Site Plans

Donald Kenney (donaldkenney@gmail.com)
Last Update: Thu Sep 8 02:22:37 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Plans

Version 1609 (Sep 2016)

Version 1505 (May 2015)

Plans for the future:

Version 1402 (Jan 2014)

In late 2012, I started a detailed review of every fossil site in the data base checking for:

The site review will clearly take a great many years to complete. Much of 2013 was devoted to devising tools that permit the review of over 15000 sites in a normal human lifetime. As of mid January 2014, I have reviewed the location of 2100 sites and am chugging along at a rate of ten sites a day. I have reviewed the fossils field in around 3000 sites and am checking 100 a day.

Separately, I'm continuing work on a reasonable presentation format for fossil site data. After way too many false starts, I think I have most of the pieces worked out, but it'll be a while before I pull it all together. Late 2014? 2015?

I'm also working on the fossils found field. I'm making slow, but steady, progress on this. At this point, it's really in pretty good shape. I think I have the spelling mostly under control. But there are still a few questionable taxa. It takes a lot of time to resolve each one of these (spelling problem, renamed, etc.) -- often several hours. I'm trying to knock off one a week.

Things still to be done in upcoming years

Version 1301 (Jan 2013)

I have started a detailed review of every fossil site in the data base checking for:

The site review will clearly take a number of years to complete. So far, I have done 400 sites out of 15324.

Separately, I'm continuing work on a reasonable presentation format for fossil site data. It's finally coming together and may make it to the web site some time in 2013.

I'm also working on the fossils found field. I still have a few dozen questionable taxa names to review over the next year or two, but this part of the effort is winding down.

Things still to be done in upcoming years

Version 1207 (Jul 2012)

The heat and humidity of Summer are nearly upon me. I loathe Summer. It takes all the energy out of me. This year, I'm going to pamper myself by not setting any goals at all for the next three months. Doesn't mean that I won't do anything on the web site, just that I don't know what I'll do.

Things still to be done in upcoming years

I might do an update in September, but more likely the next update will be January 2013.

Version 1201 (Jan 2012)

The phobia about updating the fossils found section of the fossil site data base remains. Perhaps I'll tackle it next winter when I'm pretty much trapped indoors except for short walks by our rather nippy Vermont winter.

I've also been putting a lot of time into the description of rock formations in the Eastern US and their fossils. This turns out to be quite time consuming as the information on formation names, stratigraphy, etc are not as tidy as one might hope. Sometimes they seem to be just plain wrong. Anyway, my vision for a decade from now is a data base where one can pull up fossil site information by location, formation, or taxa and get a fairly complete summary of what the rocks look like, what the overlying and underlying rocks look like, what fossils are there. The current intermediate step is the NEPALEO file It is a work in progress. I have also started a similar WCPALEO file for the Western US

I have checked all of the taxa names in the fossils found field. I have ended up with a list of 250 names that seem to justify further checking, but most are probably OK and most of the remainder may not be resolvable. Further review of these is going to be low priority. Four or five rechecks a month probably.

Other than fossils, might do an essay on global warming/climate change. I've done a great deal of research and a picture is beginning to emerge of a rather bizarre confabulation of fact, fiction, and conjecture supporting a lot of people on all sides of the argument who are more interested in pontificating than actually knowing anything. Suffice it to say that climate science appears to know very little about climate -- which is OK. One has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, the science part also seems to leave a fair amount to be desired. Do I think the planet is warming because of from CO2 emissions? Yes. Is the extent of future warming substantially overstated? Probably. Are we all gonna die? Not from climate change.

I have some other projects that may or may not eventually make it to the site someday. e.g. A Python-Tkinter printer selection widget. A Python-Curses text based framework for writing interactive Unix console programs that are CUA compliant. Some information on how to use the GRUB boot manager in the absence of usable documentation. Don't expect the GRUB stuff any time soon. If it were easy to describe its usage, someone would have done so already.

