Free at the point of use : the next generation of BGS online resources

Mitchell, Clive ORCID: 2018 Free at the point of use : the next generation of BGS online resources. [Lecture] In: Extractive Industry Geology, Durham, UK, 2018. British Geological Survey. (Unpublished)

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The British Geological Survey (BGS) website is a treasure trove of geological data spanning the last 200 years. However, unearthing the gems of information and data you desire amongst the 5000 pages of web content is a quest that would have even Jack Sparrow trembling at the prospect. In this paper BGS industrial minerals geologist Clive Mitchell, navigates a path through the BGS website. The starting point is OpenGeoscience which is a free service that acts as the portal where visitors can view maps, download data, scans, photos and other information. Geological maps are available through a series of online map viewers. The most popular being the Geology of Britain viewer, this is based on BGS Geology (formerly DigMapGB) which is the basis for all BGS geological maps for the UK. BGS Geology was initially created by the digitisation of BGS paper maps and is now maintained by straight to digital geological mapping. This viewer is a seamless and scalable map that can be queried to give a summary of the geological units being displayed. Further detailed geological data for these rock units is accessed via the BGS Lexicon. This is essentially the bible for UK geology covering all of the named rock units that appear on BGS maps and publications. The viewer and the lexicon are two of the top four most visited web pages on the BGS website. Other geological map viewers include onshore and offshore GeoIndex datasets for mineral resources, groundwater, soil properties and environmental baseline monitoring for shale gas sites. Fans of paper maps can access the entire archive of over 6000 maps published by the BGS from 1832 to 2015 via the BGS maps portal. The starting point for onshore BGS geological data is the GeoIndex Onshore. This is a map-based index to onshore datasets collected by BGS or obtained from other sources. There are 156 available dataset layers that can be added covering: geology, boreholes, collections, hazards, geochemistry, geophysics, products, photographs, hydrogeology, minerals, environmental designations and surface (Ordnance Survey terrain data). There are 44 minerals layers including mineral occurrences, mines and quarries, building stones, and oil and gas licence areas. Certain data sets can be downloaded. These include 1:625k geological line work, geohazards, hydrogeological, geochemical and geophysical data sets. For example, the BGS Geology 625k geological map is available in a range of formats including ESRI (for ArcGIS) and MapInfo. More detailed geological line work is available as licenced data products. Increasingly BGS maps and data are available via mobile devices. The most popular mobile application is iGeology, which is essentially the Geology of Britain viewer in app form. This app has been downloaded over 335,000 times with 90,000 active users (combined iOS and Android). It is largely responsible for the marked increase in visits to the BGS Lexicon. It is anticipated that most BGS geological data will be accessed via mobile devices in the near future with the prospect that demand from our user community will not only drive app development but also shape the future data priorities of the BGS.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Minerals and waste
Additional Keywords: British Geological Survey
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 24 Oct 2019 14:17 +0 (UTC)

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