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Work in progress in Best Minerals

Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier May 05, 2009 09:32PM
Here is the work currently in progress in the Best Minerals project: Moderators of the Best Minerals Project are encouraged to edit this post and tell us all what they are working on.

Rock Currier
Long term goals:
1. Finish scanning my locality images and upload them to Mindat.
2. Take advantage of good information as it appears add to the Best Minerals articles.
3. Try and ride herd on others who would like to help with the project and keep the formatting of the articles as consistent as possible.

Under Construction

Rob Woodside

Ralph Bottrill
Fluorite, Australia
Atacamite (nearly complete)
Cassiterite (started with Australian locations)

Roger Lang
Pseudomalachite (startup is made)

Harjo Neutkens
Finished first draft of Topaz
Finished first draft of Xenotime-(Y)
Finished first draft Quartz, Austria
Started Aquamarine
Starting Morganite
Starting Heliodor
Starting Goshenite
Writing a Best Minerals lay-out guide

Olav Revheim
Finished first draft of Tremolite
Starting the Amphiboles

Philippe M. Belley
Quartz, Canada

Alfredo Petrov

Jolyon Ralph
Gypsum, United Kingdom.

David Joice

Rudolf Hasler
Finished first draft Fluorite, Austria
Finished first draft Titanite
Finished first draft Calcite, Austria
Starting Hemimorphite

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 35 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2013 11:49AM by Rudolf Hasler.
Rob Woodside May 05, 2009 09:54PM
Rob Woodside:
There are others that I will turn to as time permits, but I certainly do not want to claim any of these as my personal project. I merely started the polybasite and there is some more that I can add, but if anyone else wants to chime in that would be great. Cubanite was one I was thinking of doing, but others have picked it up and I will add anything I can as it developes. Don't ever think that some mineral belongs to the person who stepped up to edit it. That person is merely the editor and this project is certainly beyond the abilities of any single person and this is also the case with almost ANY mineral.
Harjo Neutkens May 05, 2009 10:16PM
I'm reworking all my articles. For aesthetic reasons I'm resizing all photographs so that photos that are next to each other will have the same takes hours.....if not days...(isn't there an easier way to do that??)
Apart from that I'm linking the mineral to the Mindat page as well as all locality names (I finished Millerite and Schalenblende)......have a look and tell me what you think, I quite like it as a format.


Rock Currier May 06, 2009 01:38AM
Yes, the massaging of the images to make them look presentable is quite tedious and takes a bit of artistic judgment with which you seem well endowed. However I would again caution you in your drive to make all the images the same size. Much easier to do if all you have in the caption line is the scale and copyright information. However because of the use these articles and parts of these articles may have in the future I think make it necessary to have in the caption also the name of the main mineral and any obvious associations so the user will not have to continually click on the images to find out what it is. In a few cases, especially with some of the rare minerals images require a detailed caption explaining just exactly what the user is looking at and which mineral is which.. I too was initially beguiled by the possibility of using minimal or no captions because of the much greater image formating possibilities. Yes it does make the article look better if they are all the same height, but this is sometimes at the expense of useful information that we want our users to have. I have opted for making as many images as possible the same height, but some just don't cooperate and I settle for making them look as integrated as I can. We all appreciate ladies that wearing lipstick with tight sweaters and high heals, but at what cost to them and us? Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. Wait till you work with a mineral and a locality where you want to include 15 or 20 images of the mineral.

Tweaking the size of images and arranging them in the order you want them.
Perhaps I can help a little with the onerous job of tweaking the images. You know how to use the preview button? Have you also learned the trick of using a browser where you can keep open several windows of the same thread entry? One is the mineral in the Edit mode. Another is opened with the article but in the non edit mode so you can switch click back and fourth to see what needs to be changed as you work your way down through the article revamp. This is especially usefully when the article is long. Then you also have yet another one or two mindat windows open to check other things like locality names and to display image URLs. for caption details. You can make note of the information you want and then click back into the window where you are editing the article and incorporate the information from the other windows into into your edit window without having to rescroll down to where you were working.

