The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) has unveiled a new version of its website. The site is designed to encourage users to explore content they wouldn't otherwise look for while allowing them to easily find specific information they need.
DGS, a state agency formed in 1951, is administratively assigned to the University of Delaware and is a research unit in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
Its staff members do geologic and hydrologic research and exploration throughout the state, including working on a large variety of projects such as creating maps of the state’s geology, monitoring seismic activity, and studying Delaware’s hydrogeologic framework. DGS work informs decisions on critical topics such as agriculture, public health, recreation, and land-use planning.
With the release of the site, results of research — including publications and maps — as well as information relating to services and activities of DGS, are easily accessible to the citizens, policy makers, industries, and educational institutions of Delaware, said State Geologist and DGS Director John Talley.
Research scientist John Callahan, who led development of the site, explained that many of the technologies employed in the site are consistent with modern web standards. Built upon the Drupal content management system, the site makes heavy use of several open-source software packages and embedded maps using the Google Maps user interface. News and announcements are available as RSS feeds, and users have the ability to share site content through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Callahan explained that seemingly disparate information on the site is linked together through a common set of place names and topical keywords, also known as tagging, making it easy for people to “jump” to different parts of the site.
“Better integration with Internet-based search engines and a heavy use of keyword tagging connect information in various ways, bringing to the forefront the breadth and depth of DGS’ scientific expertise,” Callahan said.
Highlights of the new site include:
• A complete list of more than 200 official DGS publications available for download, displayed in an interactive exhibit of faceted authors, keywords, locations, and dates.
• More than two dozen digital datasets, including surficial geologic and hydrogeologic maps, available for download in GIS formats and as WMS mapping services.
• The current Water Conditions Report for Delaware, including historical data and interactive hydrographs for 30 groundwater, precipitation, and stream gage stations.
• A map and listing of all earthquakes that have occurred within Delaware’s state boundaries.
• Monthly data and hydrographs for more than 115 actively monitoring groundwater wells.
• An identification sheet of fossils commonly found in Delaware.
• A timeline of the history of DGS, current projects, and more.