NYSGA GUIDEBOOK CHAPTERS AND GEOSPATIAL INDEX NOW AVAILABLE
To improve the utility of this treasure trove of field data, we began by converting the trips into the format Google Earth uses. We have converted the road logs, with stops and views, of the Guidebooks from 1956 through 1994, and work continues on more recent ones. As data accumulated we put it into a FileMaker database. This database can be downloaded to an IOS device and accessed in the field, even where there is no cell phone coverage, using the free FileMaker Go app. Desktop users can download a stand-alone app for use on the Mac platform, or download the csv file to import the data into an Access or similar database.
With over 6,500 stops and views at present, users accessing the database may find it to be daunting, if not downright intimidating. Often only a subset of the data may be desired. Complex searches including combinations of years, field trip leaders, particular fossils or minerals, or any terms used in the Road Log descriptions will yield a found set of stops. A proximity filter will find those stops within a given distance from a particular location. Any found set of stops can be exported in different formats including Excel and kml files which can be opened in various IOS or desktop apps such as Excel, Google Earth, Avenza Maps, Pocket Earth, etc.
Each stop contains its year and field trip, permitting the user to acquire the relevant Guidebooks, but these too can be daunting. Most run to hundreds of pages, and include many trips other than the ones sought. To address this we have split up the guidebooks by chapter, permitting users to download only the desired chapters of a Guidebook. These chapters, many containing detail maps, can be combined and then annotated in the field using a variety of mobile apps. Of course these chapters are also freely available online.