The wealth of spatial data available for the exploration industry in New Zealand has increased the amount of potentially valuable information but brings with it the risk of becoming hoarders of unorganised digital data. With sources ranging from individual explorers to local district councils and government entities, data has become available in various formats, with uniquely attributed features and at different resolutions. The challenge is to establish a well-defined workflow that can integrate large volumes of diverse data into a useful structure that can “declutter” and enable maximum usability of the available data.
The foundation of the workflow relies on a solid design for the spatial databases and data repositories, that not only meet industry standards but also suit project needs. The structure should allow users to efficiently upload, visualise and query large amounts of data, i.e. geochemistry analyses, drill hole logs, geological information at different resolutions, etc. After completing the database design, the available data can be collected and appended on an ad-hoc basis. The data collection workflow should always involve quality checking to identify and correct potential errors in the source material, and GIS analysis and operations to convert, compact and format the data before uploading to the databases and data repositories. Only then the data will be ready to be efficiently used for statistical and GIS analysis.
Creating and following a well-established workflow will greatly improve how the data is managed and maintained in a logical, organised and user‐friendly way. Structuring data in organised relational databases and data repositories will allow explorers to use their data effectively and efficiently to gain a competitive advantage in resource exploration.