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KGS a National Leader in Digital Mapping

The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) has reached a milestone in the history of geologic mapping in the United States. In a comprehensive eight-year project, KGS has converted to digital format 707 printed geologic quadrangle (GQ) maps for Kentucky.

"In 1978, we became the first state of significant size in the nation to achieve complete detailed geologic map coverage," says KGS director Jim Cobb. "We are now the first state to have complete digital geologic map data for the entire state. This provides an incredible foundation of geologic information that is easily accessible, inexpensive and widely distributed to private citizens, industry, government officials, and academics." The process of converting the original printed GQ maps into digital format began in 1996.

The conversion of the paper maps into a digital format has numerous benefits, Cobb says. Many of the original GQ maps are out of print. Also, the digital format allows changes to be readily made to the original map data. This saves time and money because it would be prohibitively expensive to print revised maps.

Digital data from each quadrangle can be distributed easily to users on CD or through the Internet, making the data much more accessible. The digital format also allows users to manipulate and analyze the data in a variety of computer applications and is particularly useful in geographic information systems.

--UK Public Relations

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