Simplified view of GeoSciML information model designed to support OGC web map services (WMS) and associated web feature services (WFS) for delivery of basic geologic map information and harmonized portrayals based on age and lithology.


GeoSciML-portrayal is a simplified view of GeoSciML (Geoscience Markup Language, see Richard and CGI Interoperability Working Group, 2007[1]), which is a specialized XML markup language designed for sharing geoscience data between different computer systems. GeoSciML is based on a complex information model developed to support interchange of a wide variety of detailed geologic information. GeoSciML-portrayal is an XML markup language that implements a small subset of the GeoSciML information model specifically for interoperable map services delivering geologic map unit, contact, and shear displacement structure (fault and ductile shear zone) features. The use of standard vocabularies with this schema enables map portrayal using shared legends to achieve basic visual harmonization of maps, even when these maps are provided by different services.


XML schema is at



USGIN WMS profile for integrated geologic map Web Map Services

The key to interoperable map services is the ability to portray adjacent maps using the same symbolization scheme such that when the maps are displayed, the visual discontinuity at the boundary is minimized. Because of the discrepancies in mapping interpretation and intention, there are commonly discontinuities in the definition of map units between geologic maps produced by different authors or at different times. These discontinuities cannot be avoided, and resolving them is a compilation process that will often require additional field work; this is outside the scope of service deployment. What can be avoided is visual discontinuity related to portrayals based on different classification schemes on adjacent maps. Map unit classification schemes for regional geologic maps typically define units based on some combination of age, genesis, and lithology. The larger the area over which the scheme is meant to apply, the more generalized the definition of the units must be.

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