International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008


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IEI-06 Data models and architectures


The GeoSciML logical model


John Laxton, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)


GeoSciML is being developed as an interchange language for geoscience. The initial scope has been designed to include the information generally shown on geological maps, and some observations, in particular using boreholes. The logical model has been built in UML and the model includes packages for mapped features, geologic units, earth material and geologic structures. The model inherits from GML, for spatial information, and observations and measurements (O&M) in particular. At present the scope of the model is largely interpreted information, but the intention is to extend it to include more observational data. A 'mapped feature' can be considered an occurrence, such as a polygon on a geologic map, of a real-world geologic feature the full extent of which is unknown. Geologic features are associated with geologic events for recording their age, process and environment of formation.
The two main types of geologic feature modelled are geologic units and geologic structures. Geologic units have specialisations for lithostratigraphic units, lithodemic units, chronostratigraphic units and deformation units, but more will be added in the future as required. The model allows for composite geologic units, made up of other geologic units, to be described. Geologic structures include fractures, shear displacement structures, contacts, fold and foliation. The earth material package allows for the description of both individual components such as minerals and compound materials such as rocks or unconsolidated material.
The model incorporates a structure for controlled concepts which can be defined in terms of normative descriptions of geologic units or earth materials. These can be built into geologic vocabularies, such as stratigraphic lexicons. Two data types of particular use in describing geologic properties have been defined: CGI_Value allows properties to be recorded with term, number and range values along with a qualifier property for handling the 'fuzziness' of much geologic data; a 'geometric description' data type allows for the recording of linear and planar structural measurements along with a code for the recording convention used eg 'right hand rule'.
The GeoSciML data model has been developed by the CGI Interoperability Working Group


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