News of the week

The news is back! A few stories have caught our beady geoscientific eyes over the last couple of weeks... If you see anything you think we missed, drop us a line!

Spotfire is free*

*kind of. This is huge. One of the limits on adoption of the amazing Spotfire — the best tools we've ever used for data exploration, and a must-have tool for reservoir engineers — has been cost. But TIBCO is now offering Silver Spotfire, cloud-friendly versions for very reasonable dollars, starting at free! So if you have never tried it, now's your chance. It's very easy: install it, Ctrl-C a data table from MS Excel, and Ctrl-V into Spotfire, and you're away.

World's cheapest Lidar

Most geoscientists are happier holding a pencil than a mouse, so the news of gadgets like tablets coming to subsurface interpretation is always welcome. Though 3D interaction tools like gloves and wands, when they appeared about a decade ago, turned out to be utterly useless, perhaps Microsoft's Kinect can kill the mouse? For example, how about using a sandpit as an input device, like SandyStation?

If you're not sure about that, try this: a glaciologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz used a Kinect as a makeshift Lidar. Though it can only 'see' up to about 5 m, it's extremely fast, accurate, and cheap.

Six years of geo-floss

Geoscientific, free, libre, open source software, or geo-FLOSS, is, like, a 'thing'. The movement continues to grow and blossom at events like the awesome workshop we reported on in June, and the recently announced workshop at the 2012 EAGE Conference and Exhibition next June in Copenhagen. If you work on, use, care about, or are just curious about open source software in exploration geoscience, then we hope to see you there.

This regular news feature is for information only. We aren't connected with any of these organizations, and don't necessarily endorse their products or services. Image of Spotfire considered fair use.