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Digital Geologic Mapping at Kentucky Geological Survy

Completion of the Digital Mapping Program

The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) has completed the vectorization of 707 1:24,000-scale, geologic quadrangle maps. This milestone was reached in April, 2004 and provides Kentucky with complete digital geologic quadrangle map (1:24,000) coverage. In the process of vectorization, a database of geologic information, entitled Digitally Vectorized Geologic Quadrangle (DVGQ) will be generated and appropriate metadata will be created. Approximately half of these DVGQ’s are already released to the public and the remainder are undergoing final reviews and file processing before release.

During the past decade, the Kentucky Digital Mapping Program employed 50 staff and students who digitized geologic quadrangles to convert them into digital format at a cost of about 3.8 million dollars. During the original geologic mapping program (1960-1978), over 250 geologists mapped the entire state at a cost of 20.9 million dollars. This accomplishment creates detailed geologic mapping which will serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky for generations to come.

Numerous challenges emerged during the mapping program, many related to the original geologic mapping philosophies and stratigraphic issues. Vectorization procedures and standardized capture techniques were additional issues related to acquiring reliable digital data. Most importantly, sustained funding and adequate staffing were essential to a successful program. The continued support of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program was integral to the success of the KGS program.

Another challenge that emerged during the program was the management of large amounts of spatial and digital data. KGS is creating a spatial database for geologic map information using ESRI ArcSDE and Microsoft SQLServer. The spatial database contains 15 seamless, statewide layers of geologic features derived from the original maps. Unit descriptions from the GQ’s are being processed to create another database to facilitate queries of the maps and provide supplemental information to make derivative maps, such as karst susceptibility maps. KGS serves this data as shape files in a single coordinate system and datum, through the KGS website and through an IMS server.