USING GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS SOFTWARE AND OPEN SOURCE DATA RESOURCES TO TARGET POTENTIAL STONE PROSPECTING LOCATIONS
Over the past several decades, research has been greatly enhanced by the availability of open source geographically based data sets. Many government sponsored websites provide free data sets that include geology, cadastral, geographic, demographic and other geospatially referenced data. This data can be used to build comprehensive maps to describe a potential prospecting site more extensively and accurately than ever before.
GIS software has also been made economically available to the individual consultant. The session will include a brief review of several electronic file formats and GIS software resources commonly used in the GIS process.
Open source data websites will be discussed relative to the needs of a prospecting geologist and how the data from these sites can be combined to conflate data from various sources, formats and projections/coordinate systems to form a cohesive map of several data layers. Most county GIS departments have sites where we can view parcel data which can be used to create prospecting maps. Although most sites require fees and subscriptions there are ways to use this data to develop semi-accurate parcel maps.
With the latest open source data it is important to have some knowledge of projections and coordinate systems and have the tools to convert from one system to another. There will be a brief discussion on the major projections/coordinate systems in use today relative to demographic, geological and geographic data. There are software tools and techniques available to convert data sets from one system and format to another that can be downloaded or purchased for reasonable subscription fees.
Finally, the methods by which positional data (GPS) is taken from the field to be used in reporting and coordinated with other data sets will be discussed and several examples shown. Downloading this data straight from handheld GPS units can facilitate quick and accurate transposing and conflating of data. Accuracy in the range of 10 feet (3 meters) can be easily and inexpensively be obtained using small handheld GPS devices.