Comments (19)

  1. BrianR says:

    Chris … this is a great idea. As the geoblogging community grows it would be nice to have a way to filter the posts that have some geology from those that don’t. Not that there is anything wrong w/ ‘fluff’ posts, I do it all the time … but it would just be nice to see all the posts from this great community all together that deal w/ some specific geology (as you said either by location and/or geologic time).
    As for how to make that happen, the nuts and bolts of setting something like that up … I don’t have a clue!

  2. Silver Fox says:

    Even just a location/map tag could be useful. I have no idea how much work is involved to set that up, or how much additional work for each post would be involved after it is set up. I appreciate that you are looking into this!

  3. BrianR says:

    If you do follow up on this with people who are knowledgable about how to do it, it would be good to be able to tag old/existing posts in addition to new ones. So many of us have a couple years worth of good posts already.

  4. Dave X says:

    Look into using or extending a microformat, like or maybe the hCard one, for a way to associate/attach/embed the metadata with the data. Then existing things like Firefox Plugin — operator can pull them out inside a browser.
    (The extra div/span or div/abbr markup seems to get filtered out of comments by this blog software)

  5. Maria says:

    There are a couple of WordPress plugins that will let you add coordinates to your posts: Geo-Mashup and GeoPlugin. No aggregators, but GeoPlugin will put the coordinates in your RSS feed – if you get a bunch of blogs doing that it shouldn’t be too difficult to then add it to Google Earth/Google Maps.
    There’s also an existing effort to develop a geotagging icon – and I kind of like the result, a brown map pin.

  6. PeterP says:

    How about create a map like this one of the world disaster map but instead it will show the location of the geologic event that the blogger posted about.

  7. Maria says:

    I have been wanting a geotagged search for research papers for yonks. It would be amazing to just draw a box around my field area and get a list of all the papers that have ever been written about it… even if most of them end up being about trout ecology.
    There’s an existing standard for geotagging posts in an RSS feed, so let’s not get all excited about reinventing the wheel – IMO we should focus on popularizing this standard among geobloggers, setting up an aggregator, and figuring out how to provide for people who can’t alter their own RSS feeds. And nagging Tim to get a geotagging plugin installed on ScienceBlogs.
    BTW: My previous comment has several links in it, check your junk!

  8. ScienceWoman says:

    Exactly what Maria said 9 minutes ago.
    That said, thanks for bringing up this timely issue.

  9. Harold Asmis says:

    Yes! I sooo want to keep my ‘fluff’ posts out of your Geoblogosphere list. I feel so guilty when I go off on a tangent!

  10. Chris Rowan says:

    I’ve certainly been looking at the geotagging standards out there, and they’re a good starting point; but I feel that extending the format a little, particularly with age information, would be profitable for specific geological applications.

  11. Ron Schott says:

    Whereas my understanding of the Allgeo feed is that it’s an unfiltered feed of all posts from the included geoblogs, my Ron’s Geology Picks (Google Reader shared items feed – subscribe here) is an edited stream of just the geology related items I find each day. Because I exercise editorial control you may find the flow too broad or too slow to update for your individual liking, but until someone wants to pay me to do this fulltime, that’s just how its gonna be. I use it to filter topics that show up on my geology class webpages (e.g., in a box similar to the Allgeo feed, though others are certainly welcome to put it to use or reprocess it in whatever way they see fit. I doubt there’s likely to be any algorithmic way of generating a feed with this level of filtering for geologic topics anytime soon – but if anyone finds one, let me know!
    A lot of what you’re talking about with tagging is the essence of a lot of folks ideas for a “semantic web”. I applaud the idea of adding metadata and geotagging, but I’m somewhat skeptical that it’s going to generate the sort of results we want anytime soon. A related way of doing this would be to make extensive use of a tool like However I think that you’ve already hit on the most useful currently available technology for solving this problem: Google (or more generally, “search”).
    I think that there’s an excellent case to be made for the utility of a Google Earth “Geology Layer”. I’d be interested to see if we’ve got enough interest out there to begin prototyping one. Expect a blog post from me around this idea in the next week or two.

  12. PaulG says:

    Have you looked at Dapple? It’s similar to Google Earth but provided by Geosoft. It is free of course.

  13. Chris says:

    I do like this idea, even though there are some minor issues to think about:
    If you’re discussing something like the geological formations on the east coast of South America and west coast of Africa and how they link up with continental drift, what exactly do you tag? Both sides in multiple places, the middle of the Atlantic MOR, or some kind of polygon that outlines both coasts?
    The same applies for Gondwanan (Gondwanian?) fossils – you’d have to tag Antartica, Africa, South America, Australia, India and a bunch of other places for some of the more wide spread species.
    PaulG: That program looks pretty sweet, but I can’t use it since I’m on a Mac. However, it does use Google Earth’s kml file format for locations and overlays, so if we are to choose a format, let it be kml (since even Google Maps – which anyone with a web browser can use, can now read kml files).
    Chris: I’m seriously interested in sinking some development time into this. I’ve been making WordPress plugins professionally for a couple of years now, so I’ve got the background and experience to get something like this done. We could take an existing geotagging plugin and modify it for the geoblogosphere. We just need to nail down features 🙂

  14. Robert Huber says:

    Chris, this is a great idea!
    I would volunteer and implement something simple during the next week similar to the researchblogging thing.
    My idea is a page which -initially- will allow bloggers to select discipline, location and stratigraphy (maybe a doi also? any other ideas are welcome..) and will create a link/image you can place on your blog article. I just recover from a horrible eye infection so it will most probably take 1 or 2 weeks until we can start testing..
    best regards, Robert

  15. chat says:

    One of the things that i love about science is that no one is above reproach.

  16. BrianR says:

    It seems like the best system would be one that is ultra-easy; for many of us, blogging is already something done quickly in idle moments or evenings/weekends. Ideally, whatever the community decides are the important/relevant tags, to be able to very quickly associate them to the post w/out much extra work would be the best.
    Robert, it seems like you guys are halfway there w/ the site you created, no?
    Off the top of my head, important tags would include:
    – discipline*
    – location (by country/state?, XY?)
    – formation name
    – geologic age
    – plate or plate boundary type
    – surface or subsurface
    And a bunch of others …
    I do like what ResearchBlogging has done, but a lot of geology blog posts don’t necessarily associate with a recently-published paper. We end up posting about a place we’ve visited, or a concept, etc. I think that’s why their aren’t that many geoscience posts on their site. But, in terms of a place that aggregates posts and organizes them by discipline, I like it.
    *getting the community to agree on a hierarchy of disciplines and sub-disciplines might be a challenge in and of itself!

  17. Kim says:

    Who are you aiming this tagging at? Brian’s suggestions would be useful for allowing other geologists to find blog posts – but are other geologists (or geology students) the intended audience?
    If we want more non-geologists to stumble across geology when they are curious about a place, we should make use of something like Google Earth – something that people will stumble upon while looking for other information.

  18. Chris Rowan says:

    Well, there’s really two different parts to this: one is the ‘tagging’ with geologically relevant metadata, one is collecting the encoded information to make relevant posts easier for people to find. There’s a number of different ways that you can do that, but for me, setting up something that will feed it into Google Earth is a high priority.