Pavement Geology Go! 10 July 2018 – Posted in: MWM Client News

The London Pavement Geology website, founded and developed by Geologists Dave Wallis and Ruth Siddall, is now available on a free App for both Android and Apple platforms.

Based on a lifelong desire to create publicly accessible data on the wealth of high quality rock samples found in and around London, the website, and now the Apps, enable students, amateurs and professionals alike to search for and add to this increasingly valuable resource.

The rock and fossil sites are mapped in a searchable database, and most of the sites are visible to the public from the pavement, enabling users to plan outings or just look at what’s available in their current location.

The Apps were made possible through the generosity of three major awards earlier this year from the PESGB’s SCID fund, the Geologists’ Association’s Curry Fund, the British Geological Society and Geoscience Wales plus a number of minor and anonymous donations.  The funding required to develop and field test the apps was acquired in the 1st quarter of 2016 and the Apps have been in development until now.  Following rigorous field-testing they were both submitted and accepted by both Apple and Google Play, and are available for free download now.

Dave Wallis, a geologist with 45 years’ experience in the oil industry, first dreamed of creating a database of rocks when he graduated in the 1960’s, and it is only since returning to the UK in 2003 as a part-time consultant that he was able to bring the projec to fruition.

“I remember seeing an interesting rock sample on the steps of the university, and wondering whether anyone had ever thought of cataloguing such samples” he said. “Back then I was thinking of a paperback book – now of course with maps and internet connection freely available, we have been able to use the most up to date technology to make the database available to everyone”.

Users are invited to submit new locations where rocks are discovered, through the App or the website at www.londonpavementgeology.co.uk.  Photos of unidentifiable samples are welcome, and Dave and Ruth will try to identify and add them to the catalogue.

To download the App Search for “London Pavement Geology” on either the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android devices, or alternatively use the QR codes shown here. There is also a link from the home page of the website.

The App works on both smart phones and tablets and is free to download.

Notes for Editors:

Dave’s story – Ever since my geology degree in the ‘60s I had contemplated a publicly accessible set of data about the rocks types and fossils visible to the public, in and around London to help students.  It started as a vision of a paperback, then migrated to the idea of a CD and was finally realized as the website. My +45-year career in the oil industry and my family kept me very busy until I returned to the UK in 2003 and did part time consulting. This was the first time I could consider starting the project in earnest. I then discovered that the Geologists Association had supported Dr. Eric Robinson of UCL, who published two books entitled London: Illustrated Geological Walks, now out of print. I had always wanted to have the website accessible by mobile devices to allow for the most access possible. In the Spring of 2014 I was able to meet with Ruth for the first time to explain my project’s concepts and found a fellow enthusiast for London building & pavement geology!  I discovered the vast amount and depth of her work which she has VERY kindly licensed to me to use on my website. Ruth’s support has really enabled this project to become a reality for me, Thank You Ruth.

Ruth’s story – For most of my adult life I have been a lecturer in geology at UCL, teaching petrology, structural geology and tectonics. However most of my research has been looking at geological materials used by people, as building materials, ceramics and pigments. I have had the privilege to work with first Dr. Eric Robinson at UCL, a pioneer and great promoter of the built environment as a geological field area, using the streets of London, and many other British cities as a teaching and learning resource. Although I have consulted and researched the identification marbles and other decorative stones in various buildings in UK and abroad, I have not been able to find a home for my growing archive of the stone used to build London. I decided to start updating Dr. Eric Robinson’s urban geological guides and walks (and adding new ones), but this did not accommodate all my data. Meeting Dave Wallis, with his idea for a location map showcasing London’s stones seemed the perfect solution.

Our hope is that this will be a useful resource for both professional and amateur geologists, as well as a growing archive for stone conservators, architects and architectural historians.