- Copyright © 2001 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
The GXF-3 standard for exchange of gridded data is now available. It is under final scrutiny by the gravity and magnetics community, pending acceptance by the SEG's Gravity and Magnetics (G&M) Committee at the 2001 Annual Meeting. This will be followed by consideration for acceptance by the SEG Standards Committee.
Why have we developed this standard?
SEG has a long history of providing data exchange standards. The most successful single example may be SEG Y, which has become an integral part of the language of geophysics. But the work of the Standards Committee goes much further, covering many things, including positional data reporting, units, scientific subroutines, and even some types of EM data. There is even a proposed standard for the exchange of point data such as gravity and magnetic observations. It was published by SEG in 1978, but it never really caught on.
The exchange of gravity and magnetics data has been fraught with multiple standards and techniques. There has been no SEG Y equivalent. All of us have become used to writing little reformatting programs (roughly once per job) to knock the data supplied into a loadable form. There are many proprietary or regionally accepted practices, none really satisfactory. POSC looked as if it would eventually provide the answer, but this was always a “big company” solution. Small operations couldn't afford the time to stay up with POSC, and our community is mostly small companies, academics, government scientists, and loners.
What makes a good standard?
It seems to us that we should seek several worthwhile attributes in choosing a standard.
It should be technically adequate to the task.
It should be simple enough for a lone consultant or small contractor to implement.
It should preferably be in common use.
It should be properly and …