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Computerization of geologic data held by federal, state, and local governmental agencies is becoming more prevalent, and is providing faster and more flexible service to companies and individuals who need this information. In some cases these agencies maintain the only comprehensive source of geologic and hydrogeologic data, and computer storage and retrieval of this information provides welcome relief from the tedious sorting of paper files. Such is the case at the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) where for years the more than 150,000 oil and gas, coal, and other geologic records have been stored in file cabinets. In spring 1983, a new interactive computer system was brought online to help manage, sort, and store these records and to provide the information to industry, overnment, and the general public in a more efficient manner.
Data obtained from various sources, including research projects, industry, and other governmental agencies are stored in computer files that are linked by geographic locations. Users can request information by various combinations of subject (i.e., oil and gas, coal, water, etc), location (latitude, longitude, UTM, county, or other areas of interest), value (greater than, equal to, etc), and other parameters which are stored with each record. Output of the data may also be provided in various formats, such as sorted lists, location maps, and computerized open-file reports. These outputs save users many hours of tedious hand copying and plotting of information from the paper files.
Along with the advantages of computerized data handling have come some problems. One involves verification that data reported and collected by KGS are accurate and reliable, and making users aware of data which may be suspect. Also there are problems related to compatibility between different computers and system security. KGS is presently attempting to find solutions to these and other problems in order to provide users data they need in a format which is most useful to them.
Some potential future applications and services being considered by KGS are allowing users to have telephone access from remote sites, providing graphic display of maps on terminals, and enabling communication between staff geologists via the computer.
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