ALACARTE offers a convenient way to compile geologic maps in the computer as spatial databases that can be used to prepare both cartographic images and analytic derivatives.
It is a menu-controlled shell, organized in geologic terms, that provides on-screen control of the program ARC/INFO, a commercial geographic information system (GIS).
Input can be from imported scans, digitizer tracing, or on-screen tracing or mapping with a mouse-controlled cursor over a digital topographic base, and interactive editing can be done on-screen using a broad suite of edit functions.
Compilations begun in other digital systems can be imported for completion as digital databases in ARC/INFO. The digital files that represent a geologic map can be used to prepare near-publication-quality color plots of the maps with full symbology or to create high-quality printing negatives. These files also constitute a digital database that can be used for computer-based query and analysis as well as for digital distribution of the map and associated data.