M.J. Iniesto Alba, P. Carballo Cruz

University of Santiago de Compostela


Traditionally, in Ground Engineering Science, the graphical expression of the characteristics, distribution and structural relations of the properties of the subsoil, as the result of the treatment of field data, has been making by means of geothematic detailed cartographies (to different scales), accompanied by cross sections, memoirs or reports and complementary documents, like borehole reports, memoirs of drilling and laboratory test, …, that permit the site characterization.

In the ground engineering science, during the last decades, the demand for sophisticated spatial data presentation is further stimulated by developments in hard- and software, visualization, multimedia, and virtual reality. The visualization of complex data sets has been an area of intense development for subsurface data sets, particularly within the petroleum industry, military agencies for different applications, urban soil management, and it has also become an important aspect of academic research. 

The complex spatial heterogeneity of subsurface and uncertainty with respect to spatial variability of available data, have been solved creating integrated systems, based in modular components in a flexible framework. It is interesting to note the role that GIS have played as an integrating technology. But GIS could be even more powerful if they were well-linked to other systems and tools such as complex models and visualization packages. In general, different tools can be coupled through either tight or loose integration approaches. 

This work addresses the use of visualization and GIS, like integration technologies for subsoil representation, with the overall focus directed to the task of knowledge construction of the subsurface. 



Keywords: Geo-thematic cartography, GIS, 3D-GIS, visualization, geovisualization, databases, geocomputation.