GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 81-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


DROBNIAK, Agnieszka, MASTALERZ, Maria, JOHNSON, Matthew and MEYER, Rebecca, Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 N. Walnut Grove Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405,

Esri’s Story Maps are a powerful yet easy way to illustrate geologic research. These interactive web applications that combine maps, data, links, photographs, videos, and narrative text are an excellent tool to create dynamic publications and highlight research. More importantly, the end user does not require expensive software or training in cartography and GIS. Easy access to geological data through Story Maps can engage, educate, and hopefully inspire viewers to further research and create their own Story Maps.

The Indiana Geological Survey (IGS) has been creating Story Maps for several years. The free online IGS Map Gallery showcases several web applications, from Indiana geology and geological hazards to a local limestone building tour. Photographs, geological records, and maps previously available only on paper or as individual digital downloads are now easily accessed.

Our most recent addition is a series of Story Maps about Indiana’s coalbeds. The IGS has collected physical and chemical data and mapped Indiana’s coalbeds for many years. Some of these data were available through a variety of publications, but some were never published until now. The Story Maps created for five of Indiana’s Pennsylvanian coal seams are a comprehensive digital compilation of geological information that allows users to interactively explore coal data and maps. This information is important for regional coal-quality evaluations and can be used by industry, state and federal agencies, and the public.

Over the years, the IGS has also accumulated data, maps, and photomicrographs of the organic matter from the Middle Devonian-Lower Mississippian New Albany Shale (NAS) formation in the Illinois Basin. Until now, much of this was not published or made publicly available; they are, however, a substantial resource for academic and industry researchers because the formation is a hydrocarbon source rock. The NAS Story Map digitally compiles this information, allowing easy and quick access.

We plan to continue creating new Story Maps to illustrate Indiana geology. This tool can revolutionize our mission of providing geological information, and we can reach a much broader audience and increase the impact of our products and services.

  • GSA Seattle 2017 - Drobniak.pdf (16.6 MB)