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Technical Support

For all other customer support needs, contact the Elsevier Help Desk:

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Maps and Other Content

What information and content is included in Geofacets?

More than 210,000 geologic maps from Elsevier's market-leading Earth Science journal collection.

More than 54,000 geological maps sourced from select journals of the Geological Society of London's Lyell Collection*.

More than 19,000 geological maps sourced from select journals and publications from SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)*.

More than 15,000 geological maps sourced from the Society of Economic Geologists' journal Economic Geology*.

More than 80,000 geological maps sourced from the journals and publications of the Geological Society of America*.

More than 50,000 geologic maps sourced from select journals and publications of Wiley.

Maps are downloadable via GeoTIFF, KMZ, XML, and/or JPEG. Over 265,000 maps are georeferenced with easy integration with GIS. As the journals included in Geofacets publish new articles featuring maps, we update Geofacets with these new maps on an ongoing, monthly basis.

Geologic basin map overlays provided by IHS.

Wood Mackenzie's map overlays provide high level commercial information for oil and gas exploration, including unconventional gas plays around the world.

*Access to maps from Geofacets content partners are an optional subscription feature for Geofacets subscribers.

Does Geofacets contain maps and information related only to Oil & Gas?

While Geofacets includes journals most relevant to the oil & gas industry, it also includes content related to other industries such as mining, engineering and environmental sciences (e.g., climatology, geochemistry, volcanology). Because Geofacets offers users the ability to filter content by map attributes and find maps by region or keyword, it is significantly easier to discover relevant maps that users may not have been previously aware of.

Does Geofacets offer content other than maps?

Yes. In addition to providing downloadable maps sourced from journal articles, Geofacets provides valuable contextual information for each available map that includes meta data, article information and abstract, and links to a full-text, read-only PDF of the associated journal article.

Why are all of the maps not georeferenced?

While all maps from Geofacets are downloadable as TIFF or JPEG files, there are a few possible scenarios for why maps found in Geofacets could not be georeferenced:

  • If a map is hand-drawn with errors introduced, which is common to maps generated prior to the mid-1990's when computers were not regularly used to generate maps 
  • If a map's scale cannot be determined or the scale is distorted 
  • If our modern day coordinate system does not apply to a map, i.e., for paleogeographic maps which depict geographic locations and movement of continents through geologic time 
  • If a map's geographic coordinate system or projection cannot be determined 
  • If a map has no geographic coordinates and/or geographic identifiers (e.g., countries, cities, states, etc) that can be used as a reference point

Will I be able to get a PDF of a journal article that does not contain any maps?

No. Only journal articles with maps are included in Geofacets.

How are basins defined in Geofacets?

Geofacets' maps are indexed using IHS's geologic basin classification. IHS is a well-respected global provider of technical information, decision-support tools and resources for the energy industry.

What geographic areas does Geofacets cover?

There is no geographic limitation to what Geofacets covers. Subscribers of Geofacets have access to the global database, thereby eliminating the requirement of buying location modules to access content for specific regions. In addition, because Geofacets can be used to find geological analogs (i.e., salt dome tectonics, prograding delta, etc.), global access means you can discover relevant content that you did not know existed.

How can Geofacets support analog research?

Geofacets can help geoscientists find maps and associated data that can aid in identifying geological analogs, thus improving understanding of the subsurface geology of a basin, prospect or reservoir. All maps include a unique metadata index that enables geoscientists to refine search results by map type, surface area, article keyword and journal, allowing users to quickly find specific data needed for analysis and interpretation.
Also, geoscientists can use a keyword search of the map caption and unique map metadata (e.g., map type, geologic basin)—in addition to typical search of the article title, abstract, and author keyword—to uncover information that may have otherwise been overlooked, potentially opening up a whole new line of thinking.

Do I still need ScienceDirect if I have a subscription to Geofacets?

Geofacets subscribers can access and download maps from a selection of Elsevier journals. In addition, users can view a read-only PDF of each individual map's associated full-text scientific article, if they wish to better understand the map within the article context. Without a ScienceDirect subscription, Geofacets subscribers can only view this read-only PDF, which cannot be saved, downloaded or printed. In addition, hyperlinks to referenced, related and cited articles are not active within the read-only PDF.

Can I use the maps from Geofacets in the public domain?

Geofacets customers must comply with all terms of their subscription agreement and the terms and conditions associated with each map, including restrictions on republishing the original or modified maps. Any public display or republishing must be cleared by the copyright holder, however any internal use is allowed. The terms and conditions for map use vary based on publisher and may be accessed via the Detail Window.

Is there a fee for accessing the full article from which a map is sourced?

All subscriptions include access to a Read-Only PDF that allows the user to view the map source article via Geofacets.

In order to print or save the article, click the link in the Detail Window to access the publisher's web portal (i.e. ScienceDirect for Elsevier publications, The Lyell Collection page for the Geological Society of London publications, etc.). From there, an additional subscription is required for full-rights access or the individual article may be purchased. For more information about fees and subscriptions, please contact the appropriate journal or publication.

What is the range of map surface areas/scales available?

Maps are available at a variety of scales, depending on the publication and maps the author chose to convey geospatial information.

For example, approximately 40% of the maps from the journal Petroleum Geoscience (ISSN 1747-5457) have areas less than 1,000 square miles (sq. mi.). Petroleum Geoscience contains many articles about individual petroleum systems at the field level, resulting in many large-scale (smaller area of coverage) maps. The journal Gondwana Research (ISSN 1342-937) primarily contains maps with areas between 100,000 sq. mi. and 10,000,000 sq. mi. because its articles are concerned with the origin and evolution of continents.

Does a map come with a key/legend?

Maps are extracted "as is" from the articles. The extracted maps will only have a key/legend if the original map contained one. Depending on map format, you may need to view the "original image" tab in the Detail Window or the original publication.

Will you be adding maps from other societies/sources?

We are always looking for quality and relevant content partners. Please check the Product Release section for the latest information. In addition, we are continually updating our existing content base by adding maps weekly as new journal volumes are published.

Are only journals in English language referenced?

At present, the Geofacets content base contains only English language publications.

Can I search for geological cross-sections in Geofacets?

Many publications in Geofacets contain geological cross-sections. However, cross-sections are not available as an extracted image at this time. Users can refine search results to the map types: Structural, Stratigraphic Units/Deposits, Seismic Survey, and Borehole/Corehole Location as geological cross-sections are frequently located in the associated publications for these map types. Users can also perform a keyword search or keyword refinement for "cross section".

Can we create cross-sections using the maps from Geofacets?

The ability of a user to create cross-sections or other geological interpretations from Geofacets depends on the geographic area of interest and the research publications that exist in that area.

How do I know that there is a sufficient level of quality control for how maps from Geofacets are georeferenced?

Maps are georeferenced by trained staff and must pass strict screening criteria to ensure proper geographic information is present before being georeferenced. The map must contain an adequate number of coordinate pairs (marked latitude/longitude intersections) and/or geographic identifiers must exist in at least three map quadrants for a map to be georeferenced. All other maps (about 25%) are geolocated (approximate map location is determined using information from the caption or title).

Georeferenced map alignment accuracy is checked by:

  • Visually comparing the alignment of map control points with a basemap.
  • Assessing the root mean square (RMS) error of the georeferenced control points compared to control point on the basemap. Lower RMS error indicates that control points on the basemap and georeferenced map are closely aligned. However, alignment error may still be present in maps with a low RMS error.
  • Comparing the measure of the scale bar to the same distance measured on the base map, if present.

Integration features

Does Geofacets integrate with other databases and tools?

Georeferenced maps from Geofacets may be downloaded in GeoTIFF or KMZ format directly from your web browser, then integrated into databases and other tools. Non-georeferenced maps may be downloaded in TIFF format, and all maps are available in JPEG format. See our videos on this topic: GIS Integration and KMZ Download.

The Geofacets Connector for Petrel and Studio is currently in development and will allows users to view and download map content within the Schlumberger Petrel and Studio environment. In addition, we are currently Please check the Product Releases page for more information about our latest features.

Is vector data available at this time, via Geofacets?

Georeferenced maps may be downloaded in GeoTIFF or KMZ raster image format. No content is available as vector data at this time.

Does Geofacets provide KMZ versions of the available maps?

Yes. The georeferenced maps within Geofacets' database can be downloaded as a KMZ file for integration into Google Earth.

Information Overlays

What kind of information from IHS® is included? ; What kind of information from Wood Mackenzie© is included? ; What kind of information from Robertson is included?

Geofacets includes informational overlays from Wood Mackenzie, Robertson, and IHS for navigational purposes:

  • Wood Mackenzie –oil and gas commercial metrics
  • Robertson – Global Basin Classification
  • IHS – Worldwide Sedimentary Basin Map

However, users cannot query or export data from these informational overlays. Geofacets' maps include a sedimentary basin metadata tag as defined by the IHS Worldwide Sedimentary Basin Map.

Technical Access

Can I access Geofacets from anywhere?

Yes. Geofacets is a web-based application that can be accessed from anywhere with a user name and password.

Do I need to download special software to use Geofacets?

No special software is required. However, if using Internet Explorer (IE), users should have IE 7 or higher. Geofacets also supports Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Will Geofacets work on a Mac?

Yes. Geofacets is compatible with both the Safari and Firefox browsers on a Mac

What browsers does Geofacets support?

Geofacets supports IE 7 or higher, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Geological Society of America

What geographic areas and which subject areas does the GSA content in Geofacets cover?

Please refer to this page for the most current information on content coverage.

What is the Geofacets-GSA Millennium Edition?

The Geofacets-GSA Millennium Edition is a special, GSA members only, individual access to Geofacets that includes maps and related information from GSA published from 2000 to present. Click here for more information.

The Geological Society of London/Lyell Collection

What geographic areas and which subject areas does The Geological Society of London content in Geofacets cover?

Please refer to this page for the most updated information

What is the Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

The Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition is a special, GSL members only, individual access to Geofacets that includes maps and related information from GSL published from 2000 to present. Click here for more information.

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)

What geographic areas and which subject areas does the SEPM content in Geofacets cover?

Please refer to this page for the most updated information.

What is the Geofacets-SEPM Millennium Edition?

The Geofacets-SEPM Millennium Edition is a special, SEPM members only, individual access to Geofacets that includes maps and related information from SEPM published from 2000 to present. Click here for more information.

Society of Economic Geologists

What geographic areas and which subject areas does the SEG content in Geofacets cover?

Please refer to this page for the most updated information.

What is the Geofacets-SEG Millennium Edition?

The Geofacets-SEG Millennium Edition is a special, SEG members only, individual access to Geofacets that includes maps and related information from Economic Geology published from 2000 to present. Click here for more information.

To become an SEG member and sign up for the Geofacets-SEG Millennium Edition, please contact SEG Member Services.

Tutorial Videos

User Guides

User Guide

A brief guide for product users regarding all aspects of Geofacets, including how to conduct searches, view results, access articles and download images.