The geographic spread of (Open) crystallography

Andrew Walkingshaw has made an impressive movie on The geographic spread of crystallography
I’d hoped to present this at OR08 in my plenary but the Mac movie technology defeated me/Jim/Vista. I think Jim Downing managed to show it later.
What the movie shows is every Open crystallographic publication over the last 7 years mashed up with the geographic location of the work. I’ll leave you to pick up the main message from the movie – it’s very clear.
By Open publication I mean:

  • any Open supplemental data (even attached to closed publications).
  • any data contributed to the Crystallography Open Database.
  • any material extracted from institutional or departmental repositories (the eCrystals federation shoul create some of this).

So it’s completely automatic to translate the aggregated crystallography into CML (JUMBO) and thence into RDF (Andrew). Andrew then extracts geolocations from the authors’ addresses and mashes them into KML for Google display.
Andrew’s done a great job, and it’s not detracting from it to say it was done in days, not months (as would have been required 2-3 years ago).
Could we do the same for chemistry rather than crystallography? Yes – as the authors’ addresses are on the abstracts. And our robots can download and mine the abstracts can’t they?
Or can they? I am now less clear what I can legally do than ever. Thank you, publishers.

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One Response to The geographic spread of (Open) crystallography

  1. Kudos to Andrew on his movie – Jim Downing showed it to me… it was interesting to see China start to light up.

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