I've also spent a great deal of time looking into what site profiles might look like. Nothing is yet settled, but this has most of the features I've looked into in one form or another I am far enough along to realize that actually implementing this will result in this website expanding from about 1000 files to over 16000 files. ... And that my current tools for maintaining the site very likely can not handle a 16000 file site adequately. Unfortunately, I can't use an off the shelf content management system because most of my tools are needed because of the specialized nature of the fossil site content. So tool validation/update is definitely part of the agenda.

Version 1107 (Jul 2011)

(Mar 2011) The phobia about updating the fossils found section of the fossil site data base remains. Perhaps I'll tackle it next winter when I'm pretty much trapped indoors except for short walks by our rather nippy Vermont winter.

I've also been putting a lot of time into the description of rock formations in the Eastern US and their fossils. This turns out to be quite time consuming as the information on formation names, stratigraphy, etc are not as tidy as one might hope. Sometimes they seem to be just plain wrong. Anyway, my vision for a decade from now is a data base where one can pull up fossil site information by location, formation, or taxa and get a fairly complete summary of what the rocks look like, what the overlying and underlying rocks look like, what fossils are there. The current intermediate step is the NEPALEO file It is a work in progress. I have also started a similar WCPALEO file for the Western US

I have checked all of the taxa names in the fossils found field. I have ended up with a list of 275 names that seem to justify further checking, but most are probably OK and most of the remainder may not be resolvable. Further review of these is going to be low priority. Four or five rechecks a month probably.

Other than fossils, might do an essay on global warming/climate change. I've done a great deal of research and a picture is beginning to emerge of a rather bizarre confabulation of fact, fiction, and conjecture supporting a lot of people on all sides of the argument who are more interested in pontificating than actually knowing anything. Suffice it to say that climate science appears to know very little about climate -- which is OK. One has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, the science part also seems to leave a fair amount to be desired. Do I think the planet is warming because of from CO2 emissions? Yes. Is the extent of future warming substantially overstated? Probably. Are we all gonna die? Not from climate change.

I have some other projects that may or may not eventually make it to the site someday. e.g. A Python-Tkinter printer selection widget. A Python-Curses text based framework for writing interactive Unix console programs that are CUA compliant. Some information on how to use the GRUB boot manager in the absence of usable documentation. Don't expect the GRUB stuff any time soon. If it were easy to describe its usage, someone would have done so already.

I've also spent a great deal of time looking into what site profiles might look like. Nothing is yet settled, but this has most of the features I've looked into in one form or another

Version 1104 (Apr 2011)

(Mar 2011) The phobia about updating the fossils found section of the fossil site data base remains. Perhaps I'll tackle it next winter when I'm pretty much trapped indoors except for short walks by our rather nippy Vermont winter.

I've also been putting a lot of time into the description of rock formations in the Eastern US and their fossils. This turns out to be quite time consuming as the information on formation names, stratigraphy, etc are not as tidy as one might hope. Sometimes they seem to be just plain wrong. Anyway, my vision for a decade from now is a data base where one can pull up fossil site information by location, formation, or taxa and get a fairly complete summary of what the rocks look like, what the overlying and underlying rocks look like, what fossils are there. The current intermediate step is the NEPALEO file It is a work in progress.

I plan to continue to nibble away at checking all of the taxa names in the fossils found field. It's slow work, but kind of interesting. Maybe 600 names left to research/check. Can only do a few of those a day.

Other than fossils, might do an essay on global warming/climate change. I've done a great deal of research and a picture is beginning to emerge of a rather bizarre confabulation of fact, fiction, and conjecture supporting a lot of people on all sides of the argument who are more interested in pontificating than actually knowing anything. Suffice it to say that climate science appears to know very little about climate -- which is OK. One has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, the science part also seems to leave a fair amount to be desired. Do I think the planet is warming because of from CO2 emissions? Yes. Is the extent of future warming substantially overstated? Probably. Are we all gonna die? Not from climate change.

I have some other projects that may or may not eventually make it to the site someday. e.g. A Python-Tkinter printer selection widget. A Python-Curses text based framework for writing interactive Unix console programs that are CUA compliant. Some information on how to use the GRUB boot manager in the absence of usable documentation. Don't expect the GRUB stuff any time soon. If it were easy to describe its usage, someone would have done so already.

