Software & Apps

The following tables provide an overview of geoscientific software and licensing options. This is by no means a complete list, and based on data available as of November 2019.

Desktop Software

Software name Classification Licensing Comments Developed by URL Reference
MetaShape (previously PhotoScan) Photogrammetry ca 4000 NOK/academic license user-friendly photogrammetry processing package Agisoft
MicMac Photogrammetry open source open source photogrammetric software
Pix4D Photogrammetry photogrammetry software
Lime Characterisation Low cost academic fee Virtual outcrop interpretation, new functionality on data integration/co-rendering VOG Group, NORCE Buckley et al. (2019)
VRGS Characterisation Low cost academic fee Virtual outcrop interpretation package University of Manchester Hodgetts et al. (2007)
Move Characterisation free academic Structural geology and geomapping tool, seamless integration with FieldMove and Petrel, visualizes .obj files Midland Valley
PlaneDetect Characterisation academic license agreement Automatic detection of fracture planes on meshed surfaces Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
CloudCompare Characterisation open source open source point cloud visualisation and analysis package
MeshLab Characterisation open source conversion of various file formats
Safari Database Visualisation mostly for subscribers only Global catalogue of virtual outcrop models as reservoir analogues. Public part open. Naumann et al. (2018)
Erock Visualisation open access Catalogue of global virtual outcrop models, sorted by University of Aberdeen Cawood and Bond (2019)
SketchFab Visualisation online display of 3D models
SvalSim Data integration free academic Heavily used in Svalex expeditions, run for multi-disciplinary student teams in Svalbard until 2013. Statoil Saether et al. (2004)
Google Earth Data integration free Easy to use, poor "base map" coverage in many Arctic areas Google
Google Earth on web Data integration free academic Browser version of Google Earth Google,0,-24018.82718741a,36750128.22569847d,35y,0h,0t,0r/data=CgAoAQ
Google Earth Engine Data integration by sign up includes a wealth of geospatial data for Earth science Google
ArcGIS (Pro) Data integration license fee applies powerful GIS software ESRI
Drone2Map Data integration license fee applies ArcGIS plug-in for detailed virtual outcrop acquisition using drones ESRI
qGIS Data integration open source powerful GIS software
MOSIS 3D/VR by agreement Immersive Virtual Outcrop Visualization and Interpretation Unisinos, Brasil
Blueback Toolbox 3D/VR free academic Petrel plug-in for various tasks, including map and profile digitization Cegal
3D Publisher 3D/VR license fee applies Petrel plug-in for generating 3D pdfs from Petrel 3D window (e.g., seismic, wells, surfaces, faults etc.) Mirage
PointCloudViz 3D/VR license fee applies Petrel plug-in for visualising textured point clouds in Petrel Mirage
VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate 3D/VR ca 50eur per license Generate VR videos from normal videos VideoSolo
Generated by wpDataTables

