New Mapping of Western North America: Reboot in the Works
By Ken Rockwell
WAML’s Executive Board recently decided to attempt a revival of the Information Bulletin’s feature listing newly published maps from our principal region. When I went part-time in 2019 and relinquished serving as the feature’s editor, it was hoped that someone else would pick up the responsibility, but that did not work out. But when, during the 2022 meeting, the Board put out a call for a new volunteer, Mike Smith at the University of California-San Diego, stepped up. I contacted Mike and volunteered to advise him as needed. I emphasized that he does not have to follow my usual procedures for compiling the list, which attempted to be exhaustive but could also be exhausting!
Reviewing the past history of the “New Mapping” feature [which you can read about in the IB, v. 49, no. 1 (July-Oct. 2017)], I noted that in its early versions, WAML members from different states would report on new resources from their states or regions as they found them. That system was never universal, however, and by the late 1990s, only a few people actively sent such reports to the feature editor. (A shout-out here to Linda Newman of Reno for keeping on top of Nevada’s state geologic map output!) It would be nice if we can revive this practice and help Mike out in noting new products, whether printed maps, electronic versions available online, or interactive geospatial resources. For my part, I will keep track of Utah, and I challenge others to monitor their own states.
An important source for new mapping is the state and provincial geological survey or equivalent department. I regularly checked for new publications at these agencies’ websites, and I list their current links below to facilitate potential state volunteers’ participation in the “New Mapping” endeavor. It will also allow readers of the IB to catch up on recent publications that missed getting recorded in the “New Mapping” feature.
Commercial outdoor recreation maps are another major category of new maps. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a relatively new map publisher of which I became aware since the end of my editorship in 2019: Outdoor Trails Maps, based in Centennial, Colorado. Founded in 2017 with the goal of “creating user-friendly maps and navigation products designed to meet the needs of hikers and backpackers,” the company offers a 16-sheet set focused on Colorado’s highest mountains—the “Colorado 14ers Map Series”—and 39 separate maps in its series covering official Wilderness Areas. Check out their offerings at their website: https://outdoortrailmaps.com/
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Websites for State geologic mapping agencies and their publications lists
(Addresses are current as of October 2022, but they have been known to change over time as websites are revised. Note that many of these agencies offer FREE downloads of their maps, as well as sales of physical copies. They may also have listings of publications from other agencies, especially the U.S. Geological Survey. –KR)
Alberta Geological Survey (Edmonton)
- Website: https://ags.aer.ca/
- New items may appear in the “Interactive Apps and Maps” section, but also see “What’s new.”
Arizona Geological Survey (Tucson)
- Website: https://azgs.arizona.edu/
- Its recent publications page ( https://azgs.arizona.edu/publications/recent-publications ) includes all types of products, but one can find their Digital Geologic Maps in a “repository” list at: http://repository.azgs.az.gov/collection/432
- Also a “Contributed Map” series at: http://repository.azgs.az.gov/collection/726
British Columbia Geological Survey Branch (Victoria, BC)
- Web site: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/mineral-exploration-mining/british-columbia-geological-survey
- Under “Publications,” search by series. Maps may be found under “Geoscience maps,” “Open files,” and “Oil and gas maps.” Some listed series have not had new items in many years.
California Geological Survey (Sacramento)
- Website: https://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/
- The “Publications” page has a “Publications announcements” section where newly published maps will be noted in blog-style, newest announcements at the top.
Colorado Geological Survey (Denver)
- Website: https://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/
- To find the newest publications, go to the Publications page and change the display to “Sort by latest.” Direct link: https://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/publications/?orderby=date All publications are listed together; there is no easy list of maps here. But there is also a “Map portal” for all geospatial resources, and you can “Sign up for occasional announcements.” See: https://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/gis-data-map-portal/
- Hawaii has no Geological Survey: But watch the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s publications list at: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_publications.html for possible new maps from USGS.
Idaho Geological Survey (Moscow)
- Website: https://www.idahogeology.org/
- New publications page: https://www.idahogeology.org/maps-pubs-data/new-publications
- Also, on the page to “Search Publication Catalog,” the available items are listed with the most recent ones first. https://www.idahogeology.org/products
- There is also an interactive “IGS Map Search” page.
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (Butte)
- Website: https://www.mbmg.mtech.edu/
- There appears to be no good listing of “New publications,” but from the “publications catalog” page, one may search “Publication type” and select for “Geologic Map.” The result lists new MBMG-published maps with the most recent first. See: https://www.mbmg.mtech.edu/mbmgcat/catmain.asp
USGS-published maps are also listed here.
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (Reno)
- Website: https://nbmg.unr.edu/
- The publications page has a list of “New Products” on the right, or one can select for “Maps” and pull up a list that can be sorted with “Newest” displaying first; see: https://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Maps-s/1859.htm
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (Socorro)
- Website: https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/
- From their publications page, find a link to “Recent maps,” which are listed with the newest first: https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/maps/recent.cfml The list goes only so far back, so use the “Geologic map search” page to search by a given year for other recent maps.
Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (Portland)
- Website: https://www.oregongeology.org/
- On their “Publications Center page, there is a running list of most recent products on the right. Or check individual series, particularly “Geologic Map Series” and “Open-file Reports.” There are listed with newest products at the top.
Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (Austin)
- Website: https://www.beg.utexas.edu/
- See the publications “store” and search the STATEMAPS section, where most new map products are listed. Use the “Sort by” pull-down menu, selecting “Reference: Highest first.”
Utah Geological Survey (Salt Lake City)
- Website: https://geology.utah.gov/
- There is a new publications page containing all formats, but there is a specific tab for new maps. https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/publications/new-maps-publications/#tab-id-3
Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources (Olympia)
- Website: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/geology
- A Publications list is released every few months at: https://file.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_publications_list.pdf
- Current maps are published as part of the “Map Series,”, and occasionally as an “Open-file Report,” both numbered by year and number (for example “2022-01.”
Wyoming State Geological Survey (Laramie)
- Website: https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/
- From the publications tab, “Map search” brings you to the geologic mapping page that includes a list of all maps, with the most recent products at the top. https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/wyoming-geology/mapping.aspx
(Again, note that addresses and access points are subject to change by the responsible agency.)
Author: Ken Rockwell
(Semi-retired & Former Editor of the New Mapping of Western North America)
University of Utah, Marriott Library
Bio: a librarian at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He oversees its public map collection in addition to his main responsibility of metadata work on the Marriott’s Digital Library.