President’s Column – March 2003

Title: An Update on Going Digital
Author: Bruce Kelso
Publication: The Outcrop, March 2003, p. 3

As you recall from the September 2002 President’s Column, John Robinson discussed the proposed efforts of the Publications Committee to scan all historical RMAG publications to create a series of digital publication CDs. To recap this monumental undertaking, there are 5,845 pages of the Mountain Geologist and 12,849 pages in RMAG guidebooks, for a total of 18,694 pages. The “big red” Geologic Atlas is also being considered for digital conversion, but as you can imagine, this will be the single largest effort, due to its size and the number of color exhibits.

As currently proposed by the Publications Committee, the guidebooks will be released in a series of bundled, theme-related volumes, at the rate of 2 CDs per year. The guidebooks will be aggregated to fall under one of four themes: The Rockies Area; Rock Properties; Colorado Geology; and Exploration Technology. It has been proposed to release all of the Mountain Geologists as a two-volume CD set. The Atlas would be the last publication in the conversion effort. We are hopeful that all of the historical publications will be released on CD by the end of 2005. Plans for future guidebooks will include a digital component.

The RMAG Board of Directors has approved 2003 funding to initiate the scanning and publication of the first two guidebook compilations. The Digital Publications Subcommittee has started the process of preparing the pages for scanning. A minor setback has been encountered in the schedule of the scanning process. The company who originally agreed to do the scanning has decided to back away from the project. Efforts are underway to identify another vendor that can provide high-resolution scanning services to meet our needs. It was the Publication Committee’s recommendation to release the first of this year’s CD in time for the May AAPG convention, but realistically, it is unlikely that we will meet the May deadline.

For those of you that have recently inquired about digital format publications, be assured that RMAG is striving to provide our membership with a high-quality, digital product in a timely and cost-effective manner. From the Publication Committee’s viewpoint, this is one of the most significant undertakings in its history. From the Board’s perspective, we are 100% behind this effort. We will continue to include this project in the budget and to seek funding to help offset future costs for the conversion.