By Peter Joynt
In 2003, ARANZ Geo released the first version of Leapfrog. Leapfrog’s implicit modelling engine brought about a paradigm shift in the way geologists generate 3D interpretations. Organisations that have embraced this new technology have realised significant benefits by building dynamic implicit models in less time.
Now, in 2016, we are releasing Leapfrog Central, a model management system that will bring about another paradigm shift, to continuous modelling.
What is continuous modelling? Continuous modelling supports incremental changes to models as data becomes available, and because the development of the model is visible to the wider organisation, decisions can be made based on the latest data and the most current understanding.
Why did we build Leapfrog Central?
When Leapfrog was first designed we had exploration geologists in mind. Leapfrog was about rapidly modelling grade, lithology, structure and alteration in order to visualise and test a working hypothesis. Leapfrog was typically used by one geologist, working on one project at a time. Today, Leapfrog is being used by entire teams of geologists in everything from early exploration and resource modelling to short-term modelling in operating mines. Leapfrog Central can serve as the hub for these teams by providing a model management system. Leapfrog Central allows for continuous development of models and the ability to see how a project evolves over time. You and your team have the flexibility to work on alternate hypotheses and document important decision points.
Leapfrog Central is about managing change
Change is constant in any active exploration project or operating mine. New data is always being collected, yet it is often easier to collect the data than actually get it into a model. With Leapfrog Central’s continuous modelling approach, geologists can now make updates to the model weekly or even daily, rather than the traditional approach where a model or single wireframe is updated every 6-12 months.
You might say, well this is already possible. Yes, it is possible, but there is no easy way of controlling the evolution of the model, or keeping track of the changes made, or tracking the decisions behind those changes. Centralised storage on a server makes more sense than juggling files on a network drive or a geo’s laptop. These centrally stored models then act as a single source of truth for all team members involved in the project.
Central storage isn’t the only benefit. We’ve introduced the Leapfrog Browser, a desktop application that allows managers and other stakeholders to view projects stored in Leapfrog Central. The Browser lets you easily step through different versions to see how the model has developed, reviewing the influence of new data and key decisions. You can see as much or as little detail as you need.
Let’s think about Leapfrog Central’s capabilities in a resource-modelling workflow. It adds a new level of clarity for the competent person. The reviewer can see all of the changes that have occurred since the previous update, how and where the model changed, who changed it, and who reviewed these changes. We all know that geologists often have different opinions on the same data, but now, with Leapfrog Central, these discussions can be captured in 3D throughout the modelling process. This is a major step up in transparency and accountability for any organisation.
We’re just getting started!
As with any Leapfrog product we are driven by our customers, and Leapfrog Central will be no different. We have kicked off the paradigm of continuous modelling with Leapfrog Central 1.1 and will continue to innovate and push the boundaries.