PAMAP: New digital data to support geologic mapping and programs in Pennsylvania

Delano, Helen L., Pennsylvania Geological Survey - DCNR, 3240 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown, PA 17057, PARRISH, Jay, Pennsylvania Geological Survey - DCNR, 3240 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown, PA 17057, and MARKEL, Chris, PAMAP Program Manager, Advanced Technology Solutions, Inc, 315 S. Allen St. Suite 124 A, State College, PA 16801

Orthophotography collected in the Spring of 2006 completes full coverage of Pennsylvania at 1:2400 scale, with leaf-off, true color orthoimagery. In 2006, the PAMAP program also began collecting LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data to support 2-foot topographic contours and high resolution digital terrain models of the entire State. Full state coverage for LiDAR derived data is expected to be complete in 3 years, and orthoimagery collection will continue, with a target of a three-year reflight cycle. We anticipate that the availability of this new statewide, consistent data will provide exciting new opportunities for geologic mapping, hazards research, and resource management, as well as supporting the myriad of uses traditionally supported by paper topographic maps.

As Pennsylvania’s part of The National Map, PAMAP continues the partnership between the Pennsylvania Geologic Survey and the US Geological Survey, which has provided topographic maps since 1899. Additional partnerships with Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and other state agencies make PAMAP a unique intergovernmental collaboration to provide shared digital data freely to the public in support of the needs of a wide range of map users. State funding, primarily from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, has supplied most of the support for orthoimagery and LiDAR. County GIS programs will contribute roads, buildings, boundaries and other data layers that are more detailed than state agencies can develop.

Anticipated uses include improved flood hazard mapping, local and regional emergency management, and support of land and resource management decisions at many levels. As geologists, we at the Survey are particularly interested in the ways this, in combination with other GIS data, will enable us to improve and increase efficiency of bedrock and surficial geologic mapping; improve mapping of landslides, karst, and other hazards; and locate candidate geologic heritage sites for inclusion into the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program.

More information is available at the program web site: Data can be downloaded from:

Poster presentation presented at the 2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)