Sunday, July 31, 2011

Talk about your favorite celestial body

Webometrics researchers adore physicists, astronomers, and so forth, not only because they boldly research places where no one has gone before*, but because they have a very good Web presence, from blogs to Wikis to depositing in ArXiv. That is unlike scholars from other disciplines, without naming names** which still haven't made it out of the Hotmail age.

Ohtake et al. (2011) developed a system through which planetary scientists can share observation data about a planetary body while discussing it online. They mashed up two services: Google Earth and Twitter (both have APIs), as well as prepared a MySQL database that "connects the mash up components and provides backend functions of the system."

The users can put pins on any point, view the thread which is connected to any pin's location and write their own comments. The system makes it easier to have discussions about a certain location while viewing it, as well as saving the threads regarding said location.

Ohtake, S, Demura, H, Hirata, N, & Terazono, J (2011). Development of a GIS-Based Online Discussion System for Scientists with Google Earth API and Twitter 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

*And unlikely to go anytime soon, dammit. Not that I'm bitter.

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