Department for Natural Resources
KENTUCKY MINE MAPPING RECEIVES EXEMPLARY SYSTEM AWARD
The Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System continued to garner kudos with the recent receipt of the Kentucky Association of Mapping Professional’s Exemplary System Award for 2008. The award was presented at the 2008 Kentucky Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Conference held recently in Lexington. The conference brings together mapping professionals to share innovations and accomplishments.
Development of the information system began in May 2004 with a $1 million grant from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and continues with support from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining. The Internet site, http://minemaps.ky.gov, provides online digitized and georeferenced maps showing the location and extent of underground mines in Kentucky.
Rising coal prices have resulted in increased mining activity, often in areas adjacent to abandoned mines. Many of these early abandoned mines present a danger to the public and the environment in terms of subsidence, blowouts, and other hazards, according to Carl Campbell, commissioner of the state Department for Natural Resources (DNR). The Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System is serving a vital role in the areas of miner and public safety, as well as environmental protection. The demand for this type of information from mining engineers, emergency responders and private citizens is reflected in the fact that the Internet site experiences an average of 600,000 hits monthly.
DNR’s goal is to eventually digitize their entire map collection to ensure that every underground mine in Kentucky is online and free to the public.
“Miner safety and the protection of Kentucky’s citizens are of utmost importance to this agency,” Campbell said. “The online map information allows us to maximize our efforts in ensuring both.”