Wednesday, March 11, 2009

iGeoInfo - An Obituary

When the "International Coalition for Geoinformatics" (iGeoInfo) was launched at the 2004 International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy, it seemed like the next hot thing, bringing together efforts in the US and Europe in "Coordinating GeoInformatics Efforts in Sedimentary
Geology and Paleobiology." (Klump, Jens, Robert Huber, u. a. (2005), Workshop Launches International Coalition for GeoInformatics, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 86(3), 27-28.)

At the time, the cyberinfrastructure programme in the US was not even a year old and with CHRONOS and GEON two major projects had been launched. Sedimentary geology and palaeontology, two traditionally fractioned fields, had to make sure they don't fall by the wayside.

Meanwhile, the scene has changed dramatically. CHRONOS has faded away, GEON is only a shadow of its former self, and PaleoDB is scrambling for the necessary funds. New kids have appeared on the block and seem to be far more popular with the community, which also translates into NSF support. Being less bullish with the community than the old champs seems to pay off.

As CHRONOS faded away it also let go of the domain and iGeoInfo became virtually homeless. A few attempts were made to revive it, but the absence of a common goal led the remaining participants to the conclusion that this wandering soul could now be put to rest.

iGeoInfo may rest in peace.