Captions for images.
I am not sure that we need to create links to all the mineral names we use or their localities. At first I though we might need to do that, but to find that information, all the user needs do is to click on any picture, and those links are right there in the caption area below each image. I think we could make a case for linking the mineral name at the top of each article to its data page. I think that in the case where we have no image of a mineral from a particular locality that we should link that locality to its locality page. But I think that linking each species name and locality name to its page may be more trouble than its worth.

I know exactly what you are going through in rearranging you articles. No sooner than you finish an article than you realize that the format should really be a little different. Initially I thought we would put one select image per locality and the user would then click on links to see the other images. Then I realized that we really needed the images to be mostly all visible to the user so I was confronted with going through all of my articles and making that change. Oh, and while you are at it, please incorporate all the recommended changes suggested by people that have been kind enough to help. Oh and then add in some more images that have become available. And then decide that all the images you have imported need to be arranged and formatted to look as nice as possible.. I dread the next round of changes we will need to make. Even though I don't know what they are, they will probably make themselves know soon enough.

What say you.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier May 06, 2009 02:09AM
Rob, I agree. These articles really don't belong to anyone and we all welcome help from any one. But rather that trip over each other I thought a little list of who is working on what might be helpfully. If you are working on polybasite I want to help where I can and let you run with it. If however after a year or so or you get run over by a truck than I might want to step in and see what I can do to pick up the pieces. Believe me it was lonely in here when this was in the managers only section and I had no moderators helping at all.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Ralph Bottrill May 06, 2009 02:25AM
I have been a bit busy of late but the Australian Gypsum and Fluorite pages are still underway (these things are easier to start than finish!)

Rock Currier May 06, 2009 03:09AM
Yes, they are indeed easier to start than finish. In fact I don't think I have ever finished one completely. There are always more information and pictures to add. Then there seem to be the eternal formatting changes, though I hope we are past the worst of them.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens May 06, 2009 12:14PM
Rock, indeed it is better to name minerals in captions when more are involved, but I think we should try to keep it as limited as possible.
Have a look at the Ferristrunzite page:,72,134378,134378#msg-134378 this is what I have in mind.


David Von Bargen May 06, 2009 08:40PM
Harjo, just added a better way to get photos all the same height. Instead of using the width=400 parameter in the pic directive, replace that with height=400. If you use both the height and width parameters in the pic directive, it will default to using just the width parameter (if both were used, it could change the aspect ratio of the photograph). BTW only float=right and float=left will change the locations on the page, if the float parameter is missing or anything else, it defaults to centering the photo.
Rock Currier May 07, 2009 01:33AM
The ferristrunzie page looks great. I would put the size last, but I don't think it makes a much difference to what we are doing. Once again Dave comes to the rescue to make life easier for us. Thanks Dave.

Dave, in the matter of limited picture galleries. How much work would be involved in giving managers the ability to set a flat on images that they wanted to include in a limited image gallerie(s). We could call the limited gallery Managers Choice gallery or something like that. Then, at the bottom of each mindat page would be two radio buttons, one for Managers Choice image gallery and the other for All mindat Images that the user could click on depending if he wanted to use the limited gallery or see everything. These same radio buttons could also appear on the Photo Search page or where ever users might wish to use a command to see images. This would allow the user to decide what he wanted to view and I think remove many objections that their images were not treated fairly. Has this kind of thing been suggested before and have you talked it over with Jolyon?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
David Von Bargen May 07, 2009 03:16AM
Well, that is sort of why we now limit the gallery displays to the top ten photos for locality/mineral pairs. If people want to see more, they can look at all of the photos. If you see something that you think should be shown in the "main" gallery, you can vote it up, buy otherwise the selections are made by the rest of the mindat membership.
Harjo Neutkens May 07, 2009 07:26AM
David, Thanks!
It saves 10+ edits per pic :-)
Harjo Neutkens May 07, 2009 08:01AM
Anatase from Austria

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Habach valley, Gamseck Mt. area, Leffler Brunnen

