Photographs of historical mining operations in Colorado and Utah

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Photographs of historical mining operations in Colorado and Utah
A collection of photographs of mine sites, mining operations, and tailings taken prior to 1980 at a variety of sites throughout Colorado and Utah.

A database of photograph metadata is provided to contain the subject and location of each photograph.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    McGregor, Joseph K., and Abston, Carl, 1994, Photographs of historical mining operations in Colorado and Utah: Digital Data Series 12, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -114.05
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -102.05
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 42
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 37
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Ending_Date: 1980
    ground condition; photographs were taken throughout this time interval
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      Photographs are not strictly georeferenced; instead the state and county of the subject is given for each photograph. Some photographs have additional information such as USGS map quadrangle (in the 7.5 minute series) or PLSS (section, township, and range).
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Attribute information describing the photos, their subjects, and the location of their subjects.
    Arbitrary integer assigned to distinguish photograph records
    Name of the photo image file, excluding extension
    State in which the subject of the photo lies
    County in which the subject of the photo lies
    Name of the mine or other subject of the photo
    Public Land Survey System description of the location of the subject (section, township, range)
    Name of the map quadrangle (usually 7.5 minute) containing the subject
    Principal mineral commodity associated with the site
    Principal author of the report in which the photograph originally appeared
    Photo or figure number of this photo within the original report
    Caption for the photo given in the original report
    Width of the image in pixels
    Height of the image in pixels
    Colorspace of the image, Gray or sRGB (color)
    State and county FIPS code for the location of the subject, matches a value in catalog.geo:code
    Data dictionary for the attribute data
    Row ID to facilitate changes in the table
    Sequence index for ordering tables in display
    Name of the database table
    Sequence index for ordering fields within the tables in display
    Field identifier within tables, typically somewhat mnemonic but also generally short and simple to facilitate use in database software.
    General category of information contained in the field
    Brief descriptive text serving as an enhanced field label, may contain spaces or other characters that would not work in database field names.
    Longer text explaining what the field contents are, possibly with examples and notes on the usage, scope, and history of those contents.
    Hypertext link, where appropriate, to online information about the field or its general contents. Used in some databases on to link the data dictionary to USGS publications that explain the fields in much greater detail.
    Short identifier indicating the original source of the field or its definition. Typically used where the field is carried forward from a much older data source such as the NURE program.
    Data type of the field as stored in MySQL
    Data type of the field when exported as DBF
    Maximum number of characters in the field.
    For use with numeric fields in DBF files, the number of digits to the right of the decimal point that will be exported.
    For numeric fields only, the units of measure of the data in the field, if units apply

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • McGregor, Joseph K.
    • Abston, Carl
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Peter N Schweitzer
    USGS Geology, Energy, and Minerals Science Center
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    Reston, VA

    703-648-6533 (voice)
    703-648-6252 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

Make available visual information about historical mines and mining operations that generally do not exist now in their original form. This site specific information can inform policy discussions with regard to site remediation.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
    DDS-12 CD-ROM (source 1 of 1)
    McGregor, Joseph K., and Abston, C. C., 1994, Photographs of historical mining operations in Colorado and Utah from the U.S. Geological Survey Library: Data Series 12, U.S. Geological Survey,, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: digital photos on CD
    Information contained in this source was reformatted and rewritten to reflect internet access through the web instead of distribution on CD-ROM
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: Feb-2013 (process 1 of 1)
    PCX images were converted to PNG format using ImageMagick 6.7.7.

    Image attribute data were converted from gsmphoto format to SQLite using PHP scripts, with small manual modifications to fix errors.

    Image description and display software was built for the web using PHP and SQLite 3. Data sources used in this process:
    • DDS-12 CD-ROM
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Information drawn from the original CD was taken from publications containing the photographs; these have not been independently verified.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Of 558 photographs, 523 lack PLSS information; 495 lack map quadrangle; and 253 lack a mineral commodity name.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    Photograph descriptions come from multiple scientific authors, so vary in level of detail and in the type of information they contain.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints: none
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    Peter N Schweitzer
    USGS Geology, Energy, and Minerals Science Center
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    Reston, VA

    703-648-6533 (voice)
    703-648-6252 (FAX)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? USGS Digital Data Series DDS-12
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards (or with the North American Stratigraphic Code). Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 30-Dec-2020
Metadata author:
Peter N Schweitzer
USGS Geology, Energy, and Minerals Science Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA

703-648-6533 (voice)
703-648-6252 (FAX)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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