2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 253-7
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


MCEWEN, Gerri L., Ministry of Energy and Mines - Geological Survey Branch, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada, HENDERSON, Martha A., Ministry of Energy and Mines - Geological Survey Branch, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada, MIHALYNUK, Mitchell G., Victoria, BC V8X 2Z3, Canada and JOHNSTON, Stephen T., School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Bob Wright Centre, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada, gerri.mcewen@gov.bc.ca

Today’s technology allows mappers to streamline their efforts to instantaneously produce geological maps while on the outcrop. Conventional methods involved carrying an array of gear including, among other things, clipboards loaded with aerial photos and mylar, topographic maps, a stack of data sheets, plus a collection of pencil crayons and pencils, and a handheld GPS. This method is hampered by fixed scale, fixed map boundaries, cluttered data layers, and the time and effort required to compile and digitize map data and present in a publishable format. These problems are compounded with a large field party where nightly compilation and updating of all mapsheets with daily results from all mappers, is impractical.

In response to technological advancements such as tablet computers and GIS software packages, a multi-year partnership between the University of Victoria and the British Columbia Geological Survey has investigated on-the-outcrop digital mapping techniques. Our current deployment utilizes inexpensive tablet computers with GIS software: Microsoft Surface Pro 2&3 with USB GPS and Manifold™. High resolution imagery, topographic data, and any other pertinent digital dataset can be displayed at infinite scaling and modified as required during the mapping season. A streamlined MS Access database form linked to Manifold is used to capture field data entered by hand writing or voice recognition and instantly send that data to the map. Freeform notes and field drawings are captured in OneNote. Both manual and automated Cloud-based synchronization expedites data sharing and limits the risk of data loss due to tablet malfunction, loss, or destruction. A custom case protects the tablet and GPS while providing ventilation for cooling. The result…complete maps can now be created on the fly and fast-tracked to publication, saving the mapping crew time and effort in compiling notes and digitizing data at the end of a long day in the field.

This talk will outline the materials and methods used by the SNAP crew and share with you our experiences using the software as well as a view to the future for digital data capture in this and other projects.

  • Digital Data Capture On the Outcrop Map Creation.pdf (5.7 MB)