The new GPlates rotation file format

The new GPlates rotation file format (*.grot) will be a major step to take the dreaded rotation files into the 21st century. The format description is part of a paper submitted by Micheal Chin (Xiao Qin et al.) and can be accessed here. The linked page also contains a syntax highlighting bundle for TextMate (this is still under development).

GROT Rotation file format standard

The document describes the new GROT rotation file format (for GPlates Rotation file, pronounced g-rot) and allows for a much richer set of metadata attributes to be incorporated in the file standard. The proposed standard is based on ideas sourced from the OGR GMT format, Python, MultiMarkdown and is self-consistent, plain text based and human-readable. Further, it will allow GPlates to source advanced information such as DOI’s, individual bibliographic information and Dublin Core Document Metadata from the files.

The new *.grot file format uses a specific @Attribute"Value" and comment syntax which allows for:

  • Simple commenting/uncommenting of rotation poles using # (previously: 999)
  • the inclusion of Hellinger/Chang rotation statistics
  • the inclusion of bibliographic and reference data for the whole rotation file and individual rotations
  • information on Geological Time Scales and converting between them
  • Self-consistent tagging of rotation data
  • New “Moving plate rotation sequences” and associated metadata
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