Advanced Techniques for the Management of Geological Mapping

Research student:  Antonio Patera
Supervisors:Adrian Hopgood
 Andrea Fabbri
PhD awarded:8 December 2006

Abstract from thesis

The transfer of information from a 1:25.000 geological database to the printing of a 1:50,000 geological map sheet is a major problem in geological map production. It relates mainly to the greater detail of field information archived in the database with respect to that needed at a smaller representation scale. This research is focused on a new implementation of a geological database scheme that allows a digital version of the rules to be used by geologists and cartographers in the generalization process. Additionally, a system to avoid overcrowding of symbols is prototyped.

A review of the major works on multi-scale databases and on the concepts of categories and hierarchies has influenced the generalization model proposed for multi-representation. Geographic Information Systems provide the means to carry out the necessary operations. The proposed system is based on the application of conventional and artificial intelligence computer techniques for the production of digital geological cartography, from the gathering of geological field data to the printing of a geological map. Four parts comprise the system:

  • A support system for the identification and characterization of geological objects based on an ad hoc geological and stratigraphic dictionary;
  • A GIS system for gathering geological data directly in the field using a hand-held digital device;
  • A hierarchical geological database scheme for automated reclassification and generalization;
  • A system for avoiding the overcrowding of bedding symbols during the production of a geological map. It considers the geological rules interacting between the geological objects represented in a map.
The research results justify the development of a more complete and general solution to the generalization of entire sets of geological features contained in geological maps. This will facilitate and speed up the production of maps, while helping the cartographer to guarantee a standardized traceable procedure for generalization.

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