Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Top of the Blogs: Geoblogosphere's weekly reviews

Geobulletin now has a new 'weekly review' page, a summary of the Geoblogosphere's weekly blogging activity.
The 'weekly review' page shows the top 10 most active and most visited blogs. It gives a rough overview on the topics treated in geoblogs by listing the most frequently used keywords and the places and stratigraphic ages most often used in blog posts. Further, it shows a list of the Geoblogosphere's top 10 blog posts based on the visits tracked at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chinese Google Maps alternative provides geological data

Just found at Asia News:

China has launched its official online mapping service, Map World, as Google Inc has yet to apply for a Web mapping license in the country.
The State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) officially unveiled the free online map service on Thursday (October 21). The service will provide "comprehensive geological data", said Xu Deming, director of the SBSM, at the launch ceremony.

The tool which can be found here unfortunately is in Chinese.. so I was not able to find this feature.. Maybe one of you have been more successful?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Online lithology logs

After my first experiments with PSICAT's XML format and SVG, I have started to code a nice little tool which should allow to create lithology logs online!

The whole thing is again based on PSICAT's format. Of course it still lacks many features, however a nice new one is that the tool allows to create both, top-bottom (well logs) as well as bottom-top (outcrop logs) profiles. Astonishingly, this is not suported by most of the tools I wave seen so far.

The current version is very, very basic, it allows to create intervals, beds, to define different lithologies, grain sizes etc.. It still has no name, produces a lot of debug code, results cannot be saved (unless you copy and save the XML and the SVG), it comes without warranty and is therefore very, very alpha..

You can play with it here:

Don't expect too much ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Higher pagerank for scientific domains? Pagerank update on

UPDATE:'s pagerank is now 0 again! very strange..

Pagerank still is the main indicator for a web site's importance. Therefore every webmaster is desperately waiting for Google's periodical pagerank update. The last update was in April 2010 and many rumours about smaller updates are circulating on the web.

Yesterday I was very surprised after I checked the rank of my brand new domain. This domain is online since August 2010 and now has an unbelievable pagerank of 5!
I have no idea why, the site has almost no inlinks and is very young. The only reason I could imagine is that Google rewards scientific content with higher pageranks?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Visiting the Istituto Nazionale dei Geofisica e Vulcanologia

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the colleagues at the Istituto Nazionale dei Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in Rome, Italy. I was really curious about the institute. Before, I mostly was cooperating with the staff there in geoinformatics projects for sea floor observatories, but knew little about their role for the Italian earthquake warning system.

Two of my hosts, Stefano Vinci and Fawzi Doumaz proudly showed me the brand new INGV earthquake warning operation center (n.b: this is how I call it I cannot remember the real name..) and I really was very impressed: Huge flat screens everywhere showing real time seismic data from many stations. A large map of Italy gives an overview on the current seismic activity (which apparently just reloaded when I made the picture). Several operators, geoscientists of course, work there and double check the incoming seismic signals. In the background you can see the computing center where the raw data arrives and is processed. Dozens of noisy high end servers work there. Somehow, a futuristic atmosphere..

The hole system is designed around a very nice piece of software called Sismap (coded by Stefano and Fawzi) which is based on a ESRI GIS system. One of the good things about this tool is that it is integrating seismic as well as administrative data. Therefore, after a confirmed earthquake, the local authorities can immediately be informed and the system automatically generates reports for e.g. fire fighters and police. This has drastically reduced warning times and will certainly save many lives.

Some of the data is also available for the public e.g.:

Well and as you can see, if all breaks.. a paper copy always makes sense.