TutorialsCase StudiesData VisualizationBSP DatabaseReferences

About the Boston Subsurface Project Website.

The project goals were to develop a digital on-line database of geotechnical data in the Boston, Massachusetts area and to provide an interface for viewing the data in one, two, and three dimensions. This website provides an interface for navigating through the assembled subsurface database as well as several related geographically referenced layers (historic maps, geologic maps, aerial photographs, building information, and roads). In addition, the website is an interface for one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) visualization of subsurface information.

The Central Artery/Tunnel project in Boston produced a unique subsurface dataset. Prior to construction of the "Big Dig" in Boston, subsurface investigations were necessary to aid in design and construction of the infrastructure system. These data have been compiled in an electronic database to allow querying and visualization in a geographic information system (GIS). The purpose of this site is to introduce the information contained within the database, as well as to provide a link between subsurface information and the infrastructure that sits on top.

The primary educational goals of this project are to:

  1. provide access to a unique dataset of subsuface information,
  2. provide a simple interface for visualizing information in one, two and three dimensions without prior knowledge of advanced programs,
  3. to emphasize the importance of the subsurface in civil engineering and city development.

In order to accomplish the educational objective of the project, the website includes some tutorial pages and will be used in parallel with several undergraduate and graduate courses at Tufts University. This website has five components:

  1. Interactive tutorials for navigating and interpreting each of the layers on the site.
  2. An interactive web-based geographic information system for viewing the data layers.
  3. One-dimensional, two-dimensional, and three-dimensional visualizations of the subsurface in Boston.
  4. An interactive database querying tool for downloading the subsurface data for your own use.
  5. Useful references and links.

We would like to acknowledge the generous funding and support of Tisch Library and the Berger Family Technology Transfer Endowment and the Tufts University Academic Technology Internal Grants Program. The project represents collaboration between faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geology Departments, and staff of Tisch Library, and Academic Technology.

In addition, we would like to acknowledge MassGIS, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and the Central Artery/Tunnel Project for providing data used in this project.