Sabbatical report – Weeks 5 and 6

Two weeks are combined here, since week 5 was short.  I attended a Board of Trustees meeting in Denver

Huge breakthroughs were made with the software interfaces on the touch table.  Nearly all of the Ryan data were successfully brought into both Google Earth and The Layered Earth.  The folks at the Spitz Institute and Simulation Curriculum provided me with detailed and elegant ways of adding KML/KMZ data to TLE.  Google Earth Pro is able to import spreadsheets with position data.  I now have points on the touch table that show locations of the  Ryan Museum specimen for the US.  Furthermore, I am able to show geology at many different levels of detail, draped on the topography with the sample locations.  The USGS online map catalog is the Mother Lode of KML geology!  Virtual field trips are now a reality.

Caveats:  While the breakthroughs are huge, I am running up against data limitations.  Nearly all  of the  specimens do not have exact positions but instead have general area localitions, e.g., Missouri or Pakistan.  The simple resolution will be assigning the sample position to the center of the  locality.  In other words any sample from Missouri will be plotted right in the middle of the state temporarily.  I have centroid data of every state and country in the world and am nearly done tying the position data to localities.

Heavy lifting next:  1) get all the specimens plotted, 2) start better location resolution of the specimen using other data like age, mines, etc., 3) proofing all of the data, and 4) interface development and refining.

On the horizon: The guestbook, Museum locations and images, external links to more information, such as

Whew, do I have enough to do?