Where Google Earth and Sky and Microsoft Virtual Earth and WorldWideTelescope, have shown us what the surface of our planet looks like from above and what the heavens hold, a new project led by the British Geological Survey pulls geological data from researchers around the world into a single, easily-usable interactive map.
Unveiled as part of the celebration of the International Year of Planet Earth, the project has four main objectives. First, the project seeks to create "dynamic digital geological map data for the world." The map has a target scale of 1:1,000,000, which means that one centimeter on the map will be the equivalent of 10 km on the planet.
OneGeology uses the GeoSciML (GeoScience Markup Language) format, an XML schema based on the OGC's GML language. This allows researchers to mark locations of units, structures, or fossils.
The maps and associated data can be found through the project's portal page. The portal itself says it is optimized for IE6, 7 and Firefox 2.
Zooming in on the west or east coast of the United States with geological data from the USGS and changing the cursor type to 'information,' you can learn what type of rocks are present in various locations. Similar information can be had for various geographical regions, with some areas having more than one overlay from a different data sources.
The project will be officially launched on August 6th at the 33rd International Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway. At the official launch this week, 60-70 percent of the planet's surface will contain geological data on what makes up those regions of the planet.
Posted by Casey Kazan.