Since Dec 2010, I have fixed all the known problems in the fossils found information except for what I estimate to be about 25-50 misspellings/mmisidentifications. Identifying these is quite time consuming because taxonomic names are weird to begin with, and many mispellings are in the source materials or the literature. Thus, analyzing each name becomes a research project. I'll continue chipping away at this

I have not yet restructured the user visible fossils found field. I am sure that I will lose information one way or another when I do the restructuring, and would like to minimize the data loss and maximize the chance of knowing about it. The restructuring will happen someday ... probably

I have also spent a great deal of time on an article describing the geology/paleontology of the Eastern US. This has turned out to be very time consuming, but I'm learning a lot. The article is only about half done. I've included the working file [TERRANES/NEPALEO.HTM] in the April release. I've started a similar file for the Western part of North America, but it's just barely started, and I left it out of the April release.

I've also been working on doing detailled profiles of well-known/important fossil sites. I'm still prototyping, but I've included a dozen or so prototypes in various states of disrepair in this release. [SITESINDEX.HTM]. Hopefully, by July I'll have settled on a template for future profiles

Version 1101 of website

(Jan 2011) As it turns out, I have developed a phobia about rebuilding the fossils found portion of the fossil site data base. The tool to do it is built. It does the first 100 or so entries pretty well. But the job is very complex, and the chances of losing information without noticing it are high. I'm beginning to consider the hopefully less risky alternative of manually reformatting the fossils found field manually for all 15000 entries. Might take a while.

I've also been putting a lot of time into the description of rock formations in the NorthEast and their fossils. This turns out to be quite time consuming as the information on formation names, stratigraphy, etc are not as tidy as one might hope. Sometimes they seem to be just plain wrong. Anyway, my vision for a decade from now is a data base where one can pull up fossil site information by location, formation, or taxa and get a fairly complete summary of what the rocks look like, what the overlying and underlying rocks look like, what fossils are there. The current intermediate step is the NEPALEO file It is a work in progress.

I plan to continue to nibble away at checking all of the taxa names in the fossils found field. It's slow work, but kind of interesting. Maybe 600 names left to research. Can only do a few of those a day.

Other than fossils, might do an essay on global warming/climate change. I've done a great deal of research and a picture is beginning to emerge of a rather bizarre confabulation of fact, fiction, and conjecture supporting a lot of people on all sides of the argument who are more interested in pontificating than actually knowing anything. Suffice it to say that climate science appears to know very little about climate -- which is OK. One has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, the science part also seems to leave a fair amount to be desired. Do I think the planet is warming because of from CO2 emissions? Yes. Is the extent of future warming substantially overstated? Probably. Are we all gonna die? Not from climate change.

I have some other projects that may or may not eventually make it to the site someday. e.g. A Python-Tkinter printer selection widget. A Python-Curses text based framework for writing interactive Unix console programs that are CUA compliant. Some information on how to use the GRUB boot manager in the absence of usable documentation. Don't expect the GRUB stuff any time soon. If it were easy to describe its usage, someone would have done so already.

Version 1010 of website

(Oct 2010) Since June 2010, I have spent a lot of time trying to rationalize the fossils found information. As I expected, it is difficult because of the presence of modifiers like "abundant" some of which are prefixes, others of which are suffixes and some of which can be either. Inconsistencies in various data bases with regard to spellings of taxonomic catagories ("cephalopods" vs "cephalopoda") don't help. Neither are all taxonomic breakdowns consistent. For example, Sepkoski's large and useful database has only three taxonomic catagories -- phyllum, genus, and something in between. Nothing wrong with that, but it is hard to software compare entries to, for example, paleodb which has many more catagories.

Anyway, I've made a lot of progress and I think I'm aware of most of the problems and will be able to fix them. But I'm not really ready to completely reformat the fossil found part of the database yet. Almost certainly by December.

And I still have several hundred questionable taxa to research. Very time consuming.

The plan, then, is to finish off the fossils found information except the questionable taxa by year end and to start on combining and rationalizing the sites. I'll finish off the questionable taxa over the next year or two.

