Summary: ? Digital Geomorphology/Soils/Surf Geology ?

Tim Miller tmiller at
Mon Jul 24 14:44:27 EDT 1995

Orignal Post:

> Hello All,
> Sorry for the cross-post on several lists.
> I am very intrestested in constructing a list of all digital surface data,
> such as, geomorphology, soils, surfacial geology, other associated
> data sets, and a list of companies/organizations that construct data of
> this type in a digital form.
> Currently, My list:
> Data Set                                        From             
> ------------------------------------------      -----------------
> Interim Terrain Data (ITD)                      DMA
> Tactial Terrain Data (TTD)                      DMA
> State Soil Geographic Data Base (STATSGO)       US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> Soil Interpretation Record Data Base (SIR)      US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> National Soil Geographic Data Base (NATSGO)     US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> National Soil Characterization Data             US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> Map Unit Interpretattion Record DataBase (MUIR) US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> Soil Survey Geographic Data Base (SSURGO)       US DEPT. Ag. NRCS
> If any one has any further information if you send it to me
> (tmiller at
> I'll post a summary of all my findings, and try to give a
> short  descriptions of all the data sets.
> Thanks
> +----------------------------------------------------+
> | Timothy Miller                                     |
> +-----------------------+----------------------------+
> | Loral ADS             | tmiller at |
> | 13810 SE Eastgate Way | Tel: (206) 957-3211        |
> | Suite 500             | Fax: (206) 746-1335        |
> | Bellevue, WA 98005    |                            |
> +-----------------------+----------------------------+

I would like to thank all the people who replied to my
question.  I'll keep an on going list if you want any
info in the feature please let me know and if you have
any info you would like to add please send it to me.

General Overview and Summary of all replies

From: Paul Loechl, loechl at

o Manual of Federal Geographic Data Products
o National Geophysical
o Data Center, and state soil agenices

>From Michael Ballard, ballard at

Pole Star Geomatics is supposed to be a well rounded GIS consulting
and service firm, but it seems most of my work lately has been on
surficial materials data sets. I see your list so far is primarily 
U.S. gov't data. I can add a few pointers to Canadian gov't data 
authors. You should check out:

The Canadian Soil Information System ( CanSIS ) 
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

From: Chris Duncan, duncan at GEOLOGY.GEO.CORNELL.EDU Chris Duncan

o Digital Chart of the World (DCW)

From: Gail Taylor, taylor at

Many of the state agencies in the United States also
produce digital data layers for those mentioned. They
are too numerous to mention but you might want to make
note of this in your list.

From: Carrie J. Patterson, patte018 at

The Minnesota Geological Survey produces digital versions of our
maps.  We have just started doing this but some of our older map
products have been digitized  by the users.  The state office called
Land Management Information Center (LMIC) is a clearing house for
all digital data for the state of Minnesota.

From: Greg Tucker, tucker at

Digital Chart of the World (DCW)
Eros Data Center:

From: Dr. John Fels, fels at

The Design Research Laboratory at the School of Design, North Carolina 
State University, produces a variety of digital terrain layers from 
digital elevation models. These are topographic (geomorphometric) 
characterizations intended for environmental and ecological modeling 

Data layers potentially include:

Elevation, meters
Elevation, feet
Slope, percent
Slope, degrees
MaxSlope, percent
MaxSlope, degrees
Aspect, degrees
Aspect, Beers transformation (several versions)
Terrain Shape Index (TSI, after McNab)
Slope Profile Curvature
Slope Section Curvature
Net Slope Curvature
Landscape Position (several versions)
Landform Index (LFI, after McNab)
Aspect-weighted Landform Index 

These include basic elevation data, first-order derivatives, second-order 
derivatives, mesoscale characterizations, and fractal-scale 
characterizations. All of these are produced using custom algorithms 
written here at the Design Research Laboratory. Many of these are either 
not availble in commercial GIS applications or are superior to the 
versions provided by those applications (e.g. slope). New terrain 
variables are being developed on an ongoing basis, and more will be added in 
the future.

>From James P. McCalpin, mccalpin at

USGS has digital geologic maps of several states (AZ,AR,CO,KY,OR,UT,WY) in
ARC/INFO export format, available for ftp at

From: Owen K. Davis, palynolo at, amd

NGDC is offering a CD-ROM "Global Ecosystems Database" 
with ... topography, soils...
They're at info at

From:  Nancy Voorhis, nancy at

...there is a new system on line here in New Hampshire that I have been
working on, which makes the GRANIT database available on the Web. The 
GRANIT database is the statewide repository for GIS data for the state 
of new hampshire and includes a variety of data layers which you can 
browse at the Web Site.

The URL is:

From: Sue Tewalt, stewalt at

I'd list the USGS products anyway:
digital elevantion model, 7.5'  15'  1-degree units
digital line graph  7.5'  15'   30'  (transportation, hydrography)
land use land cover 30' 1-degree units (sometimes "dated" info)
digital orthophoto quadrangles
US Forest Service cartographic feature files
various forms of satellite imagery available from EROS data center

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