U.S. Patent No. 9,594,773
Patent Name: Pattern-retaining Method for Displaying Large Volumes of Geographic Based Data Using Statistical Depopulation
Vesmir, Inc. creator of PetroDE, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a patent underpinning its dynamic geospatial intelligence platform. U.S. Patent No. 9,594,773 titled “Pattern-retaining Method for Displaying Large Volumes of Geographic Based Data Using Statistical Depopulation,” The system performs smart depopulation of the display so that the look of the resulting map is what a user expects, while only literally showing a fraction of the data when a client requests large numbers of data points. Visually, it doesn’t appear that data has been removed, and displays are refreshed rapidly since there is much less data to process.
Senior Software Engineer Dylan Herron first recognized the opportunity to file for a patent while working to search, analyze, and map wells as quickly as possible. While researching potential solutions, Herron found that no existing method met his requirements. “Preexisting methods fell short on our key product objective of high speed mapping of search results from massive datasets,” Herron explains. So he took it upon himself to build the algorithm that would solve the problem.
The algorithm increases the speed of a data search while simultaneously retaining the visual look of the resulting map. “We felt that this particular feature was core to the application as a whole,” Herron states. “It’s a two-sided algorithm. While it provides more points in geographically dense areas of data, it still retains singular data points that are on their own as outliers,” explains Herron. The process visually removes data points that don’t fall into either of these categories. Previous methods focused only on either dense areas or sparse areas, but didn’t have the capability of displaying both. “We didn’t want to lose the density information. We felt it was important to be able to see the overall trends when looking at it from both a macro and micro perspective,” adds Herron.
A key benefit, explains Alan Lindsey, is the breadth and speed of the information now available. “Before Dylan’s break-through discovery, it was impossible to display and search all 4.7 million wells in the U.S. Now clients can quickly and easily search, display, and analyze any dataset without worrying about project boundaries or dataset size. Solutions can be found in half the time when all your data is in one place and ready for analysis at real-time speed.”
Having started the patent application over three years ago, Herron learned just how difficult it is to apply for a patent. “It’s a lot of work,” Herron confirms. “Coming up with the claims was the most challenging part, as it requires very precise language to support the patent process.”
Now that the patent is issued, what’s next for Herron and PetroDE? “There’s definitely more potential now that there’s proven success with this application,” opines Herron. And while still very much solutions-driven, he wouldn’t be opposed to another round of the arduous patent application process. “It would be fun to do this again and see what else we can get patented,” says Herron. Now that he has one patented algorithm under his belt, we’ll look forward to seeing more. Needless to say, PetroDE is very proud of his accomplishment.