Icon CBDG History History – the origin of CBDG

In 1993, the Ministry of Protection of Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry (now: the Ministry of the Environment) launched an initiative to create the Central Geological Database (CBDG).

Preliminary works on the database design started in the Research Computerization Unit of the Polish Geological Institute in 1995. Records of the British Geological Survey database were used as tutorial materials for presenting the methodology of works and feasible solutions. Another step, facilitated by access to the GEODE database model that was developed by the Council for Geoscience (the Republic of South Africa), involved preparing the database structure adapted to Polish standards and needs.

CBDG – Knowledge tree As the Oracle CASE methodology and the Oracle database management system were used to design and support the database, the consultants at Oracle Poland assisted in analytical and designing processes. The survey conducted among prospect users of the database as part of strategic analysis revealed their enormous expectations: the database was to contain all possible geological data, including non-digital data, as well as to be equipped with highly advanced functionalities. Clearly, the most important was to enable the users of the application to enter, search and browse data. Special surveys carried out both inside and outside the Institute revealed further, mordetailed expectations of prospect users. All thematic databases developed by the Institute as well as some databases of external institutions were thoroughly analysed.

Responsible for the further development of the database, the CBDG Unit in the Central Geological Archives was founded in 1996. In 1997, two-year in-depth analyses, designing processes and programming led to the implementation of a production version of the CBDG, which contained the main subsystems: Boreholes, Documents, Analyses and Mineral Deposits as well as the spatial data subsystem (GIS) and special applications (tabular, profile and geographic viewers). The database was already equipped with the major geological vocabularies, used to enter and search data.

In the following years, new versions of the implemented CBDG subsystems were regularly developed and refined. Also, other subsystems were added to the database: Geological Collections (where available digital catalogue data obtained from the Museum of the Institute were transferred), Well-log Data (where data from the GEOFLOG thematic database were transferred) and Survey Sites (where data on the location of observation points and surface measurements can be stored). Additionally, the Drill Cores subsystem was prepared.

The CBDG vocabularies and functional guidelines of particular subsystems were also prepared by other Institute employees, who worked in groups on particular issues and supported the CBDG team with indispensable geological specifications. In addition, some of the CBDG vocabularies involved collaboration with geologists not employed in the Institute.

People developing the CBDG between 1995 and 2015

  • Marek Adamski
  • Barbara Bańkowska-Zajączkowska
  • Anna Berestka-Tkacz
  • Maciej Bojanowski
  • Jacek Chełmiński
  • Marcin Czermak
  • Iwona Duliban
  • Sylwia Gąsińska
  • Marcin Gołębiewski
  • Piotr Gut
  • Magdalena Jakóbczak
  • Kamil Kaczmarek
  • Renata Karoń-Słomczyńska
  • Jarosław Kmita
  • Magdalena Kowalska
  • Krystyna Kupiszak
  • Magdalena Langner
  • Tomasz Liszewski
  • Ewa Machalska
  • Tomasz Mardal
  • Radosław Markiewicz
  • Stefan Młynarski
  • Lucjan Moczulski
  • Wojciech Paciura
  • Jerzy Piotrowski
  • Maciej Podemski
  • Krystian Pruszyński
  • Stanisław Przeniosło
  • Izabella Sadowa
  • Anna Sienkiewicz
  • Dorota Siewruk-Wróblewska
  • Dominik Stańczuk
  • Agnieszka Stańczyk
  • Milena Staros
  • Justyna Sylwestrzak
  • Dagmara Zawada-Żark

Source databases

Information resources CBDG were created partly as a result of the import of data from archived source databases:


The database contained information about raw material documentation and its appendices, decisions on confirmed resources, geological and geophysical survey projects, reports, results of research and surveys, monographs, expert opinions, evaluations and analyses, reports on trips abroad and source documentation for serial maps stored in the Central Geological Archives in the PGI. The ARCHIDOK database was standardised and imported to the CBDG in 1998. In total, at that time the database contained 37 195 archival reports, which were added to the Documents subsystem in the CBDG after having been transferred.

