2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


COBB, James C.1, ANDERSON, Warren H.2 and WEISENFLUH, Gerald A.1, (1)Kentucky Geological Survey, Univ of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, (2)Kentucky Geological Survey, Univ of Kentucky, 228 MMRB, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, cobb@kgs.mm.uky.edu

Kentucky has accomplished a milestone in geologic mapping by converting 707 printed geologic quadrangle maps (1:24,000-scale) into digital vector format. The process began in 1996 under the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program jointly administered by the USGS and the Association of American State Geologists. The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 and subsequent reauthorizations provided the necessary financial support for this achievement. The act promotes geologic mapping in the United States, and also the creation of digital geologic maps. Kentucky is fortunate to have a base of statewide geologic map coverage, which was completed by the USGS in 1978, to use in the conversion process. The new digital map data permanently preserve information for use in the future. The digital format allows corrections, additions, and changes to be readily made to the original map data and digital data from each quadrangle can be distributed by various electronic media. The digital format allows users to manipulate and analyze the data in a variety of computer applications. In addition, the geologic map data can be joined to provide a regional perspective and generate new maps at different scales, such as the new 1:100,000-scale, 30 x 60 minute geologic maps for Kentucky. The digital geologic data will be incorporated into a statewide GIS of geologic information, which will be made available to the public via the Internet, providing access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Geologic maps have been the most popular among all of the technical publications sold by the Kentucky Geological Survey. More than 200,000 7.5-minute geologic quadrangle maps (GQ’s) have been sold since they first became available for Kentucky in the 1960's. The benefit to society from the investment of government funds for the original geologic mapping program (1960–1978) was between 25 and 39 times more than the program costs. This is an outstanding return on the investment of public funds. Digitizing the 707 GQ’s for Kentucky will likely exceed the return of the original mapping program. The digital data can be used in many more ways and can be distributed much more efficiently than the original printed maps.