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Ultimate Geologic Map

A map of everything we know about the geology of the entire Earth.
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

I want a computer map of the Earth's geology that's animated. I want to be able to slide back and forth in time on various scales and see the results: plate tectonics, mountain erosion, volcanic activity, etc. I also want to be able to view this map at various physical scales: entire globe, one continent, a state, one USGS quad, a single river bed, etc.
drzeus, Apr 29 2002

SEARCHABLE CATALOG http://ngmdb.usgs.g...gm_catalog.ora.html
of paper and digital geologic maps [thumbwax, Apr 29 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

real-time information http://interactive2.../topic_realtime.asp
critical information [thumbwax, Apr 29 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Terraserver http://www.terraserver.com/
[drzeus, Apr 30 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The OneGeology project http://www.onegeology.org/
as a link [baconbrain, Jul 02 2007]

Vivaldi Google Earth Vivaldi_20Google_20Earth
Another similar idea [jonthegeologist, Jul 03 2007]


       "I want..."
phoenix, Apr 29 2002

       wave your wand, p.
po, Apr 29 2002

       Be especially cool if the display was a plasma-display globe.
bristolz, Apr 29 2002

       I was pointing out that there is not one reference to how this would be implemented.   

       "I want" to fly. Can I post that as an idea?
phoenix, Apr 29 2002

       Gets a croissant as I've just taken a geo final exam today, and this would have been a semi-educational way to procrastinate. May be hampered, however, by the fact that iirc much of the ocean floor is still unmapped, beyond the most basic features...
Urania, Apr 29 2002

       Well, Terraserver is basically this without the time element (and it's geographic data, not geologic, but I'd take it anyway). Adding the time element by making a series of datasets, one for each 1000 years or so in the past, would be completely feasible.   

       The problem is generating the data. Most geologic data is in the form of "here's a map of what it looks like now, and here're some words that describe what I think happened in the past". With some artistic license, I bet you could come up with maps of past geology, though, and then interpolate to get the intervening datasets.
drzeus, Apr 30 2002

       Sure. Lots of geology books have best-guess maps of what a given region looked like in the Miocene or whatever. How about a CAD type organization with hierarchies of layers: layers for time, and for each time-layer a set of sub-layers allowing you to page down into the crust to see best-guess maps of what formations exist where at that depth.   

       Just as drzeus says, the fine-graining of the info is terrifically dependent on available data and analysis--as I understand it the state of Wyoming, USA, is geologically very well-investigated whilst Borneo is not, so the level of detail would be vastly different for these areas. Once the layers are created, though, it should be relatively easy to create on-the-fly animations showing geologic change over specified times. But again, it's gonna be best-guess stuff.
Dog Ed, Apr 30 2002

       happy to advise ;-)
jonthegeologist, Jul 31 2003

       Er, Dog Ed, Borneo sits next to a whole bunch of oil, so I reckon it's likely well mapped, maybe not in pretty maps but 3-D seis.
badgers, Jul 31 2003

       John do you know where I can get maps based on the mineral deposits found in the area? Or do you know other places like Franklin, NJ within 1000 miles of it? Good idea Drzeus. +
sartep, Jul 31 2003

       This is a great idea that is well underway. GIS data is compiled in such a way. The only thing is that, all of this data for the entire world would require an ultra-super-mega computer to handle it all.
Hrothgar, Mar 01 2004

       Rock me, drzeus. Oooh! Rock me, drzeus.
krelnik, Mar 01 2004

       "...an ultra-super-mega computer to handle it all"   

       Or next year's desktop PC.
bristolz, Mar 01 2004

       I heard a rumor that geography has been reduced down to a 16-element fractal. The discovery was made possible when they found the outline of the fijords of Norway on a pebble in the Rockies. Microscopic analysis of the pebble's crystal matrix even showed a small village on the shoreline.
FloridaManatee, Mar 01 2004

       Not such a half-baked idea at all. The OneGeology project at http://www.onegeology.org/ is looking to do many of these things.
AGeophysicist, Jul 02 2007

       [Ageophysicist] is right. I contacted the project leader of OneGeology as it seemed very similar to my hb idea (linked)
jonthegeologist, Jul 03 2007

       I'm sure GoogleEarth would accept a plug-in that would do this for today. I don't know if you could make the plug-in movable in time though.
wagster, Jul 03 2007

       A good start would be to compile all of the time-lapse CGI footage that you get in natural history programs, (typically about 20 seconds per show) and map that on a globe timeline. That globe could then have pins in it to indicate an area to zoom. If it got to that stage and was sold as Google History, I think the momentum would build.
marklar, Jul 04 2007


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