This chapter explains the historic impact and future direction of geoinformatics on geological sciences. The history and the purpose of geological surveys is discussed and an introduction into the basic techniques of traditional field mapping is presented. The authors then discuss the recent emergence of digital field capture tools and 3-D geological modelling software and methodologies which is beginning to replace the 2-dimensional techniques. The main impact of these advances is that geologists are now able to capture their knowledge in digital 3-dimensional form freeing them from the constraint of 2-dimensional media such as paper and later GIS. The impact on the delivery of geoscience information through 3-dimensional viewers and over the web is going to revolutionise the way in which geologists are able to communicate their science. An outlook is also given why geology is only a small (but important) part of the wider environmental science community and how the need for the whole Earth system science is forcing geological survey organisations to cooperate closer with other disciplines. Finally this chapter details several global initiatives that have gone a long way to achieving global agreements on standards, institutional arrangements and policies to enable geoscientific information to be accessible across discipline and political boundaries. The conceptual and compu tational integration and interoperability of static models, e.g. geology, infrastructure, with dynamic models, e.g. groundwater and flood forecast models, to provide decision makers with science based decision making tools will be the challenge for geoinformatics for years to come.









3D Web Editeur Geologique




British Geological Survey


French Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières


British Standards Institution


computer aided design


Colloquium on African Geology


committee draft


Comité Européen de Normalisation


Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information


Common Gateway Interface


Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V., German Institute for Standardization


Drafting Team


digital terrain model


environmental modeling platform


Electrical Resistivity Tomography


Geoscience Australia


Global Environment Outlook


Group on Earth Observations


Group on Earth Observation System of Systems


Australian Government Geologists Information Committee


geographic information


Geoscience Information in Africa


Geographic Information System


Geography Markup Language


Global Navigation Satellite System


Ground Penetrating Radar


Global Positioning System


Geological Survey of Canada


geological survey organizations


GeoScience Markup Language


International Council for Science


International Geological Congress


Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community


Implementing Rules


International Organization for Standardization


information technology


International Union of Geological Sciences


Interoperability Working Group


Legally Mandated Organization


New Partnership for Africaʼs Development


non-governmental organization


National Spatial Data Infrastructure


Organization of African Geological Surveys


Open Geospatial Consortium


Personal Computer


personal digital assistant


portable document format (Adobe)


spatial data infrastructure


Spatial Data Interest Community


Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre


Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning


Sensorbased Landslide Early Warning System


Sensor Observation Service


Sensor Web Enablement


United Nations


United Nations Economic Commission for Africa


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


United States Geological Survey


Web Feature Service


Web Map Server


Web Notification Service


Web Processing Service


wireless sensor network


Extensible Markup Language


Exploration and Mining Markup Language


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und RohstoffeHannoverGermany
  2. 2.British Geological SurveyNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Geological Modelling SystemsBritish Geological SurveyNottinghamUK

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