafting and GIS teams to develop a connection between AutoCAD and ArcMap platform. We also automated the process of updating the incoming data from the field and effectively reduced the processing time on the server. Earlier, with the astronomical rate of changes and the longer processing time, it was difficult to provide a competitive quote for these projects. With Blue Sky Evolution’s solution, they were able to drastically reduce the processing time and bring down the cost on all their projects.
What makes Blue Sky Evolution unique in the market?
Our uniqueness stems from our compatibility and readiness to collaborate with other technology companies. We recognize that we may not be an expert on every part of the pipeline space, but we go that extra mile in connecting with the applications of the experts in each domain to further our aim of improving the pipeline industry as a whole.
In the last two decades, we have served more than 250 leading companies in the pipeline space and accumulated in-depth industry experience, which has given us an insightful perspective on market needs, challenges, and emerging trends. We follow a differentiated approach of allowing our main developers to directly converse with the customers to help them understand the problems better and customize the most suitable solution.
To summarize, today, we are better equipped to build solutions that are holistic and cater to a broader spectrum of the industry.
What lies ahead for Blue Sky Evolution and in what direction do you see the company is going?
At the moment, we are actively working on Esri’s new application, ArcGIS Pro, a 64-bit GIS platform that is extremely fast and multi-threaded. On the note of expansion, we are in the process of acquiring new talents into our GIS development team. Amidst expansion plans, we are also researching the prospects of incorporating technologies such as AI and machine learning into our solution portfolio to enhance pipeline and environment safety.