2. Database of index cards

The database was created on separate computers and provided information on documentation and geological reports on paper index cards stored in the Central Geological Archives. It contained information on titles, year of publication and authors of documentation gathered in the PGI, which approximated to 10 000 records. It was imported to the Documents subsystem in 2000.


This catalogue of archival reports contained in total approximately 500 000 catalogued reports stored in 96 archives in Poland, mainly in province archives (not including the PGI archives). All the ARCHIGEO data were imported to the Documents subsystem between 1999 and 2002.


The ARCHIMAP database was a catalogue of published maps stored in the Map Archives of the Central Geological Archives. Used between 1989 and 1997 by the PGI in Warsaw as well as some PGI regional branches, the database contained approximately 40 000 catalogued records (map titles) in its final stage. In 1997, all the data were imported to the CBDG.


ARCHIKOW is a computer database with information obtained from borehole cards stored in the Archives of Geological Documents and Maps of the Central Geological Archives. The database was used on separate computers in the CGA PGI. Used between 1990, and 1997, it contained approximately 30 000 records in its final stage. In 1999 all the data were imported to the Boreholes subsystem.

6. OTWORY_1997

A similar database, OTWORY_1997, contained the same scope of information as ARCHIKOW but for the most part referred to a different area of Poland. The data were also stored on separate computers. In total, the database contained 86 382 records that were imported to the Boreholes subsystem in 1999.


This computer database provided data on drill cores stored in the Archive of Drill Cores of the CGA. Established in 1990, the database was in use until the autumn of 2002. It contained information on 3274 drill cores from boreholes, 1306 of which were successfully identified as the ones already existing in the CBDG. Therefore, the information from the ARCHIMAG database was added to complement the data in the Boreholes subsystem. Simultaneously, 1540 new records were identified and imported to the CBDG. The remaining ARCHIMAG boreholes were classified as incorrect or requiring to be verified again, which happened subsequently.


ARCHIMUZ was a computer system of information on museum collections stored in the Geological Museum of the PGI. While the system was in use between 1992 and 1998, 12 819 records were added (3251 thematic collections and 9568 specimens). In 2003 the database was imported to the Geological Collections subsystem.


Created by the PGI between 1991 and 1996, the database contained information on geophysical profiling related to source data. It was equipped with software for the standardisation and reinterpretation of carotage data, including the system to visualise the data in the graphic form. About 840 records out of the GEOFLOG well-log data obtained from the PGI boreholes were imported to the Well-Log Data subsystem.


The database contained information on documents and locations of electroresistance surveys as well as locations of area borders. The database was created and then updated by SEGI-PBG until 1996. In its final stage, the database contained information about approximately 90% of reports on electroresistance surveys done in Poland until 1995. Next, in 1998, the database was handed over to the CGA where it was imported to the Documents subsystem.

11. LZW (Lubelskie Zagłębie Węglowe – Lublin Coal Basin) database

The database contained information on 695 boreholes drilled in the area of the Lublin Coal Basin and its margins. It was created by the Lublin Region Geological Survey Unit in Lublin. In 2006, the LZW data were imported to the Boreholes subsystem.

12. SKM (System Katalogowania Map – System for Map Cataloguing) database

The database is a system for cataloguing digital maps and contains data on 566 digital maps drawn by the PGI and its branches. Collected between 1995 and 1997, the data were exported from the SKM database and imported to the Documents – Digital Maps subsystem in 2000.

13. Database of the Phanerozoic of Eastern Pomerania and West Pomerania

The database contained descriptions of stratigraphic profiles of Eastern Pomerania and West Pomerania, providing information on lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy obtained from 282 boreholes. It was imported to the Boreholes subsystem between 2005 and 2007.

14. Database of magnetic and gravimetric documentation

Run by the Geophysics Department of the PGI, the database was handed over to the CBDG team and imported to the Documents subsystem in 2004. It contained information on geophysical documentation stored in the Central Geological Archives, the Department of Geophysics of AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Polish Geophysical Company (PBG) and other archives.

15. Database of archival magnetic documentation

Prepared by Polish Geophysical Company (PGB), the database contained verified and processed data on 234 400 magnetic points from 63 reports on magnetometric surveys. The database was imported to the CBDG in 2003, with the data on basic information about survey points transferred to the Survey Sites subsystem and the data on the results of measurements to the Analyses subsystem.

