Paleontology: an interactive map of fossils

What if we could locate the fossil discoveries made by researchers on the planet? This is precisely the purpose of this interactive map which allows you to sort according to the places of discovery while taking into account the chronology. Very precise and exhaustive, this map is welcome in the world of paleontology!

This is a titanic work supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States. The PaleobioDb interactive mapping is a participatory project nourished by the contribution of researchers in geology and paleontology, as well as by computer developers and other various members of the scientific community. More than 400 researchers from 130 institutions from 24 different countries contributed.

The map has become a real tool for scientists wishing to enrich their own work by listing and locating each fossil that has been the subject of a publication in the past. Very functional, the support makes it possible to filter the results at will and grants a different color according to the geological period to which each fossil belongs.

The map brings together an astronomical total of 1.3 million fossils! These come from 184,000 collections and 61,696 references in the scientific literature. In addition, almost anyone can contribute and bring their stone to the building by contacting the creators of the map. Indeed, the database published under a Creative Commons license as well as the web application which is part of the public domain are available free of charge in open source.

According to the creators, almost 280 scientific publications have already cited the map as a reliable source! Finally, it is worth mentioning the cartographic base of this interactive map, which differs from many others using Google Maps. This fossil map is based on OpenStreetMap which is itself a participatory world mapping project!

Sources: Sciences et Avenir – Discover magazine

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