To produce a geochemical map a number of parameters must be considered: Purpose, scope, sample type, sample density, sample preparation and analysis, quality control for map creation, and available resources.
- Purpose: Are the maps used for ore exploration, to calculate the runoff to the sea, to locate contamination, etc?
- Scope: Is the area a continent to be mapped a country, a county, a national park, a drainage basin, etc?
- The sampling material (governed by purpose, scope, accessibility): Is the sample material/medium hard rock, mineral soil, humus, ground or surface water, vegetation, etc?
- The sampling density (governed by the purposes, accessibility, economy): Will the goal density be 1/2500 km2,, 1/300km2, 1/30km2, 3/km2, 10-15/daycare?
- Sample preparation and analysis: A large sample may be reduced to few representative grams prior to analysis which can still serve to identify a large number of elements, either the total content, or after the extraction with a selected agent (water, nitric acid, Aqua regia etc.)
- Quality control and map creation: Replicate samples from the field can be used for quality control before the producing maps that are customized according to particular variables.
- Available resources: This could include access to qualified staff, access to field areas, laboratory access, financial constraints and deadlines,