Transitioning to the FGDC Draft Geologic Map Database Standard: A Washington State Geologic Survey Pilot Project

The Division of Geology and Earth Resources (DGER) at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WADNR) recognizes the importance of disseminating digital geological map data in a format that insures the highest level of quality, consistency and accuracy for their users. As such, they undertook a pilot project with the assistance of an NSCI CAP grant to implement and explore the process of converting a single digital geological map (a legacy quadrangle) as a test case from their own agency’s schema to a draft-standard schema (NCGMP09), currently under consideration by the FGDC. During this project, they established good working relationships with the NCGMP09 standard authors/developers, as well as with other users who have already adopted this model; their advice has proved invaluable in increasing the efficiency of their efforts. They maintained a steady stream of communication with our collaborators through email, telephone, and a project tracking website that they built for this purpose. They kept continual documentation of their procedures and refined them as they created a number of Python scripts designed to transfer their test data from DGER schema to NCGMP09. Although written for Esri’s ArcGIS 10.1, the scripts and the associated toolbox should be easily updatable to versions 10.2 and beyond. Finally, and perhaps of most value to interested parties outside of their agency, are their notes and observations detailing the advantages and challenges associated with the potential adoption of the NCGMP09 data model. These notes and recorded experiences serve to inform decisions made by their agency’s geologists and data managers as well as the developers and promoters of NCGMP09.

Final Report

Interim Report

Project Web Site

Project Kick-off Presentation

Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources


Meredith Payne

Anne Olson

Dave Norman

Dave Jeschke