Public Release: 

GeoRef celebrates the year of the map

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - 2015 represents the bicentenary of the William Smith Map, one of the most important geologic maps ever created and the first national geologic map ever produced. To celebrate, GeoRef, the world's largest geoscience reference database is adding approximately 25,000 map references.

GeoRef staff are actively updating the database with references to a variety of national geologic map collections. Many of the maps were produced in Canada, East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania), and Europe (Spain, France, Belgium). This has been facilitated by an agreement between the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the Geological Society of London (GSL), a member of the AGI federation, that allows AGI access to the GSL library and its collection of more than 40,000 maps.

"The public is interested in water resources, earthquakes, mineral rights, mines, ore deposits, radon, landslides, faults, volcanoes, caves, fracking, ground water, pollution, hazardous waste sites, sea level changes, floodplains, areas susceptible to hurricane damage, sinkholes, fossil locations, national park landscapes, and potential building sites," said Michel Noga, Collections Strategist; Earth & Planetary Sciences and Mathematics Librarian at MIT, "In addition, there is just a general appreciation of mountains, escarpments, and landscapes strongly influenced by tectonics, erosion, and other geologic processes. From energy resource extraction to pollution remediation to finding resources for urban and rural development, geologic maps are a foundation. Geologic mapping provides the basis for knowledge about the processes that shape the earth. Geologic maps provide layers of understanding that enable the public to understand and work with the earth." With this year's enhanced focus on maps for inclusion in GeoRef, the discoverability of this unique wealth of information will be forever expanded.


More on GeoRef can be found at:

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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