GEOLOGIC MAPS IN A GOOGLE FUSION TABLE ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY IN NEW YORK
The first step in getting the shapefiles into a Fusion Table is to translate the shapefile into a Keyhole Markup Language file (kml). We tried several methods of file conversion, and found that ShapeEscape, a free online app service, performed the format conversion with fewest errors. Custom and New York State standard color tables based on different material types were then constructed in a spreadsheet and merged with the Fusion Table. Within the Fusion Table, each row corresponds to a point, line or area feature, with additional columns providing information about the feature, such as rock age, type, onscreen color, etc. We tried to retain all of the original attributes of the data while merging in new information such as New York State rock type descriptions and graphical attributes for each of the specific material types. We present our results in working with the bedrock and surficial geology maps of New York State. The maps are available online, in a clickable, searchable, filterable, tabular, downloadable and graphical format. Clicking on the map pulls up an information window, which provides a significant amount of visual functionality to the map. Geolocated photographs, for instance, can be added to the window, along with rock descriptions or other attributes in the table. The data can readily be filtered by rock age, or rock type. We think the ensemble of functions in the Fusion Table can lead to exciting virtual fields for exploration and data dissemination, especially for geoscience educators.