The BGS·SIGMA project (System for Integrated Geoscience MApping) is an integrated workflow for geoscientific surveying and visualisation using digital methods for geological data visualisation, recording and interpretation in both 3D and 4D.
Digital tools for data collation, field data recording, remote sensing interpretation, visualisation, borehole logging, and digital geological map compilation have been successfully implemented in BGS projects in the UK and overseas.
The challenge has remained, however, to streamline these technologies and link them seamlessly into an integrated digital survey system backed by common data standards.
BGS·SIGMA has therefore defined and documented an underpinning framework of best practice for survey and information management, which has then informed the design brief and specifications for an integrated toolkit.
This toolkit enables assembly and interrogation/visualisation of existing geological information, capture of new data and geological interpretations, and delivery of 3D digital products and services.
We have made the third version of our award-winning digital field data capture tool available free with the expectation that geoscientists globally will use the system and share any modifications or developments in future BGS releases.
To date, over 1500 licences have been downloaded globally by people in academia, industry and national geological surveys — BGS SIGMA·mobile for geological field data includes a downloads coverage map.
We believe that this version is a major step forward in the functionality we are providing both in the field, and afterwards in the office when making maps.
For the third release of BGS·SIGMA we have integrated our BGS·SIGMAdesktop tools into BGS·SIGMAmobile to provide more of the functionality that BGS routinely uses to collect our data and then to produce map outputs.
BGS·SIGMAmobile is a field data capture system designed to run on rugged tablet PCs with integrated GPS units, which also now has additional tools to clean the field linework to make professional quality map outputs.
You need to have copies of ArcGIS and MSAccess for the system to run; BGS does not supply these.
BGS·SIGMAmobile 2012 now runs on Windows 7; it makes use of ArcGIS 10 with MSAccess 2007 and includes several notable upgrades and improvements.
Implementation of SIGMA has required definition of data models and standards, re-engineering of work processes and management systems.
The BGS·SIGMAmobile toolkit uses commercially available hardware and software, which has been extensively customised by BGS developers.