For an oil pipeline operator, pipeline monitoring accounts for a significant portion of their operations costs. Their pipeline network stretches for hundreds of kilometers through hard-to-reach areas that are often inaccessible to terrestrial vehicles. For a long time, the only available way to monitor the pipelines was with foot patrols and helicopters. These monitoring processes, however, were not comprehensive enough, as many sections of the pipeline were still located in swampy and wooded areas and could not be inspected.
Irregular monitoring meant that accidents were frequent on the line, causing big environmental and economic damage. The oil transport company was looking for a partner who could help them improve their monitoring process using the latest technology.

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Commercial vs. Open Source: A comparison of GIS Software

We are conditioned to think that high price equals high value. Because of this, we always assume that something we’ve paid for is better than something free. But is that true in every case?