Technology.am (Dec. 07, 2009) — The British Geological Survey’s (BGS) new OpenGeoscience portal allows the public to study all the UK’s rocks on a straightforward Google map, down to a scale of 1:50,000. Toggling the map shows overlying towns and streets.
A variety of educational and professional tools are too brought collectively on the website, including the enormous national geological collection of photographs.
Tens of thousands of images have been collected into the BGS library over the decades, showing different rock forms in the region of Britain, fossil types, and the impact on the landscape of natural events for example flooding. The whole collection is currently searchable and free of charge to use for non-commercial purposes.
“Even if you have very slight geological knowledge, I’m certain it will be enthralling to zoom into your street and instead of seeing an aerial photograph, see the colorful geology underneath,” said Dr Keith Westhead, head of Information Delivery at the BGS.
The website permits professional and amateur geologists to pull the information into virtual globe software which enables them to maneuver it more and mesh it with other types of data.
Those who live in Edinburgh, for instance, can witness how their city is built on top of an ancient volcano. Glaswegians on the other hand will observe that their city is built on the remnants of an ancient tropical forest, obvious in the coal measures and fossil trees that can be seen now.
“It will be incredibly helpful for schools and universities to incorporate in their teaching materials. If they desire to show off a captivating piece of geology – sandstones, granites or quarries – they just require sorting that into the search engine and they can pick up hundreds of pictures to make use of in presentations.”
The collection includes all the iconic rock features you would expect to come across – such as the famous Durdle Door sea arch on Dorset’s “Jurassic Coast” – however too some exquisite pictures of fossil forms, many taken in the early 20th Century by the well-known palaeobotanist Robert Kidston.
The digital color map of the UK has a proud history. The very first national geological map (of England and Wales) was concluded in 1815 by William Smith, one of the “founding fathers” of modern geology.