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Machine-oriented information retrieval systems are becoming more widely appreciated in the scientific world. Having an awareness of a large percentage of a total literature provides a fund of information not previously obtainable. The volume of geologic literature, and the number of publications in allied fields with which explorationists must have an acquaintance, are of such dimension that computer processing is the only hope of remaining alert to all that is available.
A similar awareness of even greater significance to the geologist is the perception he must have to recognize that clue of exploration value within his data. Extensive and diverse computer retrievals and selected combinations of data can uncover associations and suggest new leads that were not previously apparent.
Encoding data to machine processing demands a definition and a consistency that requires a clear understanding of the project objective. Computer-sensibility checks will provide reliability and repeatability throughout an accumulation of facts, yet they also can accent variability in collection and point up anomalies in data gathering. The logic required in developing a computer program requires the anticipation of the unusual, and the geologist must know his subject in order to anticipate their existence or interpret their presence.
Frequent and rapid display of data by computer maps and tabulations can provide continuous access to every part of the data file during the life of the project. The variety of computer output can pinpoint areas in need of greater effort. Judicious use of a computer program library can provide a geologist access to most of the standard treatments. Their use may provide him with answers, but can also suggest new approaches. In many cases he may consider output from a computer model as an "unbias view" of his data.
Mathematical analyses, engineering techniques, and economic evaluations used variously by geologists become standard tools on the computer. Although their use requires his appreciation of their capabilities, and their results demand an awareness of their exploration implications, their intricacies of solution no longer concern him. Their repeated use with multiple sets of data can communicate relationships not previously known.
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