William Smith

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William Smith (March 23, 1769 – August 28, 1839) was the creator of the first true 'Geological Map', identifying the different types of rock in the British Isles and the patterns in which they lay. He trained and worked as a surveyor during the canal-building days of the Industrial Revolution and was also commissioned to examine the estates of various landowners to assess the chances of their containing coal. Smith realized that there was a pattern to the way rocks lay upon one another, and that even seemingly identical types of rock could be differentiated by their position in the pattern and the different fossils found within them.