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A Periodic Table of the Isotopes Using Grapher Mapping Software

Atomic weights were previously thought to be constant values with a level of uncertainty; however, the atomic weights for hydrogen, lithium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, chlorine, and thallium are now expressed as intervals to more closely reflect the variations these chemical elements have shown.

While this is an exciting discovery, one can only image the magnitude of replacing the now outdated periodic tables that have decorated the inside covers of chemistry books and classroom walls throughout the world. To address this issue, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), with the assistance of the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE), created the project, Development of an isotopic periodic table for the educational community. The goal of the project was to create an interactive periodic table to display the new isotopic information. All levels of education could then use the new table and students will have immediate access to the latest information.

Golden Software’s own Grapher mapping and graphing software played a role in the development of the IUPAC Periodic Table of the Isotopes. The IUPAC task group utilized Grapher to create each element’s pie diagram.118 pie charts were created in Grapher and then labeled with the appropriate isotopic information, resized and exported as images which were then displayed within the IUPAC Periodic Table of the Isotopes.The new periodic table is available in both an online and paper version.

Grapher Periodic Table of the Isotopes
Over 100 pie charts,as displayed above, were created in Grapher.

Additionally, the IUPAC task group is further enhancing the periodic table. The interactive version will allow a user to select an element and additional information will be provided such as the half-life chart below, one of 118 charts automatically generated with Grapher’s automation feature, Scripter.

Grapher Half-Life Chart - Scripter

For additional information on this exciting project, visit:
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights
USGS

To learn more about Grapher’s mapping software automation features, check out the Golden Software newsletter, Grapher: Creating a Script using the Script Recorder.

 

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22 September 2015
Industry Happenings

Science is cool and awesome and always evolving. We at Golden Software all like to stay apprised in various ways of what is happening in this broad scientific community. Most scientists are explorers at heart and Golden Software employees definitely fall among this "explorer" group. In the last few weeks, I’ve been amazed by great maps, new finds, and beautiful photography. Here’s a sampling of what’s keeping my interest right now.

NASA maps our solar system with various rovers and spacecraft. Recently, the Dawn spacecraft flew by Ceres, the dwarf planet and largest object in the asteroid belt. One of the unusual observations displayed in the images that NASA received back from Dawn was a mysterious bright spot near the center of Ceres inside a crater. NASA recently released some maps it created of Ceres topography with shaded relief maps. Check out the videos on NASA’s website for the full animation.

Image displaying Ceres bright spotsExplore the bright spots on Ceres with NASA’s animation
combining shape files and shaded relief maps.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Closer to home, but still millions of years ago, a new species Homo naledi was discovered. Check out National Geographic’s video with information about the discovery. This early hominid could be one of the evolutionary “missing links” connecting modern humans with their ancient ancestors. All of the remains for this new discovery were found in a cave that had only a 10 inch opening! More research will provide more information about where Homo naledi fits into our own evolutionary background.

National Geographic sketch of Homo nalediWith so many bones in the cave, artists have a good idea of the
bone structure of Homo naledi. This is an artist reconstruction of
what Home naledi may look like.
Credit: John Gurche, National Geographic.

And, back in our own time, we are still plagued with questions about what is happening to the Earth now. How is climate change affecting our world? You can find numerous graphs and maps displaying data, but the ground view may be easier to understand. Regardless of where you stand on the politics behind the climate change debate, I’m sure you will be as amazed and inspired by the images at Arctic Arts Project as I was. If you are in or near Denver, come see Kerry Koepping’s work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa lab until March 2016.

Arctic Arts Project image of IcelandThis picture of Iceland looks more like a rainforest than an Arctic tundra.
Check out all of the other images at
Arctic Arts Project.
Credit: Kerry Koepping, The Arctic Arts Project, LLC.

So, what is piquing your interest? What images, maps, or graphs are making you stop and be in awe of our wonderful scientific community? Let us know! I’m excited to see your news!

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12 February 2016
Real Life Applications

Golden Software customers possess a broad assortment of backgrounds from earth science and engineering to education and politics. This vast background results in a variety of uses for Golden Software’s products. Each customer uses the software in a unique way, and we are pleased to share these stories. This newsletter features Geoff Bogie, of Alice Springs Resources, NT, Australia, who used MapViewer to propose a new search site for missing Malaysian Flight MH370 after finding variables within a seabed area that formulate an anomaly zone.

Saturday March 8, 12:41AM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departs on schedule for a flight to Beijing. At 1:19 they make contact with air-traffic control. Everything seems normal. That is the last contact they will make. At 2:15 military radar loses track of them, having made a sharp turn to the west instead of following their designed trajectory north, and at 8:11 a final satellite communication puts the plane somewhere due west of Australia on what is now being called the ‘7th Arc’. Thousands upon thousands of square miles of ocean have been searched, but nothing has been found. Theories abound that someone took control of the plane 1 hour into the flight and that the plane was on autopilot when it crashed, but the only thing that is known for sure is that 239 passengers and crew vanished that day.

Satellite Position of Missing Flight MH370
Satellite communications with MH370 puts the plane along these arcs at the given times. The 7th arc,
determined by the satellite communications firm Inmarsat, marks the last ‘known’ location. Image
modified from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26503141.