Anatase FOV 0,8cm
Anatase, Adularia FOV 0,8cm

Anatase, Quartz FOV 0,6cm
Anatase, Adularia FOV 0,6cm

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2009 08:05AM by Harjo Neutkens.
Harjo Neutkens May 07, 2009 08:07AM
David, it works like a charm, hight=400 is a bit too much, my advice to all would be 300 or max 320, float left for the left pic, float centre for the right pic.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2009 08:10AM by Harjo Neutkens.
Rock Currier May 07, 2009 08:53AM
Dave, Yes I am very familiar with the top ten galleries after running through the quartz, calcite and fluorite galleries. The problem is that I don't think the system is working very well. If there are ten images for a particular locality string, the bar is there and when you click on it you find there are no more entries to see. Thats kind of irritating. If there are more than ten and you click on the ten entry bar, the first ten items you see are those you have already seen and you have to scroll to the bottom of the first ten again and then go to the next page to see more. Thats kind of irritating. Sometimes there are four or five locality strings that represent specimens from what is basically the same locality (example fluorites form the Cave in Rock area). Thats kind of irritating. When the images are uploaded they are often shunted to the + ten galleries and there they languish perhaps never to be voted to the top ten even though they may be truly mineralogicaly significant items because the people doing the voting don't know what they are looking at. Thats kind of irritating. To make sure that I got all the best images for the Best Mineral galleries, I find I have to go through every single image and not only the top ten list. Also some species/locality galleries should have more than ten images that are rated good. Do you have any idea of how many people looking at the 10+ galleries actually bother to vote? Is this method proving to be effective? I don't think I have ever bothered to cast a vote. Yes, I know, shame on me.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
David Von Bargen May 07, 2009 11:03AM
If there are more than ten and you click on the ten entry bar, the first ten items you see are those you have already seen and you have to scroll to the bottom of the first ten again and then go to the next page to see more. Thats kind of irritating.

Yes, I also find that a bit irritating so I wrote an improved gallery that allows you to arrow down directly to the next page.

Sometimes there are four or five locality strings that represent specimens from what is basically the same locality (example fluorites form the Cave in Rock area). Thats kind of irritating.

Also agree, but we then have to educated the uploaders on where to put things. They often will have labels that read to that particular locality.

Do you have any idea of how many people looking at the 10+ galleries actually bother to vote? Is this method proving to be effective? I don't think I have ever bothered to cast a vote. Yes, I know, shame on me.

We have had 39,000 votes for best photos. A small percentage of the 200K photos that are on the site. And as usual only a small percentage of people seem to be willing to do anything about it (less than 150 people).
Harjo Neutkens May 12, 2009 10:04PM
Guys, I'm almost done with reworking my articles (thanks David, the "height parameter" possibility makes the overall appearance so much better!)
This weekend and the beginning of next week I have to play concerts at a baroque festival in Germany but after that (and before the June theatre tour in Holland) I'd like to commence work on some articles (and go out to work at my new Quartz crystal spot in Belgium :-) ). This is what I'd like to do: Baryte Belgium, Anatase Belgium, Anatase Austria (a big one..) and Emerald worldwide (a bigger one, on this one I'll look for others to help me.......)


Rock Currier May 12, 2009 10:22PM
Sounds good, just enter what you want to work on in the post at the top of the thread.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Don Swenson May 15, 2009 05:05PM

This is indeed a laudable, but very ambitious project. Since I am only an amateur collector & not a good photographer, I can only offer a suggestion & an invitation to someone who wants to do the documentation. I offer the Trebilcock Locality, a/k/a the Swamp Quarry (1 or 2, there is some confusion as to which) as the source of the world's finest uraninite crystals. I have several in my possession well worth photographing. Of course, the expert on the site is Cliff Trebilcock, the site's discoverer.
Rock Currier May 15, 2009 06:44PM
Don, We would love to have photos of your good Uraninites uploaded to Mindat, but I don't think anyone from mindat will be able to travel to your house and take the pictures. You might ask Cliff if he would be interested in describing the locality and the find and providing pictures. If not, perhaps you could describe something about the history of the find, its extent, size of xls the geology, locality etc. If we can get this data, then the pictures can come at some later date when it is convenient for someone to take the pictures.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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