Geomorphology and the World Wide Web
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The Internet and the World Wide Web have brought many dimensions of new technology to education and research in geomorphology. As with other disciplines on the Web, Web-based geomorphology has become an eclectic mix of whatever material an individual deems worthy of presentation, and in many cases is without quality control. Nevertheless, new electronic media can facilitate education and research in geomorphology. For example, virtual field trips can be developed and accessed to reinforce concepts in class. Techniques for evaluating Internet references helps students to write traditional term papers, but professional presentations can also involve student papers that are published on the Web. Faculty can also address plagiarism issues by using search engines. Because of the lack of peer review of much of the content on the Web, care must be exercised in using it for reference searches. Today, however, refereed journals are going online and can be accessed through subscription or payment per article viewed. Library reference desks regularly use the Web for searches of refereed articles. Research on the Web ranges from communication between investigators, data acquisition, scientific visualization, or comprehensive searches of refereed sources, to interactive analyses of remote data sets. The Nanga Parbat and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) Projects are two examples of geomorphologic research that are achieving full potential through use of the Web. Teaching and research in geomorphology are undergoing a beneficial, but sometimes problematic, transition with the new technology. The learning curve is steep for some users but the view from the top is bright. Geomorphology can only prosper from the benefits offered by computer technologies. 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.