Saturday March 8, Alice Springs, NT, Australia - That same morning, Geoff Bogie of Alice Springs in Central Australia woke, poured himself a cup of coffee, and turned on the news. “That a 270 ton plane had vanished into thin air was surely a mistake,” he remembers thinking. Geoff, felt he was in a unique position to help. As a mineral explorer and mining contractor, he has 30 years of experience in plotting target position maps down to 1 meter accuracy. “The urgency and personal input of helping to solve this mysterious puzzle got me motivated,” he recalls. “I plotted the MH370 target site in the same way as I would plot mineral targets across ground that I have not physically placed a foot upon.” He felt that in order to find this aircraft, he would need to do three things: 1) abandon the large search area and instead come up with a 1-meter accuracy point position, 2) remain unbiased by theories on how the aircraft had come to be in the Southern Ocean area, and 3) keep in mind the arcs and projected flight path that the Inmarsat satellite company engineers plotted and tested.

He decided to start by combing Google Earth … but where to start looking? As several countries joined the search, scouring the South China Sea for any sign of wreckage, Geoff’s thoughts put the missing plane closer to his home, some 2,000 kilometers W-SW of Perth, Australia. His feelings were later confirmed when the search shifted to Inmarsat’s 7th Arc bandwidth, though investigators only covered a few kilometers east and west of the centerline on the southern section of the arc. From researching oceanic currents, Geoff felt that the wreckage was farther off the arc centerline.

In defining a zone, and subsequent plot point, he ended up concentrating on the Tasman Outflow (blue arrows in the figure below), which is a westbound bottom-ocean current ‘supergyre’ that sweeps past Tasmania and links the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Southern Ocean basins. As the Tasman Outflow extends westerly across the Southern Ocean, a new heading to the south, below Madagascar is taken, out from South Africa’s east coast. Tracking south, the current meets with eastbound waters rounding the Cape of Good Hope, combining as Sub-Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Geoff sat down in front of his go-to program, MapViewer, and began mapping out these ocean currents on a base map from Google Earth. At that point, he noticed a NE-SW trending, 100 kilometer long trough with prominent ridge, where a succession of seafloor hills taper down by some 280 meters elevation across a 90 kilometer length zone heading E-SE. Somewhere near -35.09o S, 90.80o E, the west flowing Tasman Outflow current changes heading to W-NW by virtue of the landform acting as a steering device. This unique location, 61 nautical miles northwest of the 7th arc bandwidth centerline, is where Geoff proposes the MH370 resting place. Objects finding their way to a narrow horizon interval below the bottom-ocean current, within this zone, thereafter remain obscured at 3,900 meters below on the seabed floor.

MapViewer Proposed Target Area - Missing MH370 Plane
Taking into account geology and topography of the ocean floor, along with hydrography, Geoff Bogie
proposes the final resting place of Malaysian flight MH370 within an area which has gone unsearched.
This map of that final resting place was created when Geoff imported a Google Earth image into
MapViewer and overlaid a graticule to give the image a georeferenced location that he then used to
plot the 7th arc and his proposed target location.

On May 8, Geoff submitted a first draft of his results paper, titled Review of missing Malaysian Flight MH370, to the Joint Agency Co-Ordination Centre (JACC) – the agency created to be the Australian point-of-contact for the public and all those affected by missing flight MH-370. On July 9 he submitted a revised draft. Other than a confirmation email, to his knowledge nothing has directly been done with his findings, but recently airline pilots and professionals familiar with the design of these passenger aircrafts have made public comments offering support for a Southern Ocean resting place. They also support an ‘intact and gradual’ sinking theory (which Geoff postulated early on) which would explain why no wreckage has been found. Though it would appear that few contributors ventured as far as Geoff has in proposing a niche ocean anomaly zone whereby ‘thermohaline circulation’ or a ‘global current conveyor belt’ has an influence as to what remains undetected on the seafloor of this unique extraordinary zone, Geoff remains confident in his map.

To date the missing Malaysia flight MH370 plane has not been found, but Geoff remains optimistic that his map and the effort that he and countless others expounded will help bring closure to the families of those lost that day.

For more information, see:
Ocean ‘supergyre’ link to climate regulator
Australia discovers ocean current “missing link”

Download the PDF version of this article.

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23 February 2016
Real Life Applications

We here at Golden Software are geo-nerds (or geo-geeks, if you prefer). We really are passionate about maps and map-making, both on the job and in our free time. I’m not saying I’m a workaholic, but it’s hard to separate work from home when you love what you do! As such, I was very excited to show my kids the books listed in the 15 Picture Books That Support Children’s Spatial Skills Development article (in case you’re wondering, our favorites were Shrinking Mouse, Big Bug, and You Are (Not) Small).

I also often think of uses for our software in my personal life. One project I have ‘on the books’, so to speak, is mapping out our unfinished basement in Surfer, so we can design a finished product in order to procure a building permit. Another work-in-progress is a MapViewer pin map with locations and attributes for each of the playgrounds that we’ve visited locally. A project I have recently completed is designing a play area for my kids. We live in an HOA neighborhood, so everything outside belongs to the HOA, and we need to get approval to put or build anything out there. Since our patio is too small for a playground and we have some space that’s hidden from the road between our garage and our house, I thought I would get approval to build a sandbox there that we can put a slide in and perhaps add a swing set to later. Here is the result:

sandbox.png

When we presented this to the HOA board, a board member (one of our neighbors who also has kids) made us aware that our town might offer grants for a neighborhood playground, so I’ll begin the task of looking for a bigger playground set to purchase for our whole neighborhood to share. You can bet that when we go to the city to ask for grant money, I’ll have some pretty Surfer maps to back up my ideas. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment to let us know if you have a fun personal use for mapping/graphic software, and then check out these other blogs highlighting more fun personal uses of our software:

 

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