On this trip, I have had a lot of spare time in airports, on flights, in taxis, etc. Like all people on Earth and, perhaps, on other planets, I have a smartphone. My expertise with my phone is fairly limited, but I can download apps, some of which I actually find useful and use on a daily basis (e.g. various map apps, X2 Football (try it, it’s awesome), Weather, etc). However, on this trip, I have stumbled into the world of geo-apps. Here are my current faves (in no particular order):

  1. geotimescale (N.B. I think this is an android-only download link, but you should be able to find an iPhone version via the app store) – if, like my, your memory is cripplingly bad and you cannot remember your eon, era, period, etc, hierarchy, and the ages and durations of the various units, this app is great; it contains a simple geological timescale. I think the colours are legit and inline with the ‘global standard’. Although I note that ‘Tertiary’ is missing…
  2. istrat – awesome timescale and lithostratigraphic app from NOREX. Super-useful for people working in the northern North Sea. You can also toggle on and off tectonic events. App developers, if you are listening, please, please, PLEASE add ages to the timescales though!!!
  3. Geology dictionary – Does what it says on the tin. Although ‘debrites’ are missing. And so are ‘hybrid beds’. Strange. Maybe they should open this app up like a ‘wiki’ page, and allow users to post and edit new terms. Or debate contentious terms.
  4. USGS seismic – An old favourite I think. A nice app that shows you information about earthquakes documented by the USGS. I think these data are also used for spying on nuclear test events in other parts of the world…
  5. iGeology – A super app by the British Geological Survey (BGS) that allows you to bring up a scaleable geological map of the British Isles, buy geological reports (on subsidence and radon risks!!!) and see a listing of upcoming BGS events. My parents’ house is on New Read Sandstone…awesome. Although I would have preferred the Carboniferous clastics…
  6. Oil Facts – another North Sea-centric app from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). This contains lots of facts about the North Sea petroleum province, including field information, news about ongoing drilling and a bunch of searchable maps.
  7. Agile Geoscience – THE collection of kick-ass geoapps. Industry-leaning, but very useful for academics working with subsurface data. The TUNE and VOLUME apps are super-cool, although they are Android-only at the minute I think. I am begging them to come up with iPhone-friendly versions, although they are apparently ‘busy’ doing real work…
Like Pokemon, collect 'em all!
Like Pokemon, collect ’em all!

Maybe Dr Romans and the boys at Agile Geoscience can come up with something more comprehensive…? FYI: I keep these apps in a folder marked ‘Geo-trash’. I have not yet trademarked this, so you are free to use it until that time…

Author: Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson

I am Professor of Basin Analysis @imperialcollege. I ❤️ 🏃🏿, 🚴🏿 and @basinsIC (⛏). I obsess about the tectono-stratigraphic development of sedimentary basins. Why? Because I'm hopeless at everything else.

2 thoughts on “App-happy.”

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