AEG: Bentley on geo-visualization

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, September 20, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Amphora Restaurant in Vienna, VA.

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, September 17, via online payment (

Presenter:         Callan Bentley, Assistant Professor of Geology, Northern Virginia Community College

Title:  Visualization in Geology

Lore has it that a picture is worth a thousand words. But whether this is the correct “exchange rate” depends on the quality of the picture. What makes for an effective geological visualization? Where do poor geo-visualizations go astray? Where has geo-visualization come from, and where is it going? Callan Bentley has been a prominent public-facing geo-visualizer for more than a decade. His posts on the geoblog “Mountain Beltway” are heavily imagery-dependent, and here he shares some lessons learned. Derived from Bentley’s presidential address to the Geological Society of Washington, this talk will cover:

1)  Historical milestones over the past 500 years in making pictures of geological content

2)  Best practices in making graphics

3)  Best practices in geological photography

4)  Advances in the digital age, with an emphasis on Bentley’s work in GigaPans, 3D models from photogrammetry, and virtual field experiences

Callan Bentley is an assistant professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus. His academic background includes a BS in geology at the College of William & Mary (1996), an MS in geology from the University of Maryland, College Park (2004), and an MS in Science Education from Montana State University (2009). Since starting at NOVA in 2006, Callan has given almost a 100 public talks and field trips at venues across the Metro region and another 100 talks or posters at professional meetings around the country and the world. In additional to publishing in the professional scientific literature, Callan is a Contributing Editor for EARTH magazine, contributing book reviews, travel stories, and cartoons. He has served as newsletter editor for the two-year-college division (Geo2YC) of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (3 years) and the eastern section of NAGT (2 years and counting), and is now the President of the Geo2YC Division of NAGT. Callan is the Past President of the Geological Society of Washington, and has previously served GSW as Councilor, Meeting Secretary, Executive Secretary, and Vice President. In addition to writing his popular geology blog Mountain Beltway, Callan was a contributor to five geology and Earth science textbooks published by Pearson and is under contract to write another as lead author. He has become known as an innovator in digital geology, in particular for the use of GigaPan images of outcrops and samples, a technique that allows “virtual field experiences” for distance learners and students with disabilities.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s