OpendTect is a godsend to academics and small exploration companies (and even major oil companies). Why? Here is a short list that comes to mind: OpendTect ....
is tight and fast
runs native on Windows, Mac, and Linux
has documentation online and pdf
has easy project setup and data loading from SEGY
has great graphics
has logical and robust horizon interpretation/tracking workflow
has several demo projects with data available
has a macro language (Command Driver) for automating tasks
allows plugin development that extends functionality
allows easy project transfer between computers (USB stick).
Unspoken here is the enormous virtue of being free and available from the internet. This means even the smallest geoscience department can teach modern seismic interpretation. Those of us with industry connections are also lucky enough to have commercial interpretation systems (at U Arkansas we gratefully acknowledge donations of IHS/Kingdom and Petrel). While OpendTect is evolving rapidly, it still falls short of commercial interpretation systems in key areas like a clean attractive synthetic seismogram tool, well tools for projects containing hundreds or thousands of wells, and bundled internal gridding and mapping functionality. On the last point, OpendTect has a hook to GMT, which makes stunning maps, but can be a bear to install and configure.
But we want OpendTect to succeed, to be recognized, to get better, to receive the accolades the development team and sponsors deserve. We want to support the nomination of OpendTect by sending a nice email to SEG staffer Cindy Blackshear.
Here is my letter: