Digital Mapping Techniques '01 -- Workshop Proceedings
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-223
By David R. Soller
U.S. Geological Survey
908 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Telephone: (703) 648-6907
Fax: (703) 648-6937
The Digital Mapping Techniques '01 (DMT'01) workshop was attended by 108 technical experts from 48 agencies, universities, and private companies, including representatives from 31 state geological surveys (see Appendix A). This workshop was similar in nature to the first four meetings, held in Lawrence, Kansas (Soller, 1997), in Champaign, Illinois (Soller, 1998a), in Madison, Wisconsin (Soller, 1999), and in Lexington, Kentucky (Soller, 2000). This year's meeting was hosted by the Geological Survey of Alabama, from May 20 to 23, 2001, on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. As in the previous meetings, the objective was to foster informal discussion and exchange of technical information. When, based on discussions at the workshop, an attendee adopts or modifies a newly learned technique, the workshop clearly has met that objective. Evidence of learning and cooperation among participating agencies continued to be a highlight of the DMT workshops (see example in Soller, 1998b, and various papers in this volume).
The meeting's general goal was to help move the state geological surveys and the USGS toward development of more cost-effective, flexible, and useful systems for digital mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) analysis. Through oral and poster presentations and special discussion sessions, emphasis was given to: 1) methods for creating and publishing map products (here, "publishing" includes Web-based release); 2) continued development of the National Geologic Map Database; 3) progress toward building a standard geologic map data model; 4) field data-collection systems; and 5) map citation and authorship guidelines.
The five annual DMT workshops were coordinated by the AASG/USGS Data Capture Working Group, which was formed in August, 1996, to support the Association of American State Geologists and the USGS in their effort to build a National Geologic Map Database (see Soller and Berg, this volume, and http://ncgmp.usgs.gov/ngmdbproject/standards/datacapt/). The Working Group was formed because increased production efficiencies, standardization, and quality of digital map products were needed to help the Database, and the State and Federal geological surveys, provide more high-quality digital maps to the public.
I thank the Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA), and their Chief and State Geologist, Donald F. Oltz, for hosting this very productive and enjoyable meeting. I especially thank Nick Tew and April Lafferty (GSA), who coordinated the meeting, provided excellent support for the attendees, offered suberb social and technical activities (e.g., the catfish fry!), and managed the meeting's web site (see Appendix B). Thanks also to Ruth Collier, Kit Richter, and Sharon Alexander (GSA) and Marty Gates (University of Alabama, Department of Geology) for helping with the meeting logistics. I also note with gratitude the contributions of the following individuals: Tom Berg (Chair, AASG Digital Geologic Mapping Committee) for his help in conducting the meeting and for his continued support of AASG/USGS efforts to collaborate on the National Geologic Map Database; the members of the Data Capture Working Group (Warren Anderson, Kentucky Geological Survey; Rick Berquist and Elizabeth Campbell, Virginia Division of Mines and Geology; Rob Krumm and Barb Stiff, Illinois State Geological Survey; Scott McColloch, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Gina Ross, Kansas Geological Survey; Dave Wagner, California Division of Mines and Geology; and Tom Whitfield, Pennsylvania Geological Survey) for advice in planning the workshop's content and the suggestions to authors; and Nancy L. Polend for typesetting these and the previous three Proceedings. Finally, I thank all attendees for their participation; their enthusiasm and expertise were the primary reasons for the meeting's success.
The workshop included 25 oral presentations. Nearly all are supported by a short paper contained in these Proceedings. Some presentations were coordinated with Discussion Sessions, described below. The papers represent approaches that currently meet some or all needs for digital mapping at the respective agency. There is not, of course, a single "solution" or approach to digital mapping that will work for each agency or for each program or group within an agency -- personnel and funding levels, and the schedule, data format, and manner in which we must deliver our information to the public require that each agency design their own approach. However, the value of this workshop, and other forums like it, is through their role in helping to design or refine these agency-specific approaches to digital mapping and to find approaches used by other agencies that are applicable. In other words, communication helps us to avoid "reinventing the wheel."
The papers are generally organized by topic, including field data systems; database design, standards, and data models; and creation, management, and delivery of map publications and data. Information about the software and hardware referred to in these Proceedings is provided in Appendix C.
More than 20 posters were exhibited throughout the workshop. These posters provided an excellent focus for technical discussions and support for oral presentations. Many are documented with a paper in these Proceedings, following the oral presentations; the other posters generally provided material in support of oral presentations, and so are not documented herein.
To provide the opportunity to consider a topic in some detail, special discussion sessions are held at the DMT workshops. This year there were two: 1) field data capture systems, and 2) geologic map authorship and citation guidelines. Discussion session #1 included an oral presentation session, a 2-hour informal session focusing on field demonstration of hardware and software that was described in the oral presentations, and a question and answer session. Discussion session #2 began by revisiting the presentation of ideas and suggestions proposed at DMT'99 and DMT'00 (see http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of99-386/ and http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of00-325/). The paper by Berquist and Soller (this volume) describes this session and its outcome. These two sessions highlight an important aspect of the DMT workshop series -- it provides for these disciplines a rather unique venue for sharing technical information and experience.
THE NEXT DMT WORKSHOP
The sixth annual DMT meeting will be held in late Spring, 2002, hosted by the Utah Geological Survey. While planning for that event, the Data Capture Working Group will carefully consider the recommendations offered by DMT'01 attendees.
Soller, D.R., editor, 1997, Proceedings of a workshop on digital mapping techniques: Methods for geologic map data capture, management, and publication: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-269, 120 p., http://ncgmp.usgs.gov/pubs/of97-269/.
Soller, D.R., editor, 1998a, Digital Mapping Techniques '98 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-487, 134 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/
Soller, D.R., 1998b, Introduction, in: D.R. Soller, ed., Digital Mapping Techniques '98 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-487, p. 1-3, http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of98-487/intro.html.
Soller, D.R., editor, 1999, Digital Mapping Techniques '99 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-386, 216 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of99-386/.
Soller, D.R., editor, 2000, Digital Mapping Techniques '00 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-325, 209 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/openfile/of00-325/.
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