Map_plot and bgg_plot: Software for integration of geoscience datasets

Philippe Gaillot*, Jane T. Punongbayan, Brice Rea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 1985, the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) has been supporting multidisciplinary research in exploring the structure and history of Earth beneath the oceans. After more than 200 Legs, complementary datasets covering different geological environments, periods and space scales have been obtained and distributed world-wide using the ODP-Janus and Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory-Borehole Research Group (LDEO-BRG) database servers. In Earth Sciences, more than in any other science, the ensemble of these data is characterized by heterogeneous formats and graphical representation modes. In order to fully and quickly assess this information, a set of Unix/Linux and Generic Mapping Tool-based C programs has been designed to convert and integrate datasets acquired during the present ODP and the future Integrated ODP (IODP) Legs. Using ODP Leg 199 datasets, we show examples of the capabilities of the proposed programs. The program mapℏot is used to easily display datasets onto 2-D maps. The program bggℏot (borehole geology and geophysics plot) displays data with respect to depth and/or time. The latter program includes depth shifting, filtering and plotting of core summary information, continuous and discrete-sample core measurements (e.g. physical properties, geochemistry, etc.), in situ continuous logs, magneto- and bio-stratigraphies, specific sedimentological analyses (lithology, grain size, texture, porosity, etc.), as well as core and borehole wall images. Outputs from both programs are initially produced in PostScript format that can be easily converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) or standard image formats (GIF, JPEG, etc.) using widely distributed conversion programs. Based on command line operations and customization of parameter files, these programs can be included in other shell- or database-scripts, automating plotting procedures of data requests. As an open source software, these programs can be customized and interfaced to fulfill any specific plotting need of geoscientists using ODP-like datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalComputers & Geosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Automatic plotting routines
  • C Language
  • Generic Mapping Tools
  • Ocean Drilling Program
  • Unix/Linux


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