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New updates on mindat.org, October 2016

Last Updated: 15th Oct 2016

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

We have just gone live on some major engineering changes to the internals of mindat.org which solve many of the big problems we've been struggling with over the last few years. Most of the changes are related to the locality pages.

Let me show you what's new:

ROCKS!



We now have a sizeable petrological database in the system. If you really want to know what a Lamprophyric-pyroxene-calcite-biotite olivine-melilitite is, you can now find out, just by clicking.

Or, you can browse the whole list of our petrological names by clicking on this: Rock, sediment and other material

Does this mean you can add photos of rocks to mindat? But yes, of course. I just haven't done so yet. but feel free to upload the first.


And... did you see? Yes. Meteorites!

METEORITES!



We have an exhaustive classification system for meteorite types. see: Meteoritic and asteroid rock

Does that mean you can upload photos of meteorites? Yes you can :)


WAIT! I DON'T WANT TO SEE PHOTOS OF ROCKS!



You don't have to! Rock types are now shown separately on the locality pages. See this brief example here:

Kent, England, UK

WHAT'S THAT ON THE MAP?



You mean this?





The maps have changed - in several ways.

Firstly, for some regions we now have a region polygon defined that allows us to see what the area of the region is. This is actually quite neat because we can in future (it isn't active yet but will be soon) be able to warn when adding coordinates for a locality that is outside the region it should be in.

The blue circles with numbers are clusters showing groups of nearby localities, when you zoom in you'll see more and more markers.

Notice there is a question mark? Notice in the locality list below there are some localities with a bluish mindat icon rather than the red one?

Now... we are able to calculate ESTIMATED COORDINATES for most localities, based on nearby localities and the region it falls in. They are shown with a question mark on the map and when you click on them the margin of error is shown as a circle.

Is this wrong for a locality you like? Then you can enter the real coordinates for the locality and this gets fixed!

This is how the information is shown on the locality page



NON-HIERARCHICAL LOCALITIES



We have always worked on a hierarchical system on mindat.org - this means that in general, every country has its own top level page, and then this is broken down into political regions. Localities are at the lowest level.

But this means that it's not easy to fit in areas that span across political boundaries. Until now.

These localities do not fit into our normal hierarchy and are defined purely by a polygon drawn on a map.

Here's one for Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK.

And here's one for Asia.

Note in each case the mineral lists, photos, etc. are calculated simply by finding ALL localities that fit within the polygon we've drawn.

Both of these have been drawn quite roughly just as a demonstration. But you can add as many points and make them as accurate as you wish in the editor.

And yes, it's easy to create new ones. We use a site called geojson.io to build the GeoJSON files that mindat.org uses. It can also convert WKT format files if you have those.

These are best for things that you DO not want to have to put in every sublocality name. But sometimes you DO want to have the name of a region, for example, a mining region, within the hierarchy, it's just that it fits in more than one place.

For this we have a different solution

COMBINING LOCALITIES INTO ONE!



Let's just take an example.

We were never able to do this before:

All of the Tri-State mining district in one page

Previously this was split across three state and four county boundaries so there were four separate subpages for the Tri-state region.

What we can now do is choose one as the 'main' (it doesn't really matter which - this is not very significant), and then go to the other pages and link them with the

Placeholder for: [ ]

option in the editor.

But as you navigate up and down the hierarchy the original naming remains intact seamlessly.




And there's more.... But that will need to wait until tomorrow to explain!








Article has been viewed at least 2286 times.

Comments

Now *that* looks useful.

Alysson Rowan
14th Oct 2016 10:53pm
Nice Job !

Wayne Corwin
14th Oct 2016 11:16pm
Good stuff!



Jason Evans
15th Oct 2016 1:20am
Interesting and very handy enhancements, Joylon!

Cheers,

Joel Dyer
15th Oct 2016 6:58am
Great job Jolyon - many thanks for much work!

Tim

Timothy Greenland
15th Oct 2016 4:36pm
I much awaited new window. Thanks Jolyon for opening it to the rock and meteorite world.

Dan Costian

Dan Costian
20th Oct 2016 11:04pm

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