Reference standards

Last updated:7 June 2023

The use of common terminology and common data element definitions enables the integration of databases, and promotes more efficient and effective use of data by users of commonly‐defined data from disparate sources. The use of 'Best Practice' documents also supports standardisation.

Mapping/Spatial Standards

The Spatial Data Dictionary (2004) is a specification for the capture of geoscientific spatial data created in 2004. It describes fields for each feature type in a database, containing the themes created from Geoscience Australia's databases. It forms a foundation for the production of geoscientific spatial data by specifying rules regarding the structure of such data.

Standard geological map colours [ZIP 765KB]: In the 1980s, Geoscience Australia's predecessor, the Bureau of Mineral Resources (BMR), published an Australian standard colour scheme for geological maps. However, the increasing complexity of geological maps published in recent years has meant that maintaining a single colour scheme for all geological maps is no longer practical. The BMR colour scheme may, however, be applied to some geological maps as a rough guide.

Symbols used on geological maps: This publication, published by the Bureau of Mineral Resources (BMR), presents standard and special (preferred) geological map symbols that are for use at all stages of map preparation and publication. Drafting specifications are included. The symbols were endorsed by the Chief Government Geologists' Conference, 1988.

Geoscience Australia Topographic Data and Map Specifications: This publication is made up of three main sections; Section 1 defines the feature based model used for the National Topographic Database, Section 2 provides the rules and guidelines for the generation of the Geoscience Australia 1:100 000 and 1:250 000 National Topographic Map Series products and Section 3 provides information on a variety of topics related to revision processes and materials, model structure, general concepts in relation to data capture and attribution.

Reference Databases

AusGeoRef: Includes more than 170,000 bibliographic references to Australian geoscience literature.

Australian Stratigraphic Units Database: This database provides the primary national standard for geological names in Australia. It records information on all Australian stratigraphic units and their usage in literature, making it a centralised reference point for all Australian stratigraphic unit information. The database is also the repository for definition descriptions for these units.

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