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Improving Mindat.orglocating rock and singleton mineral specimens on maps

24th Oct 2019 01:37 UTCTony Peterson Expert

Mineral specimens usually come from mines or small surface locales which can be depicted, as now, with a single precise symbol on Mindat's maps. Not all, of course ("detrital diamond, beach in Sierra Leone"). But rock samples can have a much broader provenance, and the capability of associating a lat-long with a photo and using that to mark a dot on the corresponding locality map might be a significant enhancement to the site. For example, I have specimen and outcrop photos from Central Island, but can only enter these as Lake Turkana, which is kinda big and not even in just one country.

Similarly, I would like to upload photos of specimens from random places in Nunavut. But it's not practical to generate new localities for most of them. A lat-long makes that moot AND, with some coding magic, a lat-long entry could also be employed to automatically select the nearest locale and its upstream provinces, etc.

A bug, which is a feature, is that precise locales might be entered that are private property, which is obviously fraught.

24th Oct 2019 09:53 UTCFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Independent of the pros and cons of your proposal, in the interim, for your Central Island example, can't you just add that specific locality (perhaps as non-hierarchical, if necessary... I'm not sure) as a sub-locality of Lake Turkana?  And in that case, the island is also clearly in Kenya, so no need to worry about an additional separate Ethiopian entry.

24th Oct 2019 10:40 UTCKeith Compton Manager

I don't see any real issues here:

Rock outcrops etc:You could simply call it an unnamed deposit/outcrop, Central Island, Kenya. You would need to determine whether the locality was in Turkana County or Marsabit County - the border between them are both on the island but the island is all in the one country - Kenya.
If you also know the co-ordinates then you will know which county it belongs to.

Random places in Nunavut.Simply describe them as unamed "name of mineral/rock etc" locality, place - optional, Nunavut or include some other place descriptor if available such as mountain/valley or whatever.

Include a description in the "description box" as to where found and then simply add the co-ordinates.

Bug re private property: Again, no issue - all active mines, for example, are on private property.

Hope that helps a little

25th Oct 2019 02:16 UTCTony Peterson Expert

No, not at all. You are missing the points:

(1) I want to see the location on a map;
(2) I don't want to enter new localities in Nunavut, which have no name associated with them, for a single rock specimen.

Lots of silly things have been added to the photo entry form over the years. This seems less silly than some.

25th Oct 2019 04:20 UTCFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Hi Tony,

(1) If you have lat-long data for a sample you collected, I believe you can still enter that information on the page where you input data about the locality where you found it; it will show up on the map in the correct place. All that potentially might be missing is the "name" of the locality, but as Keith pointed out, you're allowed (indeed, encouraged), to name it yourself, if there isn't already a formal name, by using the format "un-named _______ occurrence" or something akin to that.  If you have multiple localities like that, I presume it's OK to call them "un-named _______ occurrence #1", etc., although I might be wrong about this.

(2) you might not want to add a new locality with no name for a single rock specimen, but I suspect in general we actually would like you to do so.  Especially if you include your own lat-long coordinates, then someone in the future may be able to add additional minerals/rocks to your lone specimen if they later happen upon the area. Of course, to be fair, not every loose chunk of quartz someone picks up in the dirt will need its own mindat locality entry, but by the same token, that same chunk of loose quartz probably also doesn't need its own set of lat-longs uploaded here either. 
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