GPlates 1.4.0

Desktop software for the interactive visualization of plate-tectonics
GPlates - This is how you can use the program.
  6 Screenshots
GPlates offers a novel combination of interactive plate-tectonic reconstructions, geographic information system (GIS) functionality and raster data visualisation. GPlates enables both the visualisation and the manipulation of plate-tectonic reconstructions and associated data through geological time.

GPlates runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

The goals of GPlates are:
· to handle and visualise data in a variety of geometries and formats, including raster data
· to link plate kinematics to geodynamic models
· to serve as an interactive client in a grid-computing network
· to facilitate the production of high-quality paleo-geographic maps.

Main features:

  • loading and saving data:
  • loading geological feature data from the following formats:
  • GPML / compressed GPML
  • Plates4 line-format
  • ESRI Shapefile (including the ability to map shape attributes in a Shapefile to feature properties in GPlates on a user-specified, per-Shapefile basis)
  • loading reconstruction poles (finite rotations which enable geological features to be reconstructed through geological time) from the following formats:
  • GPML / compressed GPML
  • Plates4 rotation-format
  • loading global raster images in JPEG format, including time-sequences of raster images, to enable visualisation of “gridded” geophysical data such as mantle density anomalies and mantle-convection-driven dynamic surface topography
  • saving geological feature data in the following formats:
  • GPML / compressed GPML
  • Plates4 line-format
  • saving reconstruction poles in the following formats:
  • GPML / compressed GPML
  • Plates4 rotation-format
  • viewing data in a graphical display:
  • displaying a 3-D orthographic projection of geological, geographic and tectonic features, and raster images, on the globe
  • reconstructing features to a desired geological time-instant, or animating over a period of geological time
  • moving and re-orienting the camera (the viewpoint of the user), by “dragging” the mouse on the globe, using the keyboard arrow keys, or specifying the desired viewpoint in a dialog box
  • zooming the camera, using the scroll-wheel of the mouse, the click-to-zoom tool, the slider on the right-hand-side of the reconstruction view, or the zoom buttons in the toolbar
  • choice of different colouring schemes for features
  • exporting a 2-D geometry snapshot of the current orthogonal-projected contents of the reconstruction view in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format, for later viewing in a web-browser or vector-graphics editor such as Adobe Illustrator
  • interacting with features graphically:
  • querying the properties (attributes) of features, and editing the properties of features, by clicking upon their displayed geometries
  • digitisation of geometries for the creation of new features
  • tabular display of reconstruction poles (finite rotations):
  • listing tables of reconstruction poles for the current reconstruction time:
  • relative and equivalent rotations for each plate
  • a tree-like representation of the rotation hierarchy
  • the circuit between any plate and the stationary reference frame
  • exporting tables of reconstruction poles in CSV (comma-separated value) format, for later viewing in a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel.
  • modifying reconstructions graphically:
  • manipulation of reconstruction poles by dragging the mouse cursor to move plates

last updated on:
April 22nd, 2014, 20:26 GMT
file size:
118.7 MB
license type:
developed by:
GPlates Team
operating system(s):
Mac OS X 10.5 or later
binary format:
Intel only
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6 Screenshots
GPlatesGPlates - Some reconstruction actions are available here.GPlates - Layer changes can be made in this panel.GPlatesGPlates
What's New in This Release:
  • Export numerical and colour reconstructed rasters:
  • Exports each visible raster layer to a separate raster file.
  • User specified latitude/longitude export region and pixel resolution.
  • Numerical export writes floating-point data:
read full changelog

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