Developing a national 3D geoscience knowledge infrastructure: A case study in the United Kingdom

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Andrew, Howard
Holding Date 21 September 2008

Geological survey organizations (GSOs) are established in most countries to provide a geoscience knowledge base for effective decision-making on mitigating the impacts of natural hazards and global change, and on sustainable management of natural resources. The value of the knowledge base as a national asset is continually enhanced by exchange of knowledge between GSOs as data and information providers and the stakeholder community as knowledge ’users and exploiters’.
Geological maps and associated narrative texts have typically formed the core of national geoscience knowledge bases, but have some inherent limitations as methods of capturing and articulating knowledge. Much knowledge about the 3D and 4D interpretation and its derivation and uncertainty, and the wider contextual value of the knowledge, remains intangible in the minds of mapping geologists in implicit and tacit form.
To realize the value of these knowledge assets, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has established a workflow-based cyber-infrastructure to enhance its knowledge management and exchange capability. The workflow incorporates the latest digital mapping, 3D modeling and immersive visualization technologies to enable geologists to work together in collaborative virtual environments, visualize and share prior knowledge, capture new field observations and build conceptual 3D and 4D geoscientific models. Future geoscience surveys in the BGS will contribute to a national, 3D and 4D digital knowledge base on UK geology, with the associated implicit and tacit knowledge captured and made accessible as metadata, qualitative assessments of uncertainty, and documented workflows and best practice.
Knowledge-based decision-making at all levels of society requires both the accessibility and reliability of knowledge to be enhanced in the grid-based world. Establishment of collaborative cyber-infrastructures and ontologies for geoscience knowledge management and exchange will ensure that GSOs, as knowledge-based organizations, can make their contribution to this wider goal.