Geoscience data and derived spatial information: Societal impacts and benefits, and relevance to geological surveys and agencies
Published:September 01, 2011
R.A. Hughes, 2011. "Geoscience data and derived spatial information: Societal impacts and benefits, and relevance to geological surveys and agencies", Societal Challenges and Geoinformatics, A. Krishna Sinha, David Arctur, Ian Jackson, Linda C. Gundersen
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Low levels of geospatial literacy and geoscientific understanding mean that basic geological map data are meaningful to, and can therefore be interpreted by, a remarkably small number of people with specialist knowledge and training. Nevertheless, geological maps continue to underpin the exploration, exploitation, and management of natural resources such as fossil fuels, minerals, and groundwater. Geological maps can, however, be the essential basis for derived, spatial geoscience information with which complex science relating to societally relevant issues such as geohazards can be communicated meaningfully to the layperson. Such derived spatial geoscience information offers opportunities for geological surveys and agencies to demonstrate societal relevance by creating social and economic benefits. Production and delivery of such information from complex geoscientific data should therefore be central to the mission of geological surveys and agencies. This pathway is traced from data to information and knowledge of use in decision making. Societal benefits and impacts are described and quantified using case studies and independent economic impact analysis data.