dGB Earth Sciences Launches Initiative Aimed at Seismic Education

Following the successful release of OpendTect under the GNU GPL license, dGB Earth Sciences started another initiative aimed at stimulating seismic education and R&D by creating the "Open Seismic Repository." The OSR is a WIKI site from which free and public datasets inclusive interpretations are made available to the seismic community at large. The data are stored as compressed OpendTect surveys that can be downloaded using bit-torrent technology. Bit-torrents enable users to share large data files with each other under the principle "freely you receive, freely you give." One of the advantages of this technology is, that download speed increases as more people download and share files. Another advantage is that, if ever the download is interrupted, for example because of a bad internet link, the download simply resumes as soon as the internet link is operational again.

In September 2009 dGB released OpendTect v4.0, the first complete open source seismic interpretation system, under a triple licensing policy: 1) under the GNU / GPL license, 2) under a commercial license and, 3) under an academic license. The new release and the changed licensing model have been very well received by the seismic community. In just three months time the OpendTect community has grown exponentially while the software was downloaded more than 7500 times.

Paul de Groot, president and CEO of dGB Earth Sciences, said, "In a protectionist environment only those, who can afford it, have access to software tools and data sets needed to advance technology. A huge resource base of workers is left on the sidewalk and cannot reach its full potential: students are not educated to industry levels; small and medium enterprises are not making E&P decisions based on optimal technical evaluations; consultants and retirees cannot apply their skills and develop ideas into new products. We firmly believe that openness and collaboration are the new keys to advance technology. This is why OpendTect is an open source system. The Open Seismic Repository is a logical extension of this model. The use of bit-torrent technology allows every geoscientist worldwide to participate directly in this movement. We trust that other people will participate by adding more public seismic datasets."