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Digital Mapping Techniques '98 -- Workshop Proceedings
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-487

Product Development and Distribution from the Kansas Digital Geologic Map Database

By Jorgina A. Ross

Kansas Geological Survey
1930 Constant Avenue
Campus West, University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66047
Telephone: (913) 864-3965
Fax: (913) 864-5317


Increased availability of digital geologic map databases has brought with it a flood of suggestions regarding possible modes of presentation and distribution. Examples are presented here of the responses developed by the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS). Geologic mapping and digital geologic map database development in Kansas targets completion of projects at the county level. In response to constituent needs, geologic maps and map databases are released as county products. Currently, the only exception among standard distribution products is the availability of mylar transparency overlays of surface geology to accompany individual topographic quadrangles.


At present, database development has been completed for eleven counties with base maps at 1:24,000. Two additional counties have digital geologic map databases digitized directly from smaller scale, out-of-print maps. Six counties have new field mapping at 1:24,000 scale (and associated database development) in progress or near completion with STATEMAP funding. Similar mapping and database development is underway in eight other counties through KGS funding (two of these county projects have limited support through STATEMAP). New field mapping is planned to begin within 5 years in another eight counties throughout the state. Six counties are priority projects for data compilation at 1:24,000 by interpretation from previously published maps, with completion planned by June 1999. Numerous additional counties (primarily in eastern Kansas) will be targeted for database development through interpretation of previously published maps as the current priority county projects are completed.

Numerous products related to digital county geologic map databases are under development or currently available from the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS). These products include both hard copy and digital formats. Information concerning either published maps or digital geologic data and related products can be obtained through the KGS web site at A link is provided to the KGS Publications Sales Office.


The KGS has three standard products developed for printed distribution from its digital county geologic map databases. Geologic maps of individual counties are available at scales of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000. In addition, mylar transparencies are available as overlays for 7.5-minute (1:24,000 scale) topographic maps. These overlays have only the surface geology, within section corners marked to provide local control when positioning the mylar over the paper topographic map. For reference, the quadrangle name and a stratigraphic column are also printed on the mylar. The price of the mylar overlays includes payment for the corresponding 7.5-minute paper topographic map.


Through the 'County Geologic Map Index' on the KGS web site, individuals can gain direct access to geologic map images derived from county map databases and to a bibliography of published county maps. For counties with digital geologic map databases, a GIF image of the published map (at half size) can be downloaded directly from the web site. The geologic map images presented for individual counties are also being developed to provide links to more specific images or information related to the geology of that county. Images of outcrops or type sections can be linked to the map location of the photograph or, in the case of type sections, tied to the formation name in the map legend. For instance, when viewing the image of Riley County geology, hot links provide access to images of the following:

  1. aerial photography of the topographic structure formed by a kimberlite,
  2. a fault exposed in a road cut at the east end of Tuttle Creek Dam,
  3. a quarter-mile of road destroyed by mass slumping of water-swollen shales, and
  4. a waterfall on Deep Creek at the outcrop of the Elmont Limestone Member.

Such images provide a valuable learning tool for both the general public and the serious student of geology. Information related to subsurface geology can be presented in a similar manner through images of well log data or seismic lines.

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Last updated 10.06.98