NETL’s Variable Grid Method (VGM) is a novel approach that leverages GIS capabilities to simultaneously visualize and quantify spatial data trends and underlying data uncertainty. The flexible VGM approach utilizes a range of spatial datasets and uncertainty quantifications, which can be calculated using data related to sample density, sample variance, interpolation error, multiple simulations, etc., to create an integrated visualization of data and uncertainty. The intuitive manner of the VGM helps communicate the relationship between uncertainty and spatial data to effectively guide research, support advanced computation analyses, and helps inform research, management and policy decisions. The VGM approach is being developed into a Python Add-in extension and toolbar for ArcGIS, providing users the capabilities to utilize the VGM for their datasets, analysis, and models in support of their decision making needs. The VGM approach was developed as part of NETL’s Offshore portfolio. It was further matured and utilized in projects associated with both NETL’s Unconventional Resources and Carbon Storage portfolios.

Please check back with this site in the next few months as the tool and other products associated with the VGM approach are made available.


Key Links

Spatio-Temporal Tools & Geostatistical Approaches for Engineered-Natural Systems Risk Reduction [PDF-3.1MB] (Mar 2017)

NETL's Variable Grid Method

Geoscience Analysis, Interpretation, and Assessments Computational Facilities [PDF-616KB] (Mar 2017)


Technology Transfer

Variable Grid Method, U.S. 14/619,501. For information about this technology please see

For information about these and other NETL technologies please feel free to contact NETL's Tech Transfer Group at: