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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can access Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

Only Fellows of the Geological Society who have subscribed to the service can access Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition.

What is the cost?

Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition subscription is £37.50 and will be billed annually along with your renewal. It is important to note that GSL fees, along with Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition subscription, are based on the calendar year. If you pay your fees and include Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition in the period September 1 to December 31, you will have an effective date of the following January 1. If you add the Geofacets subscription in August 2014 or earlier you have the option to finish out the current year or apply towards the following year.

Fellows can add Geofacets-GSL ME at any time by contacting:

There will be no interruption in benefits so long as you pay your fees on time each year.

I've paid for Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition with my renewal, when can I access its features?

Fellows who have subscribed and have paid their renewal by the 1 November deadline, will able able to access Geofacets in the first week of December, and for payments made after the deadline, access will be activated in the first week of February, and then the first week of April, depending when payment is made.

How do I access Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition content?

To access Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition log in on the Geolsoc website with your Geolsoc username and password. Next go to and click [Access Geofacets] button located on the right hand side.

Can I access Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition from anywhere?

Yes. Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition is a web-based application that can be accessed from anywhere with a username and password.

Do I need to download special software to use Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

No special software is required. Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition supports Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer (IE) 7 or higher; Javascript must be enabled.

Will Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition work on a Mac?

Yes. Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition is compatible with both the Safari and Firefox browsers on a Mac.

What browsers does Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition support?

Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition supports Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer (IE) 7 or higher; Javascript must be enabled.

How many maps are included in Geofacets-GSL Millennium edition?

The total map count is 24,000 from books and journals published in the Lyell Collection from 2000 to the present.

What subject areas do the maps cover?

Whilst the categorisation of the maps by subject area is not mutually exclusive and maps may appear in multiple categories you will find there are 18,400 categorised in Geology; 2,600 in Paleogeography; 2,300 in Geophysics; 1,600 in Geography; 1,600 in Hydrology/Hydrogeology; 1,400 in Oceanography; 300 in Pedology and 100 in Meteorology and Climatology. You can see an infographic explaining this at 

Is content other than maps available in Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

Yes. The value of Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition lies not only in access to the maps included in Lyell Collection journals and books, but also in access to the contextual information for the map made available in a full-text, read-only PDF of the associated article.

Why are some of the maps not georeferenced?

While all maps from Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition are downloadable as TIFF or JPEG files, there are a few possible scenarios for why maps found in Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition 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

Can I integrate my own maps and data with Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition content?

Yes. You can integrate Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition content with your own proprietary data and maps by downloading and importing our maps into external software programs. Download GeoTIFF files to integrate into a GIS program, KMZ files to integrate into Google Earth, and JPEG files to integrate into PowerPoint or similar presentation software. Please note that not all maps are available as a GeoTIFF file or KMZ file.

Can I use the maps from Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition in the public domain?

Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition users 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 may be accessed via the Detail Window. 

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.

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. 

Is vector data available at this time, via Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

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

How do I know that there is a sufficient level of quality control for how maps from Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition 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. 

Are only journals in English language referenced?

At present, the Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition content base contains only English language publications. 

Can I search for geological cross-sections in Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition?

Many publications in Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition 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-GSL Millennium Edition?

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

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

No. Only articles with maps are included in Geofacets-GSL Millennium Edition.

How can I find out my Fellowship login details?

Please refer to our general faqs: and see ‘I am a Fellow but I do not know my login details’.

I’ve subscribed to Geofacets-GSL ME but when I login and view the Geofacets page the Access Geofacets button is not displayed.

Please ensure that you have logged in with your Fellowship login details.  You can check this by visiting MyGSL – your Fellowship details will be displayed in a panel entitled ‘Fellowship Details’.  If you cannot see the panel you have logged in with some other profile and you will not get access.

I’ve subscribed to  Geofacets-GSL ME and I can see my Fellowship Details panel in MyGSL but when I’m on I still do not have access to Geofacets.

Please contact for further assistance.