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State of Alaska Alaska / Natural Resources DNR / Geological & Geophysical Surveys DGGS / Maps & DataMaps & Data

Digital Mapping Techniques 2023


The Digital Mapping Techniques workshop, sponsored by the USGS National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) and Association of American State Geologists, is an annual series that focuses on collegial interaction, to develop efficient and standardized methods for digital geologic mapping, publication, and GIS analysis.

The DMT'23 workshop will be hosted by the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys and NGMDB at the University of Alaska Anchorage. DMT'23 is an in-person event, however remote speakers can be accommodated.

Register here! The registration fee is $200.00 USD.


  • Sunday, May 21, 1-4 pm - Tentatively, we are planning an informal session on implementation of the GeMS geologic map schema, to begin at 1 pm. 5-7 pm - Meet and Greet, and registration
  • Monday, May 22, 8:30 am - 5 pm - Technical sessions and "Map Blast" (informal poster session)
  • Tuesday, May 23, 8:30 am - 5 pm - Technical sessions
  • Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 am - 12 pm - Informal discussion period

General Agenda

"From field to publication and beyond -- Comparing and improving our workflows"

NOTE: Owing to the positive responses to the DMT'22 general agenda, we'll follow the same format for this year's annual meeting; that is, to explore the range of challenges facing each of us, as our agencies create and publish geologic maps and reports. Each session will consist of presentations and general discussion. As always, we need your participation, so please contact Dave Soller to offer an oral or poster presentation, or to express a willingness to play a role in one of the discussion sessions.

1. Fieldwork: capturing data and observations

Examples of useful field systems -- software and/or hardware

2. Creating the map and GIS data:

  • Methods of digital cartography (historically, at the heart of DMT workshops!)
  • What is your workflow for:
    • creating a single map and database, with output to GeMS?
    • creating and managing a multi map compilation?
  • Is your workflow sufficiently stable to be documented, so that others might benefit?
  • Especially regarding multi-map compilations, what is your approach to identifying, documenting, and (potentially) reconciling stratigraphic issues?
  • Have you considering pooling your technical and scientific resources with other agencies?

3. Creating and/or managing ancillary data that's needed for making geologic maps:

For example, does your agency create or access databases for boreholes, water wells, downhole geophysics, geochronology, engineering properties? If so, how are the databases designed, and how does your agency use them?

4. Preparing the map for publication

  • What kind of peer review is conducted? For example, do you solicit scientists outside your group, do you hold field conferences, does peer review include a geologic names review?
  • How to you conduct a "digital review" (i.e., to ensure the database is "correct")? Presentation of new methods for interactive, onscreen review are especially welcome.
  • Throughout the overall map preparation workflow, do you maintain tight correspondence between map graphic and database? If so, how do you accomplish that?
  • Methods of digital cartography.

5. Publication

How does your agency manage and release maps and GIS? Simultaneously in the same Series, or in separate Series, or is GIS not released?

6. Post-publication

  • Examples of "enterprise", multi-map databases, to manage the map data for the long term.
  • Innovative presentation methods, especially those geared to the general public.
  • Evidence of user access to publications and data (e.g., analyzing Web usage logs).


The meeting will be held on the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus at Rasmuson Hall, Room 101. The address is Edward and Cathryn Rasmuson Hall, 3416 Seawolf Dr., Anchorage. Find Rasmuson Hall on Google Maps.

Interactive map of UAA campus. We have a UAA parking lot reserved for DMT'23. Stay tuned for a map to the designated parking area.

Rasmuson Hall

Rasmuson Hall. License CC BY-NC-ND. Photo credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM.

Rasmuson Hall Room 101

Rasmuson Hall Room 101.

The Sunday night Meet and Greet from 5-7pm on May 21 will be held at DGGS' Geologic Materials Center (GMC). Center staff will also provide a tour of the facility. The GMC is located at 3651 Penland Parkway, Anchorage. Find the GMC on Google Maps.

Geologic Materials Center

Geologic Materials Center

Tuesday night, May 23, is a night out at a local pub. Stay tuned for more information.


Hotels in Anchorage book up quickly in the summer. Please consider booking or holding your hotel room early.

Conference Hotels:
Last day to book in the following hotels is Monday, March 20, 2023.

Digital Mapping Techniques '23 Hotel Reservation Link with group rate (two hotel options available)

Start Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023
End Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

  • SpringHill Suites Anchorage Midtown for 299 USD per night (complimentary breakfast)
  • Aloft Anchorage for 279 USD per night (on-site bar and restaurant)

Anchorage has quite a few hotels; however, the end of May is considered the beginning of the "summer tourist season" and many of the hotels fill up early. The Midtown hotels are closest to the University of Alaska Anchorage. Expect some travel time, especially during rush hour, if you stay at a hotel Downtown or near the airport.

Rental Cars

Rental cars in Anchorage in the summer may be scarce. As with hotels, reserve your rental car early.

For getting about town, another option is rideshare or taxi. Anchorage has a robust rideshare industry, such as Uber and Lyft.

Air Travel

Domestic carriers fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). Carriers include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Grant Aviation, Ravn Alaska, Sun Country, and United Airlines.

Anchorage Information

Anchorage is one of the largest cities in the U.S. by area. It is broken into neighborhoods such as Midtown (where DMT'23 is located), Downtown, Hillside, etc.

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Alaska Native Heritage Center. License CC BY-NC-ND. Photo credit: Arctic Council Secretariat / Linnea Nordström.

Places to visits around town include:
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Anchorage Museum
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
Imaginarium Discovery Center
Earthquake Park
Alaska Zoo

There are fantastic hiking trails around Anchorage. Here are some options:
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Chugach State Park Hillside Trail System
Flattop Mountain Day Hike

More information on Anchorage is available from Visit Anchorage Alaska.

Self-Guided Field Trips

DGGS has published guidebooks for some road and rail trips around Alaska. In the Anchorage area, Guidebook 12 regarding seismic and non-seismic influences on coastal change is available as a self-guided field trip around south-central Alaska.

DGGS is also considering offering a guided field trip in the greater Anchorage area. More information will be forthcoming.

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