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FROM PUNCH CARDS TO MOBILE APPS: A GEOLOGIST'S 40 YEAR ADVENTURE IN COMPUTING
ALLMENDINGER, Richard W., Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Snee Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-1504
Few things have changed more than computing over the last 40 years: from slide rulers and expensive calculators (early 70s), punch cards (late 70s and early 80s), desktop computers with graphical user interfaces (mid-1980s to 1990s) laptop computers of the (1990s to mid-2000s), to the current explosion of mobile devices/apps along with the Internet/Cloud. I started developing apps in the mid-1980s and today, my desktop and mobile apps touch about 50,000 people per year. I will highlight two of my 12 major apps: Stereonet and GMDE (Geologic Map Data Extractor).
Stereonet was first written and distributed in the 1980s for the Mac. Today it is available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux and, although it remains single-user focused, it has been expanded to include visualization of observations in a Google satellite view, export 3D symbols for plotting in Google Earth, and upload of data directly to the StraboSpot website/database, tagged with StraboSpot-specific nomenclature. Stereonet also made the jump to iOS where the user can, not only see and plot their data on their iPhone or iPad, but can also use device orientation to make basic measurements in the field. GMDE is also available for all three desktop platforms but not (yet) for mobile devices. In short, GMDE facilitates the task of extracting quantitative data from geologic maps and satellite imagery. A georeferenced basemap with realtime access to elevation at any point from internet elevation services makes it easy to leverage all of the information hidden in a century of high quality geologic mapping. GMDE specializes in structural calculations: 3-point and piercing point problems, rapid digitization of existing orientation symbols, topographic sections, and down-plunge projections as well as an integrated Google satellite view. The digitized data from a static, raster map can be analyzed quantitatively and shared over the Internet to enable new scientific studies. In the future, the algorithms in GMDE can be adapted to enable better geologic mapping itself by allowing the geologist to make realtime calculations in the field that can be interrogated immediately for their significance. After all, technology should not just make our lives easier but enable genuinely new science to be done. http://www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/faculty/RWA/programs/.
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|GSA 2018 Pardee: Earth as a Big Data Puzzle: Advancing Information Frontiers in Geoscience||Leslie Hsu||Public & Shareable||Open Access|
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