143. First Digital Geological Map (1991)

First Digital Map

From 1989 to 1991, regional geological mapping of a corridor across Quebec’s Ungava Peninsula at a scale of 1:500,000 was supported by the Geological Survey of Canada’s early digital data acquisition system FieldLog. In this pre-GPS era, location information was recorded on aerial photographs then digitized to obtain georeferenced coordinates. Field data were transferred from field notes into a structured database on a portable computer at base camp.

The Vizien greenstone belt was discovered in this mapping area in 1991. As a result of its geological complexity and its resource potential, it warranted more detailed map coverage than the regional scale, which had been obtained immediately following its discovery.

The result was the Survey’s first digital map: Geology of the Vizien Greenstone Belt, Quebec. The coloured geological map, published at 1:50,000 in paper format shortly after the 1991 field season, represents both a technical advance that enabled the Survey to deliver results quickly, and an early example of the "flex-mapping" approach, in which the map scale was adjusted to portray the complex lithological and structural character of the belt.

Category: Maps

Decade: 1990s

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