16. Database of archival gravimetric documentation

Prepared by Polish Geophysical Company (PGB) between 2003 and 2004, the database contained information on and results of archival gravimetric measurements of Poland. In 2004, the data were imported to the CBDG, with the information about locations transferred to the Survey Sites subsystem and the measuring data to the Analyses subsystem.

17. Database of petrophysical properties of rocks in North West Poland

Developed by the Geophysics Department of the PGI, the database contained data on the petrophysical properties of rocks, measured on drill cores and core samples obtained from boreholes and outcrop sites. The data were used to complete and correct the information on documentation of the results of processed surveys, collected in the Documents subsystem, as well as the information on the very boreholes collected in the Boreholes subsystem.

18. 2D and 3D seismic data

The CBDG gathers metadata about 2D seismic profiles and 3D seismic images obtained from the companies that do surveys and PGNiG (Polish Oil and Gas Company) that contracted these surveys. In total, 5924 metadata records of 2D profiles and 80 of 3D seismic images were gathered from Geofizyka Toruń, Geofizyka Kraków and Polish Geophysical Company. Altogether, records of 776 reports were completed and records of 480 new reports were catalogued in full. As to the documents previously stored in the CBDG, their missing profile numbers, abstracts and local geological structures were added. As regards the documents earlier unavailable through the CBDG, they were fully catalogued, with the seismic data transferred.

19. BPS (Baza Prędkości Średnich – Average Velocities Database)

Run by the Geophysics Department of the PGI, the database contained information on the average velocities measured during seismic surveys in 2488 boreholes. In 2004, the BPS data were imported to the Boreholes and the Well-log Data subsystems and stored in the LAS format.

20. Computer bank of seismic information

It contained information on 220 seismic reports stored in the Central Geological Archives between 1991 and 1993 as well as between 1996 and 1999. In 1999, the data were analysed and then added to the Documents subsystem. Until 2002, additional records of 320 reports were added. Between 2000 and 2002, as a result of developing the CBDG, 540 records were completed with detailed descriptions concerning surveys and their locations.

21. Inventory of geophysical documentation

The CBDG data were used to establish which archives stored geophysical documentation. Since the data were old and incomplete, in the first instance the amount of documentation stored in the archives had to be verified. In order to do that, letters of inquiry were sent to 47 Polish archives where approximately 17 000 geophysical reports were supposedly stored, according to the CDBG data. In total, information about 9642 reports from 21 institutions was successfully gathered

22. Database of the Late Cretaceous and the Lower Palaeocene of the Polish Lowlands boreholes

The database was created by the Regional Geology Department of the PGI in order to prepare documentation on the Lower Palaeocene (the Danian) obtained from the Polish Lowlands boreholes. The documents provided information on more than 100 boreholes. After their initial verification, the data were systematised, standardised, edited and added to the Boreholes subsystem between 2006 and 2007.

23. Inventory of drill cores

The Polish Geological Institute provides information about drill cores owned by the State Treasury and stored in the Repository of the Drill Cores that are within the administration of the Central Geological Archives.

The two-stage inventory process took place between 2003 and 2004. First, it was settled that drill cores obtained from 974 boreholes were stored in the warehouse outside the CGA. Partly added to the CBDG before, the data on these boreholes were completed with additional information. Second, it was stated that in the drill core repository of Polish Oil & Gas Company (PGNiG SA) there were 1144 archival boreholes, the drill cores of which were owned by PGNiG. In most cases, basic information about the boreholes had been added to the CBDG before. For that reason, the data on these boreholes also needed to be completed with additional information, which, like at the first stage, was obtained from the archives in Chmielnik (data on 952 boreholes) and Piła (data on 165 boreholes).

Adding data

Currently, geological reports regularly sent to the Central Geological Archives are systematically catalogued and added to the gradually expanding CBDG. The added data are verified and completed by the Archives and CBDG employees. Step by step, archival documentation from the past, stored in non-digital form in the CGA, is also catalogued.