Our Information Products theme produces digital datasets covering Great Britain that are based on the outputs of the BGS survey and research programmes and our substantial data holdings.
Geoscientific knowledge and data are combined to provide products relevant to a wide range of users including those in central and local government, academia, insurance and housing industry, engineering and environmental business, and the public.
The programme is increasingly working with industrial and academic partners to enhance existing products and provide new and innovative data through collaborative research. Some of the research currently being undertaken is listed below, much of which was presented during the recent BGS Information Products annual seminar 2010.
General information about the Information Products programme.
Quantifying and communicating confidence in geological map data has been a priority for BGS and within the NERC Information and Knowledge Exchange Theme, as well as between BGS and other international geological surveys, for several years.
The BGS strategy 2009–2014 indicates a strong commitment to develop and deliver new methods of evaluating and communicating uncertainty in geological spatial models which will allow BGS knowledge and data to fully inform policy and decision–making by government, commerce and society. One methodology being investigated is the feasibility of using 'Expert Elicitation' to quantify uncertainty.
BGS currently undertakes a large amount of research into natural and man–made geological hazards and has many digital products that show hazard potential (or susceptibility). A key challenge in the BGS strategy 2009–2014 is to understand and communicate the potential impact and distribution of Natural Hazards and their associated risks in the UK.
Research into hazard impact and vulnerability is therefore necessary in order to build upon BGS' existing data products and consider the potential impact of geohazards.
Adapting the principles of 'crowdsourcing' may provide an opportunity for the environmental science community, to maximise resources in the current funding regime where scientific field–based research is under increasing competition and pressure.
Crowdsourcing is the concept of solving a problem through a distributed network of users in order to provide a solution. The problem for environmental researchers, such as BGS and CEH, is how to gather environmental data to both produce and to validate environmental models and datasets in an efficient, reliable and simplistic manner at a national scale.
This area of research aims to develop and test a framework to gather and display environmental data in real time through crowdsourcing techniques to add additional value to the some of the environmental science and research questions addressed by NERC research centre/surveys.
In collaboration with CEH, BGS is investigating the validity of developing a new map of standardised terrestrial ecosystems for the UK, focussing on a pilot implementation in the Upper Thames Basin.
We will take spatial information from a range of existing physiographical sources such as:
Then, along with topography, we will combine it with climatological data sets (e.g. precipitation, atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative humidity) to produce a map which represents the vertical structure of an ecosystem, from macroclimate through topo–climate, biota, landform, surface waters, soils and bedrock.
This research would support the sustainable provision of vital ecosystem services and contribute to the developing UK National Ecosystem Assessment including an assessment of anthropogenicly derived ecosystems. It could also contribute to biodiversity conservation, climate change impact studies, and resource management research and aid policy makers, particularly those working to fulfil objectives under the 2005 UK government Sustainable Development Strategy.
The British Geological Survey has invested well over £1m and several decades of effort in designing and building geoscience databases.
In June 2011, the Open Geoscience Data Models project was started to share our knowledge and to build further expertise.
We now have a wealth of mature, well documented designs and a reputation for excellence in this area such as:
We are regularly contacted by other geological survey organisations (GSOs) and industry for copies of our designs; we have now received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council Knowledge Exchange programme to run a two-year project to make our database designs available, to all, for free via the BGS website.
We are also actively seeking collaboration with individuals and organisations who are interested in being consumers of the designs, contributors to the knowledge base or simply wish to find out more about the project and community aims.
More about Open Geoscience Data Models collaboration.
For further information or to collaborate on geoscience information products research contact BGS Enquiries.
BGS offers support for Phd and MSc research projects through its BUFI scheme.