2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM

A Custom Software Approach to Sharing Multidimensional Geoscience Research Findings

ANDREWS, John R.1, WOOD, Lesli1 and GIBEAUT, James C.2, (1)Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, Univ Station Box X, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78713-8924, (2)Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5869, Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5869, john.andrews@beg.utexas.edu

Visualization technology, a key component of modern geoscience research, continues to advance and evolve, enabling geoscientists to better understand complex, multidimensional geological processes. A significant barrier remains, however, when scientists using this technology attempt to convey research findings to both the scientific community and the general public, both of whom may not have access to the software, hardware, or data underlying the research. We have responded to this problem by developing a unique software product for exploring 3D data. Built using Trolltech's Qt and SIM's Coin3D toolkits, the software is a full-featured, cross-platform tool for visualizing geoscience data. We have developed numerous versions of the software, each version bundled with data and contextual information addressing a particular research interest: Pattern Analyses of Dune-Field Parameters, for example, or Debris Flow Processes and Deposits in a Tectonically Active Margin Basin. To peruse a completed project scientists or the public need only visit our website and download a self-extracting .zip file that contains both the viewing software and data. No additional software or plug-in is needed. After launching the software users will find a comprehensive 3D project with numerous scenes organized by theme. A full suite of GUI tools, pop-up information panels, fly-throughs, and audible narration are provided to enhance the user's understanding of the geological concepts and data presented in the project. Stereographic viewing is supported along with other features found in traditional geoscience software applications.