Tag: Geology

USGS State Geologic Map Compilation Added to the Living Atlas

Bighorn Mountains in Northern Wyoming

The US Geologic Survey’s (USGS) State Geologic Map Compilation is now available as a ready-to-use webmap and a set of three feature layers in the Living Atlas. These map and layers can be used as part of your GIS project … Continue reading

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The SAFARI geodatabase: Exploring geological outcrop analogues for reservoir modeling

 (Submitted by: Nicole Richter, GIS Specialist, Uni CIPR)

Initiated in early 2009, this project aims to compile large quantities of outcrop data into a geodatabase called SAFARI (Sedimentary Architecture of Field Analogues for Reservoir Information). Used to enhance geologists’ understanding of subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, the first quantitative data from geological outcrop analogues were collected for reservoir modeling purposes as long ago as the late 1980s. Since then significant amounts of data have been collected including geometric measurements (quantitative information on sandbody and shale baffle geometry), pictures, descriptions (e.g. stratigraphy), wells and cross sections. Most recently, spatial data from high resolution acquisition techniques, such as laser scanning (lidar) and photogrammetry, have joined the complement of available datasets, in the form of 3D virtual outcrop models.

The SAFARI geodatabase is combined with ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Explorer to serve its main requirements: extensive data search and query capabilities, and data analysis and visualization of the 3D virtual outcrop models created from lidar data.

Since the beginning of the project, ArcGIS Explorer has been used extensively in meetings and conferences to show and demonstrate the datasets, and the software’s capabilities for data visualization.

The 3D virtual outcrops are currently visualized as 3D pdf files in Adobe Reader, which also contains a degree of interactive functionality. At a later stage of the project, the 3D data may also be implemented in the ArcGIS multipatch files format.

The data sheets for each outcrop location are shown using the popup window function. In order to directly open the file (e.g. a pdf or html file), their paths were stored in a specific attribute column in the feature layer. The popup window was then configured to display the content of this specific column.

Future plans to develop the database include more work to tailor query functions to meet the needs of the users, increased integration of the virtual outcrop models, as well as the continued addition of available datasets. It is hoped that this work will provide the basis for a single integrated environment for studying reservoir analogues.

The ArcGIS Explorer presentation is available as a short movie, which can be viewed online.

For additional information and contacts:

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British Geological Survey data in ArcGIS Explorer

Last week the British Geological Survey (BGS) launched a new web site – OpenGeoscience – a service where users can view maps and access a wide variety of other information. The use of ArcGIS Online basemaps, the same as available in ArcGIS Explorer, was covered in a recent ArcGIS Online blog post. The site features a nice Geology of Britain viewer that uses ArcGIS Online basemaps and JavaScript API.

The site also includes a KML and the shapefile data along with a layer file (.lyr). Here we’ve taken the KML and added it to Explorer, and used the Bing Streets as our basemap.

We also used the layer file (.lyr) and associated data in ArcGIS Explorer, and also created a layer package from them. Here’s the layer package.

The BGS site is a good example of publishing the same content in a variety of different ways, for public users via a Web app, KML, and also the building block data so it can be used and combined with other data for further GIS use.

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British Geological Survey uses ArcGIS Online as part of OpenGeoscience

12/14/09–Last week the British Geological Survey (BGS) launched a new web site – OpenGeoscience – a service where users can view maps and access a wide variety of other information. According to a recent GeoConnexion article the site provides the world’s first open-access application providing street-level geological mapping for an entire country, with on-the-fly viewing of bedrock and superficial geology overlaid on street maps and aerials.

The Geology of Britain viewer uses ArcGIS Online basemaps and JavaScript API to deliver access to detailed geologic information to anyone via the Web. The app features a toggle for streets or aerials, a transparency slider, and popup information with links to detailed descriptions of bedrock and superficial geology.

The viewer, along with a wide variety of other resources, has made the site extremely popular. According to GeoConnexion it was the most popular story on BBC News Online, with over 70,000 visitors to the BGS web site from the time it appeared at 10.30 a.m. That’s the number of visitors BGS normally gets in an average month. There were more than 10 million image hits (1000 a second!) and 300,000 page views.

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Online geologic map of Arizona

We were at a conference the other week and had the pleasure of meeting M. Lee Allison, director and state geologist for the Arizona Geological Survey. Lee tipped us off to the Survey’s online geologic map which we took for a spin in the ESRI booth with Explorer. Lee has a great blog with all sorts of great geologic news and information, and his post on the topic pointed us to the source post at Geologic Frothings, another great site.

The geologic map is published in a variety of formats using ArcGIS Server. At the Arizona Geological Survey’s site you’ll find links to a variety of different formats, ready to use in ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer (and others). Here’s the service showing statewide-scale coverage.


As you zoom closer you’ll notice that it’s a multi-resolution service, revealing more details as you zoom in.

Here we’ve used the Layer Manager (Tools > Manage Layers) to place the geologic map service below the boundaries and places and transportation services in Explorer’s default map.


Now we can use the place names, roads, and boundaries for additional context for knowing where we are in Arizona.


We took things a step further and added the topographic map layer found by clicking the Layer tab in the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center. We ordered the layers using Layer Manager to place the topographic map under the geologic map, and made the geologic map partially transparent (right click the layer to open its context menu, then choose transparency). Note that we’ve also opened the legend for the service.


We think this is a great example of ArcGIS Desktop’s cartography coupled with ArcGIS Server and its capability to deliver services in a wide variety of formats. And of course this makes a great service for Explorer users that want to do more with Arizona geology.

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