Ed Purdy was an explorationist, academician and teacher. To many he is best remembered as pioneer in the field of carbonate sedimentology but Ed also made significant contributions to the understanding of African geology. In 1989, Ed published maps showing the Exploration Fabric of Africa, and African Basins.

Using data from a variety of sources he compiled regional geology, tectonic framework and a wide variety of exploration-oriented information. The maps were published at scales of 1:5 million and 1:10 million and were accompanied by explanatory notes. The maps were well received and over 1,000 copies were produced and distributed.

Sadly, Ed died in October 2009 and as a tribute to the contribution he made to geology, friends and former colleagues decided that his Africa maps should be updated and republished within a GIS.

During the 21 years since the maps were first published there have been a number of significant developments in oil and gas exploration in Africa. These include, deep water West Africa, Nile Delta, the Transform Margin and the Ugandan Rift Valley.