GeoSciML is a model of geological features commonly described and portrayed in geological maps, cross sections, geological reports and databases. The model was developed by the IUGS CGI (Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information) and version 4.1 is the first version officially submitted as an OGC standard. This specification describes a logical model and GML/XML encoding rules for the exchange of geological map data, geological time scales, boreholes, and metadata for laboratory analyses. It includes a Lite model, used for simple map-based applications; a basic model, aligned on INSPIRE, for basic data exchange; and an extended model to address more complex scenarios.
The specification also provides patterns, profiles (most notably of Observations and Measurements - ISO19156), and best practices to deal with common geoscience use cases.
The following are keywords to be used by search engines and document catalogues.
Ogc doc, OGC document, geology, geoscience, stratigraphy, borehole, geochemistry, geophysics, rock, fault, contact, fold, fossil, UML, GML, XML.
The primary goal of this specification is to capture the semantics, schema, and encoding syntax of key elements described and portrayed in geological maps and databases, in order to enable information systems to interoperate with such data.
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent rights. The Open Geospatial Consortium shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.
Recipients of this document are requested to submit, with their comments, notification of any relevant patent claims or other intellectual property rights of which they may be aware that might be infringed by any implementation of the standard set forth in this document, and to provide supporting documentation.
iv. Submitting organizations
The following organizations submitted this Document to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC):
- Arizona Geological Survey (AzGS), Arizona, USA
- British Geological Survey (NERC-BGS), UK
- Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), France
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
- Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV), Australia
- Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Finland
- Geological Survey of Italy (ISPRA), Italy
- Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Sweden
- Geoscience Australia (GA), Australia
- Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), New Zealand
- Landcare Research, New Zealand
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Canada
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), United States of America
All questions regarding this submission should be directed to the editors or submitters:
Geological Survey of Canada (Natural Resources Canada)
British Geological Survey
GeoSciML (Geoscience Markup Language) covers the domain of geology (earth materials, geological units and stratigraphy, geological time, geological structures, geomorphology, geochemistry) and sampling features common to the practice of geoscience, such as boreholes and geological specimens. The specification also proposes a simplified version of GeoSciML suitable for portrayal of geological features on digital maps. This specification does not address (or very partially addresses) more specialised geoscience domains such as hydrogeology, seismology, geophysics or economic geology. Some of these domains are covered by other specifications (e.g. GroundwaterML for hydrogeology; OGC 16-032, and EarthResourceML for economic geology – both developed in concert with GeoSciML).
This standard defines a logical model and an XML encoding which conform to OGC GML 3.3 encoding rules, itself, an iteration over ISO 19136 (2007).
Requirements for three standardization target types are considered:
- Logical Model
- Data instance
Conformance with this standard shall be checked using all the relevant tests specified in Annex A (normative) of this document. The framework, concepts, and methodology for testing, and the criteria to be achieved to claim conformance are specified in the OGC Compliance Testing Policies and Procedures and the OGC Compliance Testing web site.
All requirements-classes and conformance-classes described in this document are owned by the standard(s) identified.
The following normative documents are referenced in the text or provide significant context for the development of GeoSciML 4.1. For dated references, subsequent amendments to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. However, parties to agreements based on this document are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the normative documents indicated below. For undated references, the latest edition of the normative document applies.
- OGC: OGC 06-121r9, OGC® Web Services Common Standard (2010)
- ISO / TC 211: ISO 19103:2005 - Conceptual Schema Language (2005)
- ISO / TC 211: ISO 19107:2003 - Spatial Schema (2003)
- ISO / TC 211: ISO 19108:2006 - Temporal Schema (2006)
- ISO: ISO 8601- Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times (2004)
- OGC: OGC Abstract Specification Topic 20 – Observations and Measurements (also ISO 19156:2011) (2011)
- OGC: OGC Abstract Specification Topic 2 – Spatial Referencing by Coordinates (also ISO 19111:2007) (2007)
- ISO / TC 211: ISO 19115:2003 – Geographic information - Metadata (also OGC Abstract Specification Topic 11) (2003)
- OGC: OGC 07-036, Geography Markup Language (also ISO 19136:2007) (2007)
- OGC: OGC 10-025r1, OGC Observations and Measurements - XML Implementation v2.0 (2011)
- OGC: OGC 08-094r1, OGC SWE Common Data Model Encoding Standard v2.0 (2011)
- IETF: RFC 3986 - Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax, (2005)
- ISO/IEC: ISO/IEC 19757-3, Information technology - Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) - Part 3: Rule-based validation – Schematron (2006)
- OGC: OGC 08-131r3, The Specification Model - A Standard for Modular specifications (2009)
- Schadow, G. and McDonald, C. J.: Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM) - Version 2.0.1, (2014)
- OMG: Unified Modeling Language (UML). Version 2.3. (2010)
- W3C: Extensible Markup Language (XML) - Version 1.0 (Fourth Edition) (2006)
- W3C: XML Schema - Version 1.0 (Second Edition) (2004)
- INSPIRE Thematic Woring Group Geology: INSPIRE Data Specification for the spatial data theme Geology Version 3.0. European Commission Joint Research Group (2013)
- North American Geologic Map Data Model Steering Committee: NADM Conceptual Model 1.0—A conceptual model for geologic map information. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1334, 58 p., accessed online at URL http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1334 (2004)
- North American Geologic Map Data Model science language products (http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/www-nadm/sltt/products.html)
- Murphy, M. A. and Salvador, A.: International Stratigraphic Guide – an abridged version accessed online at URL (http://www.stratigraphy.org/index.php/ics-stratigraphicguide (1994)
4. Terms and Definitions
This document uses the terms defined in Sub-clause 5.3 of [OGC 06-121r8], which is based on the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards. In particular, the word “shall” (not “must”) is the verb form used to indicate a requirement to be strictly followed to conform to this standard.
