2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


HATCHER Jr, Robert D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennesssee, 306 EPS Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410, bobmap@utk.edu

Major goals of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (FEDMAP and STATEMAP components) are to map the US at 1:100K and 1:24K scales, and to assemble these maps into a database. Newer maps in GIS format readily enter the database. Many older maps are being scanned to enter the database as raster files. Some state geological surveys are including scanned images of selected thesis maps, but many more detailed geologic maps remain as products of research by university faculty and students. Some are of dubious quality, but many have undergone rigorous review and are of high enough quality to warrant the effort to preserve and bring them into modern databases. Some are published in refereed journals at small scale, and the original data remain buried in files, theses, and dissertations. A nationwide program of locating and scanning these maps, then bringing them into a database would be a simple solution. Some could be scanned and made available as individual faculty are encouraged to scan and place maps onto a server for access through one of the databases. In addition, as more faculty and students learn modern graphics and GIS systems, opportunities will arise to employ this technology to readily produce geo-registered maps using a standard graphics program (e.g., Adobe Illustrator™ plus Mapublisher™). These can be uploaded into and enhanced in GIS systems.

For example, over the past four decades, I have either completed or directed completion of detailed geologic maps of some 75 U.S. 7.5-minute quadrangles (~4,500 mi2, 13,000 km2), mostly in the southern Appalachians, with additional mapping in other countries. Starting in the late 1990s all compilations were made in a computer graphics program, and most are now geo-registered, but many remain in paper form. A major effort is being made to scan and redraft these maps into geo-registered vector graphics that can be distributed electronically. A larger part of the geoscience community that has produced detailed geologic maps should become involved in similar efforts. Unfortunately, there is currently no incentive or funding to do so, except for the satisfaction of knowing that these data will survive and be available to future generations.