Mapping 576,460 acres of a coal-bearing region

March 3, 2011

A Voinovich School team has created a map that spans 576,460 acres – the entirety of Ohio’s coal-bearing region.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Mineral Resource Management contracted with the Voinovich School to complete the project. Depicting the Appalachian foothills, the map illustrates the history of surface coal mining in Ohio, particularly mines built prior to statewide mining regulations.

Using a technique called geographic information systems, Voinovich School students and staff linked photographs taken through the U.S. Geological Survey with a database of ODNR information. The clickable map includes the names of the companies that owned the mines, along with their mining license and permit information. In this case, the goal was to provide ODNR with a comprehensive look at Ohio’s surface mines.