Digital Imaging of Geological System (DIGS) logo

DIGS® (Digital Imaging of Geological System) is a public, online archive that provides access to non confidential reports, publications and other important documentary material held by the Resources & Energy Division.

The department has released a beta version of a new search engine for the DIGS archive. It is faster and more flexible. It has a spatial search to find records by using a map to define an area of interest. There is the option of a simple or advanced search when using key words.

There are over 140 000 documents with approximately 3.5 million pages (5 terabytes) of digital data dating back to 1875 in the DIGS database.

DIGS® includes the following record types:

  • Exploration reports: Company exploration reports including geochemistry, geophysics, drillhole logs, downhole surveys, mine reports, mineral studies, research reports.
  • Coal records: Exploration reports, borehole reports, coal resource reports, borehole logs.
  • Petroleum records: Petroleum geology reports including soil gas surveys, geological and geophysical interpretations, well completion reports, seismic survey reports, airborne surveys.
  • Mine records: Include mine inspector reports, geological notes, mine plans, analytical data/assay outputs and incidents pertaining to a mine. Mine records are generally older records, grouped as such when department scanned all the documents to enter in DIGS.
  • Technical and Research reports: Departmental research reports. Some reports are co-authored with other agencies.
  • Departmental publications: Explanatory notes for maps published by the Geological Survey of NSW, Minfo, Quarterly Notes, bulletins, annual reports, historical brochures, heritage material, educational material and past publications like Mineral Industry Reviews.
  • Maps: Geological maps, cartographic plans, heritage maps, interpretation maps.
  • Title plans: Record tracings, survey plans, working plans, consolidated leases.

Things to note about the beta version

The beta search engine searches all the document content and its metadata, not just the metadata as in the existing DIGS system.

To enable this, the documents in DIGS have undergone Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning. This allows for the content of older scanned raster documents to be converted to text so that they can be digitally searched.

The new beta search engine provides access to a wide range of geoscientific products and datasets previously not available in DIGS. This includes:

  • GIS datasets for all geological maps, where they exist
  • Field excursion guides from conferences and other events
  • Factsheets including commodity factsheets
  • Presentations such as powerpoint slides and recordings
  • Promotional posters, brochures and flyers

The beta search engine sources the documents from two collections: Reports and Publications. At present, some content is duplicated between them but this will be removed in due course.

As with the original DIGS® system, some documents such as wireline and seismic sections, due to their physical length being over 500cm, will require the use of pdf reader software to view them. Eg PDF XChange viewer , Nitro Reader.

For assistance in using the beta search engine see the Beta Version User Guide

To provide feedback on the new beta search engine please email or use the feedback form at the bottom of the beta search page.

Please be aware there may be occasional outages of the beta version to address any issues identified.

DIGS search engine

The DIGS® search engine

The original DIGS® DIGS® reports search web page provides access to the DIGS® database only. By entering information into the search fields and clicking the search button, users are able to access reports from the database. Please do not use a string of terms as in a Google-type search, as the search will seek exactly what you have entered, you can however, use commas to separate terms within search box.

Exploration licence conditions document search in DIGS®

To search for Coal and Petroleum exploration licence conditions documents in the original system:

  1. Go to DIGS® and click the Search DIGS link to access the search screen
  2. Tick the Titles and Exploration Licence Conditions check boxes
  3. Enter the exploration licence number in the Report Number field (e.g., EL6856)
  4. Click Search and then click the report link on the search results page to to view the report summary and a list of available documents
  5. Click a View link to preview documents prior to download
  6. To download documents, select the required files and click Request Documents
  7. Click the Download File(s) button and save the documents

Long image pdf reader

Black and white images (e.g. wirelines and seismic sections etc.) are scanned and output to a high resolution image format called TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) using CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression. Most scanned images in the DIGS® system can be viewed with standard imaging software, or converted to PDF format by a third-party software package incorporated into DIGS®.

All the long images (A0 or larger tiled logs) originally scanned as TIFF files have been converted to PDF for longer term archiving and better quality of viewing and printing, searchability and security. However, Adobe Acrobat has actually had a limitation on the maximum page size it can render. If a document is longer than 200 inches (508 cm), it will not render correctly in Adobe Reader. Therefore you may require a browser plugin to be installed in order to view the file directly in a web browser. If you don't have proprietary software to read the long PDF files then there are many open source software imaging programs and free proprietary viewers. The Department does not endorse or offer support for any of these software packages. Some of the free plugins available online include:

Google Chrome has a built-in PDF reader.

Data delivery, downloads and CDs

If you are unable to locate reports and data then the DIGS® team can provide the information on CD or other portable media. Please note:

  • Relevant report numbers must be quoted along with contact details and exploration licence number where appropriate.
  • A single order can not exceed 20 items. Orders exceeding this limit will not be accepted.
  • The cost of a single CD with more than 300MB of data is $100 plus GST.
  • A single CD with less than 300Mb costs $50 plus GST

If you have any questions regarding DIGS® please email

For further information
+61 (0)2 4931 6556
+61 (0)2 4931 6700
DIGS, Geological Survey of New South Wales, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map