Digital Geologic Mapping:
Developing Software to Address the Needs of Students and Professionals
CLELLAND, Steven, SIMILOX-TOHON, Dominique, and GIBBS, Alan.
Abstract Accepted for Poster Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America 2011, Minneapolis.
Session T188: Geologic Maps, Digital Geologic Maps, and Derivatives from Geologic and Geophysical Maps.
Traditional field mapping training methods for geologists are essentially unchanged for over a century, with almost all undergraduate students learning to map using paper and pencil. However, recent advances in hardware and software technology have made digital mapping a realistic alternative to the traditional approach.
Digital geologic mapping provides significant advantages over using paper and pencil. Large amounts of time are saved as data is entered only once, avoiding the tedious “inking-in” and errors arising in the transcription process. Time saved can be spent analysing the collected data and identifying issues that can be efficiently resolved during the field work. The ability to integrate into both course work and modern industry workflows to 2d and 3d models provide students and professionals with added value.
The availability of free, high quality, digital datasets such as; aerial imagery, topographic basemaps and DEMs, across the majority of the US, presents a great resource for digital mapping. Not only can they be used to aid understanding and model building in the office environment, but these geo-referenced formats are ideal when in the field since, through connection to GPS devices, location can be shown in real time.
A number of commercial and open source digital mapping systems are available, but these have either been primarily developed for non-geological applications, or are limited in the extent to which they integrate into section construction, 3d model building and analysis at the level now commonplace and expected in the commercial world.
Midland Valley has specifically developed FieldMove for digital mapping to address these two issues. FieldMove provides an intuitive interface for mapping built specifically for geologists. By integrating with the existing Move desktop application, data can be viewed in 3D, analysed (including stereographic analysis), be used for cross-section and 3D model construction as well as incorporated into forward and reverse modelling to resolve and enhance understanding of geological processes.
View the poster.
Keywords : digital field mapping, structural geology