In DepthData Sharing

Earth scientists plan a ‘geological Google’

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Science  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6430, pp. 917
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6430.917

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A group of earth scientists and information specialists is laying plans to link now isolated databases into a "geological Google" that will hopefully be a one-stop portal allowing researchers to access all the data they need to tackle significant questions. Backers envision using big data techniques to probe numerous information sources to study such issues as patterns of biodiversity over geologic time, how metal deposits came to be distributed the way they are, and the workings of Africa's complex groundwater networks. The Deep-time Digital Earth initiative has gotten initial funding and logistical support from within China. But at a meeting this week in Beijing, backers were hoping to enlist more widespread support in hopes of getting the database up and running by spring 2020.