The Queensland Geotechnical Database

Tim Thompson, Jared Priddle and Jurij Karlovsek

The Queensland Geotechnical Database (QGD; was launched in October 2017 with the aim of consolidating primarily tax and toll-payer subsidised geotechnical investigation logs into an open platform. The QGD was influenced by public geotechnical databases in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and the work of Robert Leggett in Canada as summarised in ‘Cities and Geology’ (1973). As of October 2023, the QGD includes over 3100 geotechnical investigation logs authored by over 10 public and private entities, dating back to 1966. It also includes national geological mapping and links to over 400 technical papers related to sites in Australia.

This paper summarises the formation of the QGD, which emerged from the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) and originated from a personal database converted to an open format with hosting support from The Open Data Institute Australia. The QGD was later transferred to The University of Queensland and continues there in support of their Sustainable Infrastructure Research Hub (UQ SIRH). The paper explores the evolution of its formation, the legal framework in Australia regarding investigation log ownership, and the licensing scheme adopted for the database. It outlines the technical features and intended practicality of the database, and its alignment with the objectives of the UQ SIRH. The paper concludes with an outline of opportunities for conversion to a nationalised Australian Geotechnical Database and its usage for educational purposes.