Mobile Software

Software name Classification Licensing Developed by Comments URL Reference
FieldMove Acquisition ca 30usd Midland Valley Digital fieldbook for iPad, including clinometer
FieldMoveClino Acquisition free-5usd Midland Valley iPhone tool for digital structural measurements
iSeismometer Acquisition free ObjectGraph Interactive seismometer sensitive to motion. Data can be recorded and shared. Last updated 2011
Theodolite Acquisition commercial Hunter Research Advanced surveying, including dip, elevation, GPS position and calculations of height etc.
Tracker Acquisition free Simple GPS tracker that can generate a .gpx track and share it by email
iSetSquare Acquisition commercial plaincode geometry triangle tool to measure angles and distances. Also included in Sensor Utility bundles.
MagnetMeter Acquisition measures magnetic field and acceleration
GeoID Acquisition Digital clinometer with plotting function
GPX Tracker Acquisition more advanced GPS tracker that generates GPX files for sharing
Clinometer Acquisition Clinometer app
Stereonet Acquisition free Richard Allmendiger digital compass/clinometer. Allows manual data collection.
FaultKin Mobile Acquisition free Richard Allmendiger Fault kinematics
StratMobile Acquisition Allows acquisition of stratigraphic log
Geoviewer Reference free (55nok for pro) Lizardtech Visualisation of geospatial data, useful for example for geological maps on Svalbard
NorgesGeologi Reference free Kjetil Indrevær digital geological maps of mainland Norway
MohsScale Reference free/paid Canada Inc Digital version of Mohs' hardness scale - including database of minerals
iStrat Reference free Noreco Digital version of the NORLEX stratigraphic chart of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (inc. Svalbard)
Documents 6 Reference free Readdle Inc Document managing system. Can also include videos saved directly from YouTube etc. (tutorials) and pdfs like reading lists, maps etc.
SwampForest/CoveForest VR Trip free Basic "virtual field trips"
GEOroutes VR Trip free Ground-based "field trip" app similar to Geocaching. Follows global "Geoparks", only few localities at present.
Google Expeditions VR Trip Google App to allow whole class to conduct a virtual expedition together to select sites.
BP Stats Review Reference free BP Digital version of BP's annual world energy review
i-InfoTerre/InfoGeol Reference free BGRM Integrated tools for visualizing various geological data (in France)
geoTools Reference Alta Resolucao App providing magnetic and gravity properties from global data - and basic Geo-UTM conversion
GeoTimeScale Reference TasaGraphics Simple geological time scale down to ages, with some key events marked
Mineral ID Reference aid to determine minerals
Glossary Reference Geological terms glossary
Epicenter Educational free Blue Rocket Basic map showing recent large earthquakes globally, nice globe as background
EarthObserver Educational free Lamont Doherty Display and co-rendering of numerous global (and Arctic) datasets (e.g. geological maps etc.). Needs update.
Oil Facts Educational free NPD access to most of the NPD FactPages and FactMaps
Google Earth Educational mobile version of the well-known Google Earth application.
3DPDFReader Misc. free TechSoft 3D visualisation of 3D models - uses 3d PDF format that needs to be optimized using Adobe Pro.
123DCatch etc Misc. discontinued in 2017 Various tools for visualization and generation of 3D models on iPhone/iPad
Camera! Misc. commercial More advanced camera app than standard one
Dictaphone Misc. free/paid Recording app - sharing requires the commercial version
Sensor Kinetics Pro Misc. 11NOK Dov Feinstein App to read and record smartphone sensors in real-time.
ArcGIS Misc. ESRI's main ArcGIS app - including a global base map
Trnio Misc. free Jan-Michael Tressler App to directly take or upload photo's, make a 3D model and share to Sketchfab.
GISPro Misc. Licensing Garafa GIS based field app, able add features and to export to example Arcmap and qGIS.
Adobe Acrobat Reader Misc. free Adobe Classic Adobe Reader but including a useful "on-the-fly" scanning to pdf function useful for digitizing reports etc.
DJI Go Droning free DJI controlling app for DJI's drones
Litchi Droning commercial VC technology extra features for controlling drones - including object tracking
DroneDeploy Droning free Plan drone missions for automatic photo making of specific area.
Skycatch Droning free Plan drone missions for automatic photo making of specific area.
Airdata UAV Droning Drone measuring app
Pix 4D capture Droning Drone control app to acquire data for 3D processing in Pix 4D.
Generated by wpDataTables


Buckley, S.J., Ringdal, K., Naumann, N., Dolva, B., Kurz, T.H., Howell, J.A., and Dewez, T.J., 2019, LIME: Software for 3-D visualization, interpretation, and communication of virtual geoscience models: Geosphere, v. 15, p. 222–235.
Cawood, A.J., and Bond, C.E., 2019, eRock: An Open-Access Repository of Virtual Outcrops for Geoscience Education: GSA Today,.
Hodgetts, D., Gawthorpe, R.L., Wilson, P., and Rarity, F., 2007, Integrating Digital and Traditional Field Techniques Using Virtual Reality Geological Studio (VRGS),
Naumann, N., Howell, J.A., Buckley, S.J., Ringdal, K., Benjamin, D., and Maxwell, G., 2019, New ways of sharing outcrop data: the SAFARI database and 3D web viewer, in 3rd Virtual Geoscience Conference, Kingston, Canada.
Saether, B.M., Johansen, S.E., Hesthammer, J., Solbakken, O., and Synnestvedt, K.E., 2004, Using geosimulators to enhance field-based geological training: first break, v. 22.