Knowledge-based systems and geological survey

Loudon, T.V.. 2005 Knowledge-based systems and geological survey. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft, 155 (2-4). 225-246.

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This personal and pragmatic review of the philosophy underpinning methods of geological surveying suggests that important influences of information technology have yet to make their impact. Early approaches took existing systems as metaphors, retaining the separation of maps, map explanations and information archives, organised around map sheets of fixed boundaries, scale and content. But system design should look ahead: a computer-based knowledge system for the same purpose can be built around hierarchies of spatial objects and their relationships, with maps as one means of visualisation, and information types linked as hypermedia and integrated in mark-up languages. The system framework and ontology, derived from the general geoscience model, could support consistent representation of the underlying concepts and maintain reference information on object classes and their behaviour. Models of processes and historical configurations could clarify the reasoning at any level of object detail and introduce new concepts such as complex systems. The up-to-date interpretation might centre on spatial models, constructed with explicit geological reasoning and evaluation of uncertainties. Assuming (at a future time) full computer support, the field survey results could be collected in real time as a multimedia stream, hyperlinked to and interacting with the other parts of the system as appropriate. Throughout, the knowledge is seen as human knowledge, with interactive computer support for recording and storing the information and processing it by such means as interpolating, correlating, browsing, selecting, retrieving, manipulating, calculating, analysing, generalising, filtering, visualising and delivering the results. Responsibilities may have to be reconsidered for various aspects of the system, such as: field surveying; spatial models and interpretation; geological processes, past configurations and reasoning; standard setting, system framework and ontology maintenance; training; storage, preservation, and dissemination of digital records.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Information Systems Development
BGS Programmes > Digital Geoscience Spatial Model
ISSN: 0012-0189
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This paper is published by permission of the Director of the British Geological Survey (NERC). It reflects a personal, not a corporate, viewpoint.
Additional Keywords: Knowledge systems, ontology, field mapping, complex systems, geological reasoning, spatial models, hypermedia
NORA Subject Terms: Computer Science
Data and Information
Earth Sciences
Date made live: 29 Jan 2008 12:21 +0 (UTC)

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