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IT industry praises GNS databases - 22/07/2004

GNS has won industry recognition for creativity and innovation in the development and use of its geological databases.

Some of the GNS IT team

In the recent Computerworld Excellence Awards, GNS was runner-up in the Use of IT in Government category.

The judges said GNS had shown great commitment to making fascinating and important New Zealand information widely available through the web.

"It has created very clear systems which unite the geological and related data in many New Zealand organisations and universities into a single view.

"GNS staff have pushed technology to the limit to build browser-based systems to show scientific data about New Zealand in its geographical context. They are quite literally putting New Zealand on the World Wide Web."

The GNS entry consisted of four fully-searchable geological databases that have recently been made publicly available through the organisation's website.

The living databases, which are used routinely by professional geologists, trace their origins to Sir James Hector the founding director of the New Zealand Geological Survey.

They are:

  • PetLab - a national catalogue of rocks detailing where and when they were found and results of chemical and physical analysis
  • The Fossil Record Electronic Database - a register of fossil localities in New Zealand.
  • The New Zealand Geoscience Bibliography - a catalogue of references and citations of scientific papers published about New Zealand earth sciences.
  • The Stratigraphic Lexicon - a register of 4000-plus named rock formations in New Zealand. As well as being a useful reference, it helps to avoid duplication when new formations are being named.