For the purposes of this document, the following additional terms and definitions apply.
- 4.1 classifier
A classifier is an abstract UML metaclass which describes (classifies) a set of instances having common features (not to be confused with the “Feature” stereotype from the OGC Feature Model). A feature declares a structural or behavioral characteristic of instances of classifiers. (http://www.uml-diagrams.org/classifier.html). Classes, Interfaces, Association, and Types are kinds of classifiers.
- 4.2 domain feature
Feature of a type defined within a particular application domain.
NOTE: This may be contrasted with observations and sampling features, which are features of types defined for cross-domain purposes.
[ISO 19156, definition 4.4]
- 4.3 element <XML>
Basic information item of an XML document containing child elements, attributes and character data.
NOTE: From the XML Information Set ― each XML document contains one or more elements, the boundaries of which are either delimited by start-tags and end-tags, or, for empty elements, by an empty-element tag. Each element has a type, identified by name, sometimes called its ‘generic identifier’ (GI), and may have a set of attribute specifications. Each attribute specification has a name and a value.
- 4.4 feature
Abstraction of a real-world phenomenon.
[ISO 19101:2002, definition 4.11]
- 4.5 GML application schema
Application schema written in XML Schema in accordance with the rules specified in OGC GML 3.3
- 4.6 GML document
XML document with a root element that is one of the elements AbstractFeature, Dictionary or TopoComplex, specified in the GML schema or any element of a substitution group of any of these elements.
- 4.7 GML schema
Schema components in the XML namespace ― as specified in OGC GML 3.3
- 4.8 measurement
Set of operations having the objective of determining the value of a quantity.
[ISO/TS 19101-2:2008, definition 4.20]
- 4.9 observation
Act of observing a property.
NOTE: The goal of an observation may be to measure or otherwise determine the value of a property.
[ISO 19156:2011 definition 4.10]
- 4.10 observation procedure
Method, algorithm or instrument, or system which may be used in making an observation.
[ISO19156, definition 4.11]
- 4.11 observation result
Estimate of the value of a property determined through a known procedure.
- 4.12 property <General Feature Model>
Facet or attribute of an object referenced by a name.
EXAMPLE: Abby’s car has the color red, where “color red” is a property of the car instance.
- 4.13 sampled feature
The real-world domain feature of interest, such as a geological unit or structure which is observed.
- 4.14 sampling feature
Feature, such as a station, outcrop, borehole, section or specimen, which is involved in making observations of a domain feature.
NOTE: A sampling feature is purely an artefact of the observational strategy, and has no significance independent of the observational campaign.
[ISO 19156:2011, definition 4.16]
- 4.15 schema <XML Schema>
XML document containing a collection of schema component definitions and declarations within the same target namespace.
Example Schema components of W3C XML Schema are types, elements, attributes, groups, etc.
NOTE: The W3C XML Schema provides an XML interchange format for schema information. A single schema document provides descriptions of components associated with a single XML namespace, but several documents may describe components in the same schema, i.e. the same target namespace.
5. GeoSciML Models
The GeoSciML 4.1 is an ISO General Feature Model (ISO19101, ISO19109) implementation of portions of the North American Data Model  and CSIRO’s XMML model. GeoSciML also provides models for concepts at the immediate periphery of geological mapping, such as boreholes, geologic specimens and laboratory analysis, modelled as SF_SamplingFeatures and OM_Observations (OGC 10-004r3).
GeoSciML has been through 4 major releases and a few minor releases since 2005. Each version brought a different interpretation of what is essentially the same conceptual model. The reader looking at all iterations will see, with few exceptions, the same concepts, the same associations and the same properties, but packaged differently. GeoSciML increasingly adopted other domain models as it evolved; it replaced XMML (eXploration and Mining Markup Languages, developed by CSIRO) by Observations and Measurements (ISO19156), custom data types for ranges and categories by SWE Common, and removed custom vocabularies to use web resources.
This fourth iteration is essentially a repackaging of the previous version 3.2 from 13 packages organised by themes into 6 packages organised by use cases (Figure 2):
- GeoSciML Basic: a set of core geologic features, aligned to the INSPIRE Data Specification on Geology.
- GeoSciML Extension: an extension providing detailed description of basic features which adds additional properties and associations.
- GeoSciML Geologic Age: a model for the representation of geologic time using procedures adopted by the International Stratigraphic Commission.
- GeoSciML Borehole: a model for boreholes, including geologic logs and drilling details and other engineering information.
- GeoSciML Laboratory and Analysis: a model for laboratory analytical metadata, geological sampling and specimens, and isotopic age observation results.
- GeoSciML Lite: previously known as “GeoSciML Portrayal” in version 3.2; a simplified alternate implementation of the conceptual model for layer based applications.