Publication record details

Title Displaying G-BASE geochemical sample information in Google Earth
Ref no OR/11/014
Author Johnson, C.C.; Cave, M.R.; Napier, A.; MacKenzie, A.C.
Year of publication 2011
Abstract This report describes the Google Earth geochemical sample information delivery Project in which basic information about G-BASE geochemical samples is displayed in Google Earth. Information downloaded from the BGS corporate Geochemistry Database is converted into standardised data files, classified by country (England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland) and sample type (topsoil, deep soil, stream sediment and stream water). These files are then input into an application used to convert the data into Google Earth data files (KML format or KMZ for large files). The application to convert the information into KML files is written in the open source R script which is now widely use in geochemical applications. Some other similar data sets for the UK (e.g. from Tellus and FOREGS projects) have also been included in this work to demonstrate the applicability of the R script programs to other non G-BASE data sets. A number of interpolated geochemical images generated from G-BASE data have also been included as a way of demonstrating how the G-BASE geochemical baseline information can be displayed in Google Earth. The KML files for creating and displaying the interpolated images are also generated using R script though further development work is required on the code used to generate the gridded images. The KML/KMZ files are accessed through web pages, the initial landing page being a map of the UK from which the user selects the country of interest. This leads to country pages on which tables of available data sets (and interpolated images for England stream sediments) are linked to the KML/KMZ files. Clicking on the hyperlink starts up Google Earth, adding to the 'Temporary Places' directory and displaying the location of sampling sites against an appropriately zoomed and centred satellite image. Placemark labels at each site show the information available for the associated sample along with hyperlinks to further information. Comprehensive documentation about G-BASE and other sample types is available from information links on the web pages. The Google Earth is easy to use, available worldwide, and is increasingly being used to display spatial information about environmental data. Displaying information about the BGS G-BASE geochemical data holdings in Google Earth will make the data more accessible to the general public. It is also hoped that this may serve as an example project for how NERC can disseminate information on its environmental data holdings. Furthermore, many countries have similar geochemical data, for example that collected during the FOREGS and GEMAS projects in Europe. If they can be encouraged to generate KML files of their geochemical data holding from the freely available R scripts generated by this project, then a more global landing page to geochemical data information can be created.
Publisher British Geological Survey
Series Open Reports
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