Paper No. 225-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM
GEOSPATIAL DATA CURATION AND MAPPING OF FOSSILS FROM THE HELL CREEK FORMATION IN SOUTH DAKOTA
The lack of accurate, consistent, and precise data collection of exhumed fossils is a major obstacle to developing consistent inferences and conclusions based on paleontological work. The team has developed and designed an innovative spatial database that integrates GIS technology and sub-centimeter GNSS (GPS) equipment and technology such as that produced by Carlson Software for data mapping and sorting. The database of late Cretaceous fauna and lithology discovered in the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota categorizes, sorts and maps data by species, anatomical designation, spatial coordinates, source lithology, horizon, discovery date, and photographs in situ of specimens. Underlying attribute tables are searchable and sortable, enabling instant data integration and assimilation versus days, weeks, months, or even years examining and analyzing irreconcilable paper field logs. Additional site attributes (such as geochemical data) can be seamlessly integrated into the database, allowing real time data interaction and interpretation. Scholars and the public at large will have access to this information providing more collaboration and transparency of available data. The map and underlying attribute tables enable superior findings and research in areas of taphonomy, taxonomy, ontogeny, species proliferation, and more, due to the accurate, consistent location measurements and capture of field data.