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NZ’s 18-year-long mapping project ends

New Zealand: Geologists and technicians from GNS Science’s Lower Hutt and Dunedin offices concluded an 18-year-long project to produce a new series of geological maps of New Zealand. The project, QMAP (Quarter million scale map), was Started in 1994 and has produced 21 geological maps covering all parts of New Zealand.

A seamless GIS dataset, combining the 21 map sheets, is currently in production and is expected to be available in digital form by July 2012. It will meet requirements for fundamental geological coverage for New Zealand into the future.

The series replaces earlier maps, mostly made in the 1960s, and has brought many improvements in accuracy and interpretation, as well as a versatile range of digital map products. The series is a world-first example of a national geological mapping project conceived and implemented using GIS technology.

End users include local and central government, engineering consultants, utility companies, developers, mineral and oil exploration companies, universities, schools, and the public. The GIS information layers with each map can be searched, analysed, and portrayed in a variety of ways to suit different applications.

Project Leader Mark Rattenbury said accurate geological maps were a basic information resource for every country. “They provide essential information for infrastructure planning, and for the development of mineral, petroleum, and groundwater resources,” Rattenbury noted.

“They also identify geological hazards such as active faults, potential landslides, and liquefaction-prone areas. They provide essential background information for assessing ground conditions at building sites and for urban planning decisions.”

The QMAP project has been funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and its successor, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, through a series of research programme contracts.

Source: Voxy