Southeastern Section - 66th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 3-2
Presentation Time: 8:40 AM


BENTLEY, Callan, Geology program, Northern Virginia Community College, Annadale, VA 22652 and ROHRBACK, Robin, Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, MSE Division, Annandale, VA 22003,

The Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection, initiated in 2010, consists of 1660 gigapixel-resolution images, of which ~600 are images of hand samples (rocks, fossils, and sediment), as of the end of 2016. The images are constructed using the GIGAmacro and Magnify2 imaging systems at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus. Each final image, hosted on the website, is a composite of hundreds to tens of thousands of input images shot in a three-dimensional grid. Averaging ~1.0 gigapixels in size, the resulting images may be viewed on stand-alone webpages, embedded in other webpages (with or without details such as title or “snapshots”), or in Google Earth. The medium is ideal for contextualizing small-scale details with larger-scale patterns. No other group is producing macro-scale gigapixel-resolution of geologic subjects. All of our images are available for educators to use free of charge either as digital objects or in printed form.

Examples to be shared include:

  • Virtual field experiences for many locations
  • Samples from all of Virginia’s physiographic provinces
  • Suites of fossil specimens from the Virginia Museum of Natural History
  • Samples from the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa
  • Samples collected in key geologic sites in Iceland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland
  • Samples of Coastal Plain fossils paired with “Aquapod” derived coastal outcrop imagery
  • Unrelated samples “remixed” into putatively related suites of images to create “fake field trips”
  • Thin sections in plane- and cross-polarized light
  • Scanning electron micrographs of minerals, sediments, and foraminifera

Advances to be showcased include:

  • The addition of thin section and scanning electron micrographs to our repertoire
  • The integration of macro images with outcrop-scale or regional contexts
  • Altering imagery to remove photographic artifacts, add durable annotations, or “improve” a specimen for teaching purposes
  • Integration of 3D models to convey shape with the higher-resolution GIGAmacro images