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Transferring maps and data from pre-digital era theses to Google Earth; a case study from the Vredefort Dome, South Africa

C. Simpson, D. G. De Paor, M. R. Beebe and J. M. Strand
Transferring maps and data from pre-digital era theses to Google Earth; a case study from the Vredefort Dome, South Africa (in Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research, Steven J. Whitmeyer (editor), John E. Bailey (editor), Declan G. De Paor (editor) and Tina Ornduff (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (October 2012) 492: 183-197

Abstract

College geoscience departments keep archives of student research ranging from senior theses to master's and Ph.D. dissertations. In field geology, these archives often include maps, cross sections, stereographic projections, field notes and photographs, hand specimens, and thin sections. Subsequent publications may result from the thesis work, but much of this valuable legacy data is difficult to access and assess. Here we describe the conversion of a pre-digital-era thesis on the Vredefort Rim Synclinorium in South Africa from hard copy to digital format using Keyhole Markup Language (KML) to drape maps and inset photographs, and COLLADA (COLLAborative Design Activity) models to create stereographic projections, emergent cross sections, and virtual specimens. In addition to using the Google Earth terrain to fine-tune draped map locations, errors in field locations arising from pace and compass or bearing methods of geo-location that preceded the availability of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were recognized and corrected. At 2.023 billion years in age and an estimated 300 km in original diameter, the Vredefort Dome is the world's oldest and largest known impact structure. The Vredefort region has been designated a World Heritage Site and specimen collection is prohibited. Only a few geologists are ever likely to visit the region, so geo-referenced field photography, specimens, and structural data are irreplaceable. An interpretative center is being planned for the Vredefort structure by South African authorities and our interactive Google Earth resources will be made available to the visiting public as well as those browsing over the Internet. Thus draped maps and scanned models provide an invaluable opportunity for enhanced instruction, continued research, and public outreach.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 492
Title: Transferring maps and data from pre-digital era theses to Google Earth; a case study from the Vredefort Dome, South Africa
Title: Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research
Author(s): Simpson, C.De Paor, D. G.Beebe, M. R.Strand, J. M.
Author(s): Whitmeyer, Steven J.editor
Author(s): Bailey, John E.editor
Author(s): De Paor, Declan G.editor
Author(s): Ornduff, Tinaeditor
Affiliation: Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, United States
Affiliation: James Madison University, Department of Geology, Harrisonburg, VA, United States
Pages: 183-197
Published: 201210
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-8137-2492-8
Meeting name: 2011 GSA Penrose conference, Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research
Meeting location: Mountain View, CA, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20110104Jan. 4-8, 2011
References: 30
Accession Number: 2013-010886
Categories: Geologic maps
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 6 tables, geol. sketch map
S27°30'00" - S26°00'00", E27°00'00" - E28°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA, United StatesOld Dominion University, USA, United StatesGoogle, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201308
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