Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have proved to be a useful tool in the appraisal of mineral prospectivity at regional scales. The results, however, are generally not totally applicable on the local scale (e.g. district or local mine/exploration scales) owing to the increasing importance of the third dimension. At these scales, it is more appropriate to use smaller scale parameters, such as structural data, to aid the identification of targets for exploration or for discerning controls on known mineralisation. In GIS, however, these smaller scale datasets (e.g. bedding, foliation, lineation data) are underutilised in their representation and analysis, primarily due to the lack of suitable tools within a GIS to perform routine structural analysis using conventional methods of stereographic projection. Small‐scale interactive analysis, query and display of structural data are now possible with the advent of recent developments in the integration of structural methods with a GIS. This has culminated in the creation of a GIS‐adapted stereographic‐projection plotting program (GIS‐Stereoplot) that incorporates the functionality of conventional stereoplotting applications with the tools that are available within a GIS enabling the integration of structural data with other thematic map features as an aid to mineral exploration. © 1997 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.