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HELP!!    someone (?) a while ago blogged instructions to overlay mines in az onto google pro. looked through 30 pages of past reports and couldn't find it .    thanks in advance

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1 hour ago, JOHNM said:

HELP!!    someone (?) a while ago blogged instructions to overlay mines in az onto google pro. looked through 30 pages of past reports and couldn't find it .    thanks in advance


I did a brief search on the forum and couldn't find instructions for mines persay but did find a link to instructions for township and range overlay, maybe it will help as it should be much the same instructions as the mines overlay, all you would then need to find is the actual mine file for Google Earth to install.


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Go to https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/geo-inventory.php and choose Arizona from the list.

When the new page opens click the drop down menu to the right of the "FORMAT" and choose "Google Earth" then click "Download"

That will give you a kmz file that will load in Google Earth. The mines on that "overlay" are from two different old paper records (MAS and MILS) that have been combined into the Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS). The MRDS is notoriously inaccurate. Locations are rarely where they say they are and there are a lot of duplicates. We've found the MRDS to be less than 30% accurate within 1/4 mile. That's pretty bad when you are trying to locate something on the ground..

Where the MRDS can be really helpful is the reference to the mines source data and the geology, rock and mineral reports associated with the mine. Some of that is available through the Google Earth version but most what is presented is abbreviated at best. Nonetheless there is enough information in the links provided on Google Earth to get you started on your research.

We've been in contact with the USGS for years over this inaccuracy as well as some other data issues. The USGS is well aware of the problem and unlike many other Federal Agencies they have been very active in creating a solution. They couldn't fix the old MRDS locations but they do have all those lovely topo maps with locations of every mining feature down to a 40 foot accuracy. They have been plotting the mining features on those old topos and creating a modern mapping layer of the mining features in every state. Not all states are completed yet but the USGS is hot to finish this project and there are new states added regularly. When that mapping project is done the USGS hopes to be able to tie together the excellent locations from the topo maps with the great resources of the inaccurate MRDS.

This is a huge project as you can imagine and at best it will be several years before the USGS completes this work. In the meantime you can see both sets of mine data side by side on any of the Land Matters Mining Claims maps. Just open the Arizona Mining Claims Map and click on "Topo Mineral Features" and "MRDS Mines" under the "Mining History" menu on the right. Zoom in to your area of interest and use the "i" tool to get to get more information about each feature.

I've found with both the "Topo Mineral Features" and "MRDS Mines" information it's pretty easy to see where the actual mine is located.




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