Effectively understanding and managing Montana’s vast geologic and hydrologic resources requires powerful support systems designed to gather, store, analyze, and communicate complex geospatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are specifically designed to meet this requirement. MBMG scientists and geospatial analysts employ GIS daily to visualize, explore, and analyze complex geologic and hydrologic information and relationships. In addition, GIS is critical for the efficient storage and distribution of the MBMG’s valuable geologic and hydrologic analyses, which are critical to many public and private entities as they work to develop and manage Montana’s natural resources.
Over the past few years, MBMG scientists and GIS specialists have been adopting and extending the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) nationally standardized database schema (database design) called the Geologic Map Schema (GeMS). The GeMS schema bridges the gap between traditional paper geologic maps and clear, consistent, usable digital geologic data that can be easily defined, visualized, edited, queried, stored, and transferred. For more information about GeMS, visit the USGS National Geologic Map Database site at: https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Info/standards