British Geological Survey rolls-out its Maps Portal

Russell Lawley tells Oil IT Journal how major digitization project was achieved.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has launched the Maps Portal, a gateway to UK geology. The portal provides free online access to high resolution scans of 6,300 geological paper maps, some dating back to 1832. For those seeking more up to date information, the recent 1:50,000 maps and geochemical and geophysical maps are also online.

BGS’ Russell Lawley told Oil IT Journal how the scanning project was carried out. ‘We used Colortrac wide format scanners to capture the paper maps, mostly to 300 dpi, 24 bit color depth uncompressed Tiff master files. These were batch converted to Jpeg2000 files using the open source Kakadu package at ‘visually lossless’ 10:1 compression. Map metadata is held in an Oracle database with pointers to BGS lexicons of controlled terms. We are now working to enhance search with a master sheet ‘footprint’ for each map that links the scans to our GeoIndex which we hope will allow for the use of e.g. post codes, popular names and classic geology sites.’

Paper copies of maps that are still in print will be available for purchase through the BGS online shop or through BGS map resellers. BGS will continue to reprint popular titles and offer a ‘Print-on-Demand’ service for out of print maps. Digital copies of the scanned maps and sections are also available for purchase.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.