Data Integration and Mapping with a PC
John Sharry, David M. Freeman, Harry E. Stewart
One of the major problems facing today's explorationist is integrating more data into the exploration process. Most data are either in map form or on scout tickets, and must be transferred onto composite maps. Traditional methods have relied heavily on photography and drafting to accomplish this task. This has led to several problems, including (1) often too much information is put on one map making it difficult to extract specific information, and (2) users are reluctant to make changes or updates because of the effort required to redraft the map. To solve these problems and integrate more data into the exploration process, we developed a geologic data base and mapping system on an IBM PC AT. Rather than develop our own database system and graphics routines, we used two ff-the-shelf packages, dBASE III and AutoCAD. We concentrated on our area of expertise: designing the needed output products.
With this system, a map can be stored or plotted at any scale or projection, showing well locations, tops, seismic line locations, interpretations, and information digitized from existing maps, or interpretations from Landsat scenes. The system allows the user to select and limit the amount of information on any one map. A complicated total composite map can be created, and with a few keystrokes, certain types of information can be turned off to produce a simpler map that emphasizes a particular point. Because a computer-aided design package is part of the system, output flexibility is greatly enhanced. Any changes that a draftsman might make by hand easily can be made to the computer-produced map.
Using this system, we produced composite maps that integrate much more data than had been possible previously. This system also can be used to transfer data to image-processing work stations or other mapping packages. With this mapping system, the amount of time needed to produce a map can be significantly reduced. Geologists also reduce their dependence on someone else to produce their maps, and have better control of their data because they can revise and edit the data as needed.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91037©1987 AAPG Southwest Section, Dallas, Texas, March 22-24, 1987.