A geotechnical database called Geoshare has been developed at Queen Mary College to act as a comprehensive data management tool for site investigation data (Wood et al. 1982). It is capable of storing and searching ‘free format’ geotechnical records, and is designed to handle all aspects of data management in a site investigation project, from the input of the records to the analysis of the retrieved information. The application of Geoshare to the reconstruction of a superficial deposit stratigraphy is demonstrated, showing the use of the retrieval facilities as applied to borehole data collected in the site investigation for a trunk road scheme in S. Wales. The problems of poor borehole/trial pit log descriptions are dicusssed in the light of the use of Geoshare, and a software compatible terminological format for log descriptions is suggested, adapted from an engineering based revision of British Standard 5930 (1981).