E. Kurt Albaugh
Seventeen years ago, the late Editor-in-Chief Leonard LeBlanc and Sales Manager David Davis ofOffshore magazine welcomed a proposal from Mustang Engineering (now Wood Group Mustang) to publish a worldwide survey of offshore pipelay vessels. Offshore agreed to publish the survey as a visually graphic poster to represent the information.
This poster started the series in June 1997, and now, 115 posters have been published, and more than four million printed copies have been distributed as supplements inside the magazine, and at numerous global industry conferences.
|Offshore's Deepwater Solutions & Records for Concept Selection poster, with data provided by Wood Group Mustang.|
Initially, the posters began as a graphical summary of offshore equipment. However, theOffshore team quickly learned that the posters provided educational information about the industry's technology, so the concept shifted.
Each poster provides a snapshot of key issues and trends relative to offshore technology. Although there is a great deal of information compressed in each poster, it is meant to provide a quick overview of the subject.
The graphs and tables shown in each poster are meant to answer questions often asked during the development of an offshore project. For example:
- Where is the technology being deployed?
- Who are providers of the technology?
- Is the technology field proven?
- Where can I find additional information about the topic?
Offshore's posters now include supplier information and/or a technology chart to summarize the providers. A great example of this is the subsea supplier matrix for the Offshore mooring poster that was prepared by the University of Houston. This chart provides a quick reference of key companies that specialize in offshore mooring, or a "macro overview" of the market.
Presentation of information
An inspiration for the layout of each poster derived from Edward Tufte's self-published books on data visualization. His teachings inspired the visual layout that is now the poster template that accompanies each supplement in the magazine. TheNew York Times described Tufte as the "Leonardo da Vinci of data," and Business Week described his work as the "Galileo of graphics."
Graphs are powerful tools that can visually represent information to enable better decision making or to help the reader better understand the information. With this idea in mind, each poster is carefully designed atOffshore.
Several posters that have been offered contain graphics that visually illustrate the status of technology by examining the various engineering options. These graphs demonstrate which field is proven, engineered, or conceptual, allowing readers to benchmark their own project.
|Offshore's Worldwide Survey of Subsea Processing: Separation, Compression, and Pumping Systems, with data provided by INTECSEA.|
To make best use of these posters,Offshore encourages readers to use the informations in the graphs on these posters to provide a benchmark for project parameters. The combined information can provide a great overview of the current market.
The success of the posters is largely due to contributors such as Wood Group Mustang, INTECSEA, KBR, McDermott International, Inc., Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, and numerous others.
Shortly after the first poster was published, the focus shifted to a series of educational posters about the deepwater market. Since 2002,Offshore has continuously published its annual overview of the deepwater solutions, in cooperation with Mustang Engineering and then Wood Group Mustang. This has included the Deepwater Solutions & Records for Concept Selection poster, as well as information on spars, TLPs, semi-FPSs, and FPSOs, which are part of the deepwater poster series.
INTECSEA has been another contributor for the past eight years. The company provides the offshore industry with its annual update on subsea processing technology in theWorldwide Survey of Subsea Processing: Separation, Compression, and Pumping Systems poster.
For more examples or to find additional information aboutOffshore's poster series, please visit: http://www.offshore-mag.com/maps-posters.html. A PDF file version of each poster is available for a free download.