February, 2024 – In 2024, Dionýz Štúr State Geological Institute (ŠGÚDŠ) will celebrate 10 years since the launch of a modern scanning line designed for the digital processing of geological reports and maps. Thanks to scanners, powerful computing infrastructure, and special software, Slovakia has approximately 60,000 geological reports and 13,000 geological articles and publications in digital form, while the digitization process is still ongoing.

For a better idea, it represents approximately three million pages of expert geological text, hundreds of thousands of special appendices, primarily map documents. In addition, Slovakia is the only one of the surrounding European countries that digitizes all geological know-how and makes it available to users free of charge.

“We scan geological reports and complex software processes them into text PDF files and map attachments in jp2 format. In the process, a large number of files and metadata are created, which ŠGÚDŠ automatically shares with third parties in the form of various services. After processing, reports and attachments go to the digital archive and are available via the ŠGÚDŠ website,,” says the head of the ŠGÚDŠ informatics department, Štefan Káčer, author of the idea of ​​digitization of geological heritage and project manager on the ŠGÚDŠ side.

Last year, ŠGÚDŠ advanced technologically and moved the entire digital archive to a secure government cloud. “The scanning line and the archive were approaching the end of their lifespan and we needed to protect the scanned reports, articles, and publications. And since geological heritage belongs to the state, the government cloud was a logical choice. We are very satisfied with this solution because of the certainty that the digitized geological heritage and ten years of effort of the archive workers can not be degraded or lost. At the same time, we will significantly reduce the costs of operating the entire system”, Štefan Káčer explains the reasons for the transition to external, or hybrid government cloud.

“According to analyses, switching to the cloud will save ŠGÚDŠ around €600,000 over the next 10 years, compared to the entire software and hardware infrastructure of the archive remaining under the organization’s control. This is despite the fact, that the professional software processing of reports, including the digitization line, remains in ŠGÚDŠ. The cloud will house the digital archive, through which users search and download data, as well as all final files,” explains the technical background of the project, operations director of YMS, Marek Ivanák.

The government cloud provides the ŠGÚDŠ with the services of a central virtual server, i.e. computing power, operating memory, and licenses. Furthermore, sufficient storage capacity, continuous connection to the internet, and security services, especially updating, access rights, and data protection against attacks or attempts at misuse.

“We currently have around 400 registered users, but the archive is also available without registration to independent researchers for searching the bibliographic data. Registered users use keywords and the archive offers them all files that contain these words in order of relevance. Every month users access around 10,000 files. In the “original” archive, we would never have been able to borrow so many reports, because each one was searched for and handed out personally at our headquarters in Bratislava. In the digital archive, located on the servers of ŠGÚDŠ, we already felt the security, capacity, and personnel limits and we did not have the resources to buy new infrastructure for the transfer of such amounts of data. The opportunity to cover the whole migration of the archive to the cloud with EU funds was a unique opportunity for ŠGÚDŠ,” concludes Štefan Káčer.



The IS Migration of the ŠGÚDŠ Digital Archive to the cloud as part of the state’s electronic services was financed by the European Regional Development Fund, OP Integrated Infrastructure 2014-2020.

ŠGÚDŠ is a scientific and research contribution organization of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic with a whole-country scope. It performs the state geological service, in accordance with the Geological Act (569/2007) and provides important information necessary for the decision-making processes of the public administration, professional and lay public.

ŠGÚDŠ manages a large number of registers and records with important data (e.g. geological data for spatial planning), primary data (e.g. data on sources negatively affecting the health and life of the population), or data needed for analytical purposes.

These data have enormous potential for the creation of new services that will simplify the solution of life situations of citizens and entrepreneurs, e.g. from the field of spatial planning, housing, transport, health, etc. (territorial planning, construction/reconstruction of real estate, regional development, nature protection, dealing with environmental burdens, landslides, landfills, obtaining permits related to the environment, providing information, etc.).