Monday, October 20, 2008

Visiting OneGeology

After reading this enthusiastic blog on OneGeology I was curious how cool OneGeology really is and tried to play with it a bit.

The first thing I got from OneGeology was a "Your browser is not supported" message: "This application is optimized for IE6, IE7, Flock 1.2 and Firefox 2".
Good to know... but not too cool: I am using Firefox 3. So I had to switch to Internet Explorer and a nice Google-Maps like satellite image was shown by their browser plug-in after I entered their 'portal'.

My plan was to get a geological map of the area around Moixent (Valencia, Spain) where I did the field work for my diploma thesis. I zoomed to Spain to get an overview of the geology of the prebetic mountains. Still no geological map appeared. It took me a while to discover that (and where) I had to add additional layers. Finally, a nice geological map appeared ... but.. now the satellite map layer disappeared and I had no idea where to zoom next. Here I stopped playing with OneGeology.

I would say OneGeology still is a cool project, I know how hard it can be to bring people together to share data. The list of contributing parties is impressing and really a big success for OneGeology.

However, for field geologists (and others) the tool is far from being useful in it's current state. The map is much too small, a legend is missing, there are little export options and the overall usability could be improved.

Their press release states that OneGeology aims to do "the same for the rocks beneath our feet that Google does for maps of the Earth's surface". There is still a lot of homework to do to reach this goal.

1 comment:

Jens Klump said...

OneGeology has the ambitious goals of providing a meaningful web service and at the same time bridge the political and technological gaps between the national geological surveys. Seen in this light, thei achievements of OneGeology are quite remarkable, even though they still leave room for improvement from a scientists point of view.

On the other hand, I know why did not get too closely involved. ;-)