New resource provides detailed map data of Britain

New resource provides detailed map data of Britain

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UK, 7 February 2007 – A major new online resource which makes available geological map data from the British Geological Survey has been launched recently. Geology Digimap provides a fascinating insight into the Earth’s physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it by delivering digital geological map data of Great Britain.

Made available by JISC Collections, through EDINA’s Digimap platform, this new resource includes onshore geological data covering bedrock geology, superficial deposits, mass movement and artificial ground, as well as a whole range of linear features such as faults and fossil beds. The resource also contains the BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units, to provide a wealth of extra detailed material.

As Geology Digimap is based on the same platform as Digimap, which already provides access to current and historical Ordnance Survey map data, users can seamlessly use all three, thus enabling research projects that would otherwise be arduous, time consuming or even impossible. For example, civil engineering students as part of their project work in developing proposals for a new development in a particular area can use data from Historic Digimap to investigate environmental features of a site over time in order to determine its impact on roads and structures.

To complement this they can use contemporary map data from Digimap – Ordnance Survey Data Collection to investigate existing environmental features as part of an environmental impact assessment and to help identify sustainable development solutions. Thirdly they can use data from Geology Digimap to predict geotechnical problems as part of a site investigation in order to determine the appropriate engineering structures that can be built on the proposed site.

Many disciplines require information about the rocks that lie beneath our cities, towns and countryside. For example architects and civil engineers require geological data for site surveying and for geotechnical modelling whereby the suitability of the land on a proposed site is assessed on factors such as its structure, stability and other qualities such as drainage, as this will determine how buildings should be designed and built.

Similarly Geology Digimap can also be used in other subject areas such as agricultural studies, archaeology, architecture, biological sciences, coastal management and sciences, Earth sciences, environmental management and sciences and of course geography.

Dr William Kilbride, Chair of the JISC Collections Geospatial Resources Working Group said: “For a few years now JISC has funded mapping for Great Britain and has recently added historical maps. With the Geology maps we’re now able to see beneath our feet. By making the geology maps available through Digimap, many users will already be familiar with the techniques and tools they need to get access to the data. That means users can start to understand the maps without having to learn the delivery mechanisms first.”

Professor Sir Ron Cooke, JISC Chair, said: “I am thrilled at the prospect of geological maps of the British Isles now being available to the UK Higher Education, Further Education and Research communities. They are a very important resource for research, for GIS work and for field classes. Geology Digimap complements JISC’s existing provision of both Ordnance Survey and related historic maps. Another triumph for JISC Collections.”

Geology Digimap is available to all staff and students within a subscribing HE, FE or Research Council institution (via Athens authentication and the UK Access Management Federation). Institutions wanting access to the service will be required to pay an annual subscription.

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