Until recently most spatial geological information was in analogue (mainly paper) form, which made it expensive to store and often difficult to use because of its increasing fragility. However, with the rapid advances in information technology in the last twenty years, not only has it become relatively easy to digitise or digitally scan historical information but, increasingly, data suppliers are, themselves, producing the raw data in digital form. This brings with it a host of new problems for the acquisition, management and dissemination of the information. These issues include data collection (what, where, how and by whom), data management and security (metadata, validation, backup, access), data access (how, where and at what price) and the provision of value added products based on the data tailored to the needs of specific users. For engineering geologists, the historical acquisition of geological data in various forms is on the verge of delivering a whole range of new products that should alter the way in which site investigation is carried out
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