Version 1007 of website

(Jun 2010) Since April 2010 I have -- one by one -- checked many hundreds of dubious genus names and fixed a hundred or more of them. I have also started to reorder the actual fossil found lists into an orderly scheme which turns out to be a rather intimidating job when your database has 15000 entries. I'm looking into writing a program to automate much of the job, but it is a fairly challenging job -- maybe beyond my capabilities.

Anyway, Summer is here. I detest hot weather. I think I'll take three months off from trying to meet daily goals for names checked, fossil fields reformatted, etc, and just do whatever interests me while complaining about the weather non-stop. See you in September

Version 1004 of website

(Mar 2010) Since January 2010, I have made considerable progress with the fossils found field. All of the entries are now spell checked. There are still a number of names in the spelling list that need to be reviewed. Many are common modifiers or nouns (e.g. "silicified" or "teeth"). Others are common names for plants or animals (e.g. "wolves","conifers"). A few are useful groupings that seem not to exist in modern taxonomy ("fish"= the obsolete class Pisces). Some of the rest are taxa that are unaccountably missing from the reference lists I am using. Some are taxa whose names are familiar, but obsolete. And no small number -- I'm guessing 100-300 -- are misspellings. I'll try to get those sorted out by Autumn. I also plan to order the fossils found in some organized manner so that vertebrates are grouped together and under them reptiles are grouped together. That may take a while.

I added a page link down near the end of the site to a page that contains links to numerous fossil related sites. I plan to expand that in future versions of the site. I might add that fossil related web pages are being added to the Internet at a rather impressive rate. Had I had access to the wealth of material now available through search engines when I started this project, I probably would not have started it.

Version 1001 of website

(Dec 2009)

Since September 2009 I added several hundred entries to the fossil site database, However, I decided that 15000 entries is enough for now. As I planned in September, I tackled the Fossils Found field in the database and thanks to the Sepkowski and Paleobiology data bases and the Global Names Index, I was able to make pretty good progress in cleaning the field up. There are still a large number of entries to be checked for spelling and content. After that, a couple of hundred names that might be might be valid but might also be misspellings or otherwise invalid have to be individually researched. Finally, I need to check all 15000 entries for consistency of layout and punctuation. ... Maybe 9 months worth of work.

Once the fossils found field is sorted out, I will tackle the job of reviewing and combining the locations. That certainly will require several years.

Version 0910 of website

Here's a summary of the state of location data as of mid-September 2009:
14593 sites in list 3473 sites without position
11032 sites with latlong 0 sites with ddmmss format
754 sites with PLSS/DLS positions 0 sites with only PLSS/DLSS positions
0 unconvertable locations 0 short entries
4 UTM locations 97 Dubious locations
0 Probably reversed locations 85 Unknown locations
0 Truncated Lat/Long 0 Unresolved locations
0 Positive longitudes

Approximate accuracy of Longitude for various precision of degrees (Latitude will be 25-50% more accurate)
Number of fractional digits Accuracy (meters) Accuracy (feet)
1 11.112km 6.9047mi
2 1.111km 3646ft
3 111m 364.6ft
4 11.1m 36.5ft

  1. The accuracy of Longitude is roughly the value above multiplied times the cosine of Latitude.

  2. Some sources give positions to 5, 6 or more fractional digits. I suspect that the positions encountered in day to day map work without surveying are rarely accurate to four digits.

A code in the form of GA0 through GA5 is provided with my guess as to the actual accuracy of the positions
GA0 Very likely dead on. Go there and look around
GA1 Probably within a few minutes walk
GA2 Probably within 2 or 3 km
GA3 Probably within 10 km
GA4 Probably within 50-60 km
GA5 Very likely on the correct planet

Other than the position information, I've added an article on the Triassic Basins of the North American Atlantic margin

V0907 of website

(Jun2009) It'll be another two years before readers will see much change to the fossil sites other than (I hope) the addition of 450 new sites every quarter. There a number of major things yet to be done before I start consolidating and reorganizing the data:

V0807 of website

More Distant Future


Copyright 2006-2012 Donald Kenney (Donald.Kenney@GMail.com). Unless otherwise stated, permission is hereby granted to use any materials on these pages under the Creative Commons License V2.5.

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