There have been a couple of pretty nifty applications that have an Earth Science theme to them. Below are some of the ones that I have had an opportunity to play around with myself.
The first is called "iSeismo" (yes the little "i" is becoming disturbingly common these days). iSeismo turns your iPhone, iPod, or iPad into a makeshift seismometer (as the name would imply). Here are some screen shots of the application I took while messing around with the software:
The next application was all the rage at the last GSA meeting in
For example I do a basic search for "Siccar Point" and it takes me to the scottish border.
But what if I really wanted to look into getting an application that is relevant to the location where I live. We can't all be fortunate enough to have the BGS as our national survey after all. Well you might be interested in learning about an application called "Earth
Observatory Observer" (look no "i" at all!).
However, interactive geologic maps are only one of the things that has been turned into an app. Wouldn't it be nice to have a handy-dandy resource concisely summarizing vast swaths of literature regarding climate change? There is yet another FREE application for that as well. I vaguely remember talking about Skeptical Science at one point, but that was before I could download the application. Fortunately, their website offers a complete list of the arguments and the science.
The setup for this application is a list of common claims made by climate change deniers (they use the term "skeptic" when they mean denier, but that doesn't really detract from the value of this software). You just tap on the claim listed in the application and the application summarizes both the denier's claim, the scientific standing, and a detailed explanation about the science. For example I just tapped the "It's not happening" heading and the "2009-2010 saw record cold spells" claim (below are a series of screen shots that should stitch together):
This is a phenomenal app that is bound to make denialists squirm. And to reiterate, it is free! Plus, unlike the geologic map apps, you don't need access to the internet while using it. It only requires periodic connections to update the database, but other than that, you can browse it wherever you happen to be.
One final application that I have seen out there turns your iPhone or iPad into a Brunton compass. I know what name you are thinking of, but somehow the developers resisted the urge to name it "iBrunton" or "iCompass". There are two versions available. One is called Lambert, the other is called GeolCompass. I can't say much about either at this time, because I haven't downloaded them (though it looks like Lambert lets you make stereonets on your device). Mainly I have put off downloading them because I can't think of a worse thing to do to my iPad than drag it into the field with me (or my iPhone if I had one). Maybe one day, but not right now.
I just don't want to spend ~$400 on a device that might not work properly if I drop it in the field (or it gets dust into its case, or it gets wet), especially when other options are available that work just as well. That said, a decent Brunton Transit will run a couple hundred bucks as well, but you can drop it, get it wet, etc, and it will still work. Same for the durability of my field book and pencil.
Technological preferences aside, I highly recommend every geologist with a device that works with the apple app store download the free software:
-iGeology (even if you aren't in the
They are all phenomenal.