[GPlates-discuss] Scotese's Suggestions for GPlates - Any comments?
cscotese at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 12:57:22 AEDT 2019
Dear GPlates Community,
After using GPLates for ~10 years, I have come up with a short list of
things that would make map-making a little easier (for me & maybe others,
as well). I will be using GPlates extensively to produce the figures for
my book, "Evolution of the Earth System".
I thought I would run these suggestions by the GPlates community, for your
comments (can this be done already some other way?) and support (would you
also like to see this functionalty implemented?).
I woudl be happy to answer any questions concerning my suggestions.
Scotese's top 4 suggestions/requests are:
Not very important
1. It would be nice to be able to set the transparency (opacity) of line
work as well as filled polygons.
Justification: Why not?
2. At the moment the "camera" location is ignored when changing to flat
projections (like Mercator, Mollweide, etc.). It would be useful if the
camera location could be used to make "oblique" projections, i.e. a polar
Mollweide projection centered on 90N, 180E or transverse Mercator
Justification: Provides many more cartographic options.
Potential Complication: Graticule would need to be rotated as well (or not
An enhancement useful for data management (delete & copy).
3. Currently the "select" (Feature Inspection) tool, only selects one
geographic element at a time. It would be useful if:
-"shift - select (click)" selected all geographic elements with the *same
-"control - select (click)" selected all geographic elements with *identical
Jusrification: With these modifications it would be much easier to delete
or copy multiple geographic elements. At the moment, deletions/copies must
be done one at a time. Very tedious.
A new tool useful for "adjusting" geographic data. (This one is a little
bit of a mind bender!).
4. Right now there are very useful tools to move, insert, or delete
vertices in existing geographic elements. But sometimes I want to
the position of an entire geographic feature* - just a little. For
example, say I have a shapefile of a modern outcrop belt, but for some
reason the shapefile is offset/misplaced from where it should be. I would
like to select the shapefile and "move it" (i.e. rotate it) to where it
This feature would behave like the "rotate" tool in Photoshop or
I would envision that this tool would be located below the "split feature"
icon in the "choose feature" menu. It would look like the "view" icon - it
might be called the "adjust" icon.
Basically, you would select the feature to "adjust", then hit the "adjust"
feature icon. This would allow you to freely move (i.e. rotate) the entire
feature. When you got it where you wanted it to be, you would then need to
confirm the changes by hitting an "Adjustment OK" button- sort of like the
"Create Feature"button. Then (point of no return) all the vertices in the
selected feature would be overwritten with their new geographic coordinates.
Justification: At present there is no way to do this sort of adjustment,
which means either redigitizing the feature or adjusting the feature,
vertex by vertex.
Prof. Christopher R. Scotese, Director, PALEOMAP Project
134 Dodge, Evanston Illinois 60202, 817 914 7090 (cell)
*I know this is a long signature, but I think you'll enjoy the treasures
Wow! Check out the interactive paleoglobes at:
https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/X3LwC81Zj6tNZq9ESnZRkc?domain=dinosaurpictures.org. You can see where your home
was located at the time of the Permo-Triassic extinction or any other time
in Earth History.
Digital elevation models of all of the paleogeographic maps are now
Maps and software can be freely downloaded at:
View Scotese animations at: https://www.youtube.com/user/cscotese
Paleogeographic Atlases can be downloaded at:
Map Folios for different time periods can be downloaded at:
An archive of Scotese publications can be found at:
Download Google Earth (kml) versions of maps at:
Download Scotese CV with links to publications:
Lecture given at the Geological Society of London on October, 2017
Hear Chris play the "Paleogeographer's Song"
"Sailing away on uncharted seas, who knows what we might find.
You needn't go far to take this trip because the journey's through your
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