OneGeology Project: Mapping the Planet

Caitlin Dempsey

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A network of scientists is poised to start the ambitious project of mapping the geology of the entire planet. Called the “OneGeology Project“, the team is made up of a consortium of international bodies, organizations and surveys from around the globe.

Participants come from around the world with sciences from representatives from more that 55 countries involved. The project web site points to the UN General Assembly of 1997 (Agenda 21) as the motivating factor for this project.

This agenda point out the need for global mapping and to reduce the discrepancies in data quality and accuracy among different geographic datasets. OneGeology is a contribution to UN International Year of Planet Earth 2008.

Also critical is increased public access to global datasets. Ian Jackson of the British Geological Survey is quoted as saying “The geological data exists. What we are trying to do is unlock it and make it universally available.” He elaborated, “It is like piecing together a global jigsaw puzzle.”


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The project team plans to map out the geology of the earth at a scale of 1:1 million although ultimately scale will be determined by the best available data.

The geologic datasets compiled from around the world will be pulled together into a new geological exchange language known as GeoSciML. GeoSciML is a markup language specific to the geosciences.

The kickoff for the project will occur from March 12 to March 16, 2007, in Brighton, England and is hosted by the British Geological Survey.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.