Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM
GIGAPIXEL IMAGERY AS A MEDIUM FOR SHARING GEOLOGIC CONCEPTS
The Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (M.A.G.I.C.) is a growing repository of gigapixel-resolution geologic imagery intended as a tool for geoscience professionals, educators, students, and researchers. It is located online at http://gigapan.com/groups/100/galleries. The GigaPan medium provides a unique combination of context and detail, with images that maintain a high level of resolution through every level of magnification. Using geological GigaPans, students with physical disabilities can participate in virtual field trips, instructors can bring inaccessible outcrops into the classroom, students can zoom in on hand samples without expensive microscopes, and professionals in different locations can virtually “share” samples. Because GigaPan images permit detailed visual examination of geologic features on a computer screen comparable to what can be seen in the field or in the lab, M.A.G.I.C. is particularly suitable for use in online geology courses. The images are free to use, print, and tag, and are instantly accessible online.
M.A.G.I.C. currently includes robust thematic suites of images on several topics, ranging from Hamilton College’s Snowball Earth Educational Rock Sample Suite, Eocene insect fossils from Florissant, Colorado, a diverse collection of Precambrian rocks, volcanic and metamorphic rocks from west Texas, sediment samples from around the world, many folded and faulted outcrops from the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachians, and select outcrops and hand samples from the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Provinces of Virginia. Additional suites of thematically related GigaPans will be added over the coming years as part of the Google Earth for On-Site and Distance Education initiative (GEODE, recently funded by NSF). Currently, M.A.G.I.C. features more than 400 GigaPans in over 30 galleries, for a total of 478,000,000,000 pixels of geologic imagery, free for the world to use.