Digital Mapping Techniques '99 -- Workshop Proceedings
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-386

Progress Toward Development of a Standard Geologic Map Data Model

By the Geologic Map Data Model Steering Committee

Brian Berdusco (Ontario Geological Survey,
Tom Berg (Ohio Geological Survey,
Boyan Brodaric (Geological Survey of Canada,
Jim Cobb (Kentucky Geological Survey,
Bruce Johnson (U.S. Geological Survey,
Rob Krumm (Illinois State Geological Survey,
Jon Matti (U.S. Geological Survey,
Scott McColloch (West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey,
Gary Raines (U.S. Geological Survey,
Peter Schweitzer (U.S. Geological Survey,
Dave Soller (U.S. Geological Survey,
Loudon Stanford (Idaho Geological Survey,

In August 1996, representatives of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) met in St. Louis, MO, to discuss the development of various standards and guidelines for geologic maps contributed to the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB). As a result, working groups were formed to address geologic map symbology, data capture, metadata, map publication, and a conceptual data model (see The Data Model Working Group began its work shortly thereafter and, through numerous public presentations, discussions, and progress reports (for example, Raines and others, 1997; Soller and others, 1998), in October 1997, the Working Group posted to the NGMDB project's Web site for public comment a report describing the proposed standard data model. The initial public version was superceded by a more mature one in May 1998 (version 4.2, Johnson and others, 1998a). A technical review of model version 4.2 was conducted at a 3-day workshop in June 1998. Minor revisions subsequently were made, and the most current version, 4.3 (Johnson and others, 1998b), was released.

At the Digital Mapping Techniques '98 workshop, the data model was discussed extensively, and various agencies expressed interest both in furthering its conceptual development and in testing its implementation with their geologic maps. We are pleased to note that many of the papers given at this meeting (DMT'99) provide evidence of this committment, and of their interest in continuing the effort to develop a standard data model for the geoscience community.

With technical review and release of version 4.3, the Data Model Working Group had completed its task. The agencies involved in this effort then devised a mechanism to promote further development of the conceptual model and the various implementations that would be required among the participating agencies. This mechanism, the Data Model Steering Committee, provides overall guidance, coordination, publicity, and communication for the development of a digital geologic map data model to support, at a minimum, the needs of the United States and Canadian geoscience community. In early 1999, the first meeting was held, and a charter was written (see The second meeting was held at the DMT'99 workshop, and included the development of plans for various technical teams to conduct specific tasks. These teams will address:

Information concerning the Steering Committee and the technical teams are posted to the data model Web conference site, Interested persons are invited to register at the site and contribute to the data model's continued evolution.


Johnson, B.R., Brodaric, Boyan, and Raines, G.L., 1998a, Digital Geologic Maps Data Model, v. 4.2: AASG/USGS Data Model Working Group Report,

Johnson, B.R., Brodaric, B., Raines, G.L., Hastings, J., and Wahl, R., 1998b, Digital Geologic Map Data Model v. 4.3: AASG/USGS Data Model Working Group Report,

Raines, G.L., Brodaric, Boyan, and Johnson, B.R., 1997, Progress report -- Digital geologic map data model, in David R. Soller, ed., 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, p. 43-46,

Soller, D.R., Brodaric, Boyan, Hastings, Jordan, Johnson, B.R., Raines, G.L., and Wahl, R.R., 1998, Progress Toward Development of a Standard Geologic Map Data Model, in David R. Soller, ed., Digital Mapping Techniques 98 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-487, p. 47-48,

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