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Qualitative Evaluation of the Effect of Digital Previous HitFieldNext Hit Mapping Tools on Previous HitFieldNext Hit Mapping Workflows and 3D Spatial Cognition

J. Ryan Shackleton, Colin Dunlop, Roddy Muir, and Gareth Johnson
Midland Valley Exploration, Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland, UK


For over a century, Previous HitfieldNext Hit geologists have been trained in paper based mapping techniques, which are advantageous in their ease of use, low cost, and versatility in a variety of Previous HitfieldNext Hit environments. Digital methods for Previous HitdataNext Hit collection and Previous HitfieldNext Hit mapping are becoming more common as computer hardware and software components become more advanced, but how do they measure up to traditional Previous HitfieldNext Hit mapping techniques? How do they affect the Previous HitdataNext Hit collection and 3d interpretation process? Are they worth the initial investment in hardware, software, and education? We explore these questions by describing student Previous HitfieldNext Hit mapping projects and Previous HitfieldNext Hit mapping for research purposes that have guided the development of FieldMove, a digital geologic mapping software application.

We find that digital mapping tools improve the 3D spatial interpretation process by facilitating more analysis and less Previous HitdataNext Hit management than traditional techniques, especially in the "Previous HitfieldNext Hit office" during the evenings. When using traditional paper mapping techniques, significant time is spent on Previous HitdataNext Hit organization, transcription from paper to digital formats, and backup of collected Previous HitfieldNext Hit Previous HitdataNext Hit, both in the Previous HitfieldNext Hit office and after completion of the Previous HitfieldNext Hit season. Previous HitDataNext Hit organization and transcription may also be repeated when converting paper maps and Previous HitfieldNext Hit notes to digital formats, which is hugely inefficient and prone to errors. In the digital mapping workflow, Previous HitdataNext Hit organization largely occurs in the Previous HitfieldNext Hit upon Previous HitdataNext Hit collection, transcription from paper to digital format is unnecessary, and Previous HitdataNext Hit backup can be as simple as copying digital files to external hard drives. Thus, we find that digital mapping allows more time in the evenings for problem solving, targeting areas of uncertainty, and formulating effective Previous HitfieldNext Hit plans.

Digital Previous HitfieldNext Hit notebooks can be advantageous over paper notebooks by facilitating rapid digital communication with off-site researchers (for Previous HitexampleNext Hit in digital reports and e-mails compiled while in the Previous HitfieldNext Hit) as well as preserving thought processes in more detail. For Previous HitexampleNext Hit, the seemingly simple practice of copying and annotating a Previous HitfieldNext Hit sketch can improve the clarity of Previous HitfieldNext Hit notes by showing multiple stages of an interpretation that has been refined and tested (Fig. 1). Providing a more complete picture of the thought process used to develop an interpretation may also allow researchers to target areas of uncertainty or incompletely tested hypotheses.

We find that a common hindrance to successful digital geologic mapping is a lack of advance preparation before leaving for the Previous HitfieldNext Hit. In addition to collation of digital base maps, elevation models, and existing geologic maps, the most important aspect of preparation is practice using the software and hardware tools. As with any compass, orienteering, and basic mapping skill, advance practice ensures that the mapping device is not the focus of the user's attention, leaving the Previous HitfieldNext Hit mapper to focus on 3D spatial analysis of rock units. We find that these issues are relatively easily overcome with advance planning and training, as well as an appreciation for the potential benefits of digital Previous HitfieldTop mapping.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120140© 2014 AAPG Hedberg Conference 3D Structural Geologic Interpretation: Earth, Mind and Machine, June 23-27, 2013, Reno, Nevada