Koji Wakita, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST (Japan)
Toshie Igawa, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST (Japan)
Shinji Takarada, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST (Japan)
Yuichiro Fusejima, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST (Japan)
Masanori Ozaki, Geological Survey of Japan, AIST (Japan)
Publication and distribution of geological maps have recently changed dramatically. Until the 1980?fs, geological maps have been published as paper prints. Digital geological maps appeared in the 1990?fs and distributed as CD-ROM publication. Recently, some digital geological maps are distributed through web map service on the internet.
? The change of publication method has provided the change of style of using geological maps. Users have processed digital geological map to make their own thematic maps integrated with other spatial digital data.
Geological Survey of Japan published the first digital geological map at the scale of 1:1,000,000 in 1995, and series of CD-ROM publication of geological maps at the scale of 1:200,000 from 2003 to 2005. Since 2003, seamless (harmonized) geological map of Japan at the scale of 1:200,000 has been available to the public through the internet. This was the first web service to provide a geological map in the web site. Recently the number of access hits of the site reaches 600,000 a year.
?The main users of the seamless digital geological map of Japan have been researchers and students of universities, employees of consulting companies and government officials. Some researchers of universities and governmental research institutes have asked the proponents?f permission to use the original digital data of the seamless geological map of Japan for soil pollution research, active fault research and researches on the environment and hazard mitigation. The data of the seamless geological map has also been useful to compile the civil engineering maps for construction of buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels, high ways and railways. For the general public, the information on the quaternary basement has been very important to understand the physical property of the land beneath their own houses.?Geological maps at the scale of 1;200,000 lacks detail for such purpose. For this reason, the proponent have started to prepare more detailed geological maps at the scale of 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 especially in the urban areas. Three dimensional geological maps based on the bore hole data have been the alternative solution to provide more useful information to the residents in cities and suburbs.
?The succeeding step for society to utilize digital geological maps is to maximize interoperability of the maps upon integration with various kinds of spatial information on the web. International geospatial standards such as GML, GeoSciML, WFS, WMS, and WCS have been applied to the geological maps. In this regard, international cooperation for standardization of geological maps was found to be very important.