Sources of geoscience information on the web

There are a huge number of websites containing valuable geoscience information but in this section we intend to focus on information particularly relevant to developing countries and we will greatly expand the section over the coming months.

For geological information about a specific country, most countries have a national geological survey (variously called a Geological Survey, Department/Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources/Mining etc) and many of these now have their own websites. Links to these latter sites may be contained within the websites of various regional geological organisations. For example the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) is an intergovernmental organisation with Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (South), Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam as member countries. The CCOP website (www.ccop.or.th/) not only contains information on its regional programmes but also provides links to the individual websites of the national geological survey organisations of all its member countries. Simarly the Association of European Geological Surveys website (www.eurogeosurveys.org) has links to all its twenty-seven member country national geological survey organisations. These are easily accessed by pointing to ‘About Eurogeosurveys’ on the Eurogeosurveys home page and clicking on ‘members’ in the subsidiary list that appears, From the list of members and their addresses, individual websites can be accessed directly.

In the future we will greatly expand this section to give guidance on links to national geological survey organisations worldwide.

In addition there are many websites giving details of geoscientific research programmes specifically designed to assist developing countries. A good example of such a programme is the UK DFID KaR Geoscience Programme (more fully the ‘Department for International Development Geoscience Knowledge and Research Programme’), a programme which aims to have outcomes that have direct or indirect impacts on the elimination of poverty. Full accounts of almost fifty completed projects covering five themes ranging from environmentally sensitive mineral resource development through geotechnical hazard avoidance strategies and improved understanding of waste, toxic effects of minerals and environmental health in geological resource development to systems for maintaining and improving geoscience information services are given on the programme's website.

The website is hosted by the British Geological Survey (BGS) and can easily be reached by logging on to the BGS website (www.bgs.ac.uk) and on the homepage clicking on the DFID KAR site listed under the sites hosted by BGS. Full details of the programme are given, all projects are listed and summaries and many fuller reports from the projects are given many of which are available as free downloads. Similar programmes are carried out by many national geological survey organisations in Europe and elsewhere and details given in their respective websites. We expect to indicate links to many of these programmes in the future.

The Geological Society of London (www.geolsoc.org.uk) also has a very informative website with a good education section.