PipeVis: Interactive Visual Analytics of Pipeline Incident Data

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released early this year updated information about reported hazardous liquid pipeline accidents from 2010 to present, revealing details about more than 1,800 accidents that have happened across the United States. Specifically, these data include the location, date, and time of each reportable accident; the estimated cost; the volume and the hazardous liquid commodity spilled; the cause; the environmental impact; and more. 

Nonetheless, the incredible wealth of information contained in this dataset makes it considerably more challenging to explore and analyse. In this sense, navigation in the data can be cumbersome, an overall overview is impossible to achieve, and important trends, patterns, and correlations are often missed.

In this sense, PipeVis is a visualization tool that supports analysis, search, and decision making based on this massive complex data set and, thus, can be highly beneficial for both oil and gas companies and American citizens. On the one hand, the companies can use these historical data to monitor pipeline performance based on the frequency of incidents, or even to explore a half of a decade’s worth of incidents to find patterns and trends – e.g., whether the number of spills has been declining over the past years. On the other hand, the visualization can allow American citizens to monitor what’s happening in their surrounding environment and across the country - e.g., visualize the high-impacted environmental areas.