Development of Enhanced Feature Recognition Software for the Extraction of Mine Features from USGS Topographic Maps

Science Center Objects

The USMIN Project is multi-year project of the USGS Mineral Resource Program (MRP) whose objective is to develop a comprehensive geospatial database of the mines, mineral deposits and mineral districts of the United States. This database builds upon MRP projects which date back to the late 1960’s and will provide data that will be of value to other parts of the USGS, other federal and state ag...

The USMIN Project is multi-year project of the USGS Mineral Resource Program (MRP) whose objective is to develop a comprehensive geospatial database of the mines, mineral deposits and mineral districts of the United States.  This database builds upon MRP projects which date back to the late 1960’s and will provide data that will be of value to other parts of the USGS, other federal and state agencies and the general public.

 

Mine Features, which are defined as “a single human-made object or disturbance associated with mining, such as a shaft or adit (vertical or horizontal opening), tailings, machinery and facilities, etc. A mine can be comprised of one or more features.” are a major component of the database.  These features are compiled from a number of data sources of which USGS topographic maps are one of the most important.  Capture of these features by manual digitizing is extremely time consuming.

 

The objective of the CDI supported sub-project is to develop an automated feature recognition tool to transform non-integrable raster-based information – mine feature symbols on digital topographic maps -- into data that can be effectively integrated with other spatial data layers.  



Benefits

  • USGS topographic maps represent a massive store of high quality, time stamped geospatial data which in its present form cannot be easily brought into GIS.  The mine feature recognition software will not only meet a need of the USMIN Project but will also provide a foundation for the extraction of other types of data such as wetlands and springs from raster versions of USGS topographic maps.
  •  The features extracted using the feature recognition tool will be used in the MRP database project and can also be used by the National Geospatial Program (NGP) for the National Map.  The value of this is shown by the fact that NGP has provided half the funding for the project.
  • The USMIN database is also of value to other federal agencies such as the BLM, Forest Service and EPA.  The Central Mineral and Environmental Science Center has an Interagency Agreement with BLM under which BLM has provided $500,000 in funding to date
  • The value of the mine feature data is also shown by the fact that two state agencies; the Nevada Department of Minerals and the California Department of Conservation captured this data by manual digitization.  See NBMG Open-file Report OF01-3 Nevada Abandoned Mines Database Compilation Update (http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/dox.htm) and http://www.consrv.ca.gov/omr/abandoned_mine_lands/Documents/Statewide%20Abandoned%20Mine%20Features%20Jan-2012.pdf

Deliverables

  • The deliverable for the project will be the enhanced feature recognition software. 

The software will be developed by Dr. James Burt of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Dr. Burt developed the Quad-G software which was used to georeferenced scanned USGS topographic maps for the Historic Topographic Map Project.

 

Approval of the project was granted in late FY13.  Funding for the Mine Feature Recognition Software project was received in December 2013.  In January and February 2014 the scope of work and contract terms were finalized with Dr. Burt.  The final contract was sent to USGS Procurement in February.  To-date some scoping work has been carried out by Dr. Burt and USMIN project personnel.  The actual software development will start after the end of the current semester at the University of Wisconsin.



Note: this description is from the FY13 Annual Report