How we use cookies

Information about our use of cookies

This website, bgs.ac.uk ('our site'), uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our site. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our site and also allows us to improve our site. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive. The information is used to improve services for you in the following ways:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better
  • We may at any time use the following cookies.

    Strictly necessary cookies are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of ebilling services.

    Analytical/performance cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.

    Functionality cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences, for example your choice of language or region.

    Targeting cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

    Our use of cookies

    First-party cookies

    Each table lists the cookie(s) used in listed applications on the main BGS website, and other websites also listed.

    Cookies for session management

    The main BGS website (http://www.bgs.ac.uk/) — cookie(s) used by the following applications:

    Online shops (http://shop.bgs.ac.uk and http://shop.bgs.ac.uk/gsni/georecords/)

    AssetBank (http://geoscenic.bgs.ac.uk)

    Djatoka IIPViewer (http://scans.bgs.ac.uk)

    Afghanistan Geological Survey: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/afghanminerals/ (hosted site)

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    JSESSIONID To remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service 783011f2 5ee5ed6b 7df556467352741 482a1 When you close your browser or navigate away from the BGS websites, or after 20 minutes of inactivity

    Cookies to stop multiple submissions

    Earthquake seismology (http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/)

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    QUES0 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire
    QUES1 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire
    QUES2 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire
    QUES3 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire
    QUES4 In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire
    QUESHID In completing a task, to enable you to complete the task without re-entering information already given day%3A%3A27--%3Emon%3A%3A5--%3Eyear%3A%3A2011--%3Ehr%3A%3A10--%3Emin%3A%3A35--%3E Expires one week after submission of questionnaire

    Third-party cookies

    We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites on our behalf e.g. Audioboo, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. In addition, some BGS web pages embed content from third parties that use cookies. Further details are given in the tables.

    Cookies for embedded third-party content and social media plug-ins

    YouTube: the following YouTube cookies are only set if you press play to start the video clip.

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. (YouTube is a subsidiary of Google.) BX5Kz-iIYf8 Within a year
    GEO When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. (YouTube is a subsidiary of Google.) 8dda 4a5 07bc1b71 bf1aa9 b098ee458 e7cwsAAAAz R0L Aq5eQTd 9vDg== End of session
    PREF When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. (YouTube is a subsidiary of Google.) ID=e7 315a9 d1ee9cf 81:TM=13064 88327:LM= 1306488327:S=A ibaL2tj AjG 1wQFX One week

    BBC

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    BBC-UID A unique identifier given to each computer to allow log analysis to determine the number of unique users for various parts of bbc.co.uk. Data is only used in aggregate. 64fd9d5f972ab96e4a2b5 1fa0196cf c44f71b79df 0c0c1b4846fd9b 71cc2 0a010Mozilla%2f4%2e0%20%28 compatibl e%3b%20MSIE%208%2e0 %3b%20Windows %20NT%205%2e1% 3b%20Trident %2f4%2e0%3b%20%2 eNET%20CLR%201%2e1%2e43 22%3b%20%2eNET%20 CLR%202%2e0%2e507 27%3b%20%2eNET%20 CLR%203%2e0%2 e04506%2e30%3b%20%2e NET%20CLR%203%2e0%2e 04506%2e648%3b% 20InfoPath%2e2%3b%20 %2eNET%20CLR %203%2e0%2e4 506%2e215 2%3b%20%2eNET%20CLR%20 3%2e5%2e30 729%3b%20%2e NET4%2e0C%29 Four years
    s1 Like the BBC-UID cookie, this is a unique identifier given to each computer to allow log analysis to determine the number of unique users for various parts of bbc.co.uk. Data is only used in aggregate. policyref="http://www.nedstat.com/w3c/p3p.xml", CP="NOI DSP COR NID PSA ADM OUR IND NAV COM" Five years

    Google

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    PREF When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. ID=e7 315a9 d1ee9cf 81:TM=13064 88327:LM= 1306488327:S=A ibaL2tj AjG 1wQFX One week
    NID When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. 47=Zf7SGeD sXsy-7DaK O99X2hFSQi -xeRwzC 7UeN JXtvn9mlQuHJEZ 1e z0OyBCYqaWA- JG4E wNH5T90gtt J7M24CityUQ7Nv kSZU2 hQjJvr4E-d7t YimoUz4 5 YxHKTWq-Uk Six months
    SNID When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services. 47=t mFrXN28KoivEQkgi- LAxa7AP slcVcOl9ynI1aCSm w=EZ9M1kTo qPJPoQje Six months

    Cookies for web analytics/metrics


    Google

    Cookie name Purpose Typical content Expires
    __utma This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to your site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits your site, a new __utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to your site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure. 93652494.1109686414.1331048746.
    1331048746.1331050549.2
    Two years from set/update
    __utmb This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When a user views a page on your site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on your site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on your site for longer than 30 minutes. You can modify the default length of a user session with the _setSessionCookieTimeout() method. 93652494.1.10.1331050549 30 minutes from set/update
    __utmc

    This cookie is no longer used by the ga.js tracking code to determine session status.

    Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether or not to establish a new session for the user. For backwards compatibility purposes with sites still using the urchin.js tracking code, this cookie will continue to be written and will expire when the user exits the browser. However, if you are debugging your site tracking and you use the ga.js tracking code, you should not interpret the existence of this cookie in relation to a new or expired session.

    93652494 Not set
    __utmz This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach your site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to your site. 93652494.1331050549.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=
    (organic) |utmcmd=organic|utmctr=
    british%20geological%20survey
    Six months from set/update

    Third parties

    Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control. These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

    To opt out of third parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.

    How to control and delete cookies

    We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

    However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies that are set by our site, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

    You may wish to visit About Cookies, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

    Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our site.

    If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie. For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

    Review

    This policy was reviewed in October 2016.