A Review of Digital Data and Information Available from 50 State
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
State geological information is produced and distributed through fifty state surveys, and
can be accessed a variety of ways, depending on the organization. As a librarian
collaborating with a state geological survey, we often asked whether other surveys were
working with similar datasets, and how they presented certain types of information.
This review of survey websites looks at the types of digital geological information and data
available online as of March 2014, how they are organized, and how they are made
What kinds of digital data and information are usually
How do organizations make digital survey data accessible?
A survey will have a combination of online and print maps, online and print publications,
Excel files, CSV files, ESRI geodatabases, shapefiles, KML files, and a smattering of others.
How is survey information organized?
Most commonly, by its type (data/map/report), series, project, topic, or sometimes, on the
basis of whether or not there is an associated interactive map.
Direct downloads, web services, interactive
maps, and CD/DVD. Some organizations
host their own web services and mapping.
If the survey is overseen by a state agency
(see map at left), data are more likely to
be housed in a central digital warehouse.