Outcropedia: cool geology for Google Earth

Last month, another structural geologist came to town to check out possible sites for a future field class. While we were out looking at one of my favorite teaching sites, he commented that geologists seem unusually willing to share their secrets with one another. (We had met at one of the Cutting Edge workshops, where great teaching ideas are free for the taking, technically unpublished but shared online and in person.)



A few weeks ago, I learned about another example: Outcropedia, a project of the International Union of Geosciences' TekTask group. From the organizers' e-mail:


The Outcropedia aims to be a collection of the most spectacular and interesting geological structures on Earth, illustrated with photos, and accessible in Google Earth to all geologists, after registering on the TecTask site (100% free).



The Outcropedia goals are:

  • to provide material for new field courses and excursions;
  • to raise community's awareness of sites of geological significance and interest.

Would you like to contribute to the project with your favourite outcrops?



You can add single outcrops, field excursions or field work related facilities. You can cooperate by:


  • inserting the locations directly as Google Earth .kml files or
  • sending us the coordinates by mail: we're happy to do it for you if you include a short description and a photograph (or permission to use the photograph published on the internet).

If you're interested, contact the official e-mail (outcropedia AT googlemail DOT com), or one of the organizers - Cees Passchier (University of Mainz) or Anna Chanou (University of Athens).



If enough people participate, maybe we'll all be able to plan our own field courses to New Zealand, or Greece, or the Canadian Rockies, even if we don't have personal connections in those places. Wouldn't that be cool?


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Please forgive the completely off-topic comment!

WoGE#167 has been languishing for so long on Ron Schott's site that the Google imagery has actually changed. I think it's probably just escaped the attention of the geoblogosphere because the momentum was lost back in early spring, but it's time to get things rolling again. Ron tried to give a big hint recently, but he did it through Twitter. I thought I'd take the more drastic measure of posting a hint on some previous WoGE winners' sites: Windley and Allen, 1993.

Oh wow! Just about any transect through the Bighorn Mtns. Sheepherder folds in the Wind River Basin. The Heart Mtn 'Thrust'. Great place to see the thrust belt west/southwest of Choteau, MT. Leaf fossils in reworked volcanics and trilobites in south-central Montana. Faulting along the Cottage Grove system in Kentucky along the Interstate highway. Blue (strained) quartz in Texas granite. That dome (Hickman?) in southern Illinois covered by flourite octahedrons. Old sand blows truncated and capped with wood/charcoal from the 7000+/- year ago 7+ earthquake along the lower Wabash River valley in IN/IL. Mine and quarry sites galore. My mind races....

By Lynn David (not verified) on 28 Jul 2009 #permalink

Outcropedia. That's just a brilliant idea. This could be something big. Is there a copyright for the pictures?

Thank you for this info. Great blog.