I didn't think I would be blogging about GSA, but I saw a presentation that I thought was quite good. Ian Jackson, whom I first met last year when I visited the BGS, gave a couple of talks on a relatively new project called OneGeology (it's been going for 1.5 - 2 years now, maybe more).
The goal of OneGeology is to make geologic maps from around the world freely accessible to anyone who wants them. I am fully in favor of open access to all data, as this is the best way for science to function. The driving point of Ian's talk was the vast discrepency between fully industrialized data who can zip about 'holodeck' representations of datasets and developing nations which might not even have a steady supply of electricity.
The need to understand geologic processes is a global concern. In some cases, it may even be more important to developing nations to have the access to high quality data sets than it is to industrialized nations. This project continues a theme I was picking up in several of the sessions I have attended thus far. There is a growing need for earth scientists to reach out to the general public and engender an appreciation for the role that the earth plays in our everyday lives.
I am certain that this goal is appreciated by anyone who might stumble onto this blog. However, of all the talks that touched on this need, Ian Jackson's talks were one of the few that actually proposed a means to achieve this objective.