The mineral website is a hobby that I do when I am not
out doing consulting for petroleum geology. In answer to your questions
I'll explain how I used the programming tools to create the mineral website.
The actual mineral database is in Microsoft Access. This is where
I input the basic data. To produce the mineral website, I use MS access
queries, forms and/or reports for exporting the mineral data out of access
in a text format that is usable by SASor for importation into a MySQL table. I have different access
reports, forms, and queries for most of the tables in the mineral database.
The next step is done using the SAS language. For example, I use SAS to
create each of the individual mineral pages using their macro language to
format each page as an individual file (all 4,714+ of them). The SAS programming
takes care of generating the links, creating the load files for MySQL,
and creating the other pages. SAS creates the alphabetical pages, Strunz
classification pages, Dana classification pages, and the chemistry pages.
When all the pages are created, I use Expression Web ver 2 to chase down
broken links, provide web continuity, and supply the final formatting.
New Webmineral.com feature. Added an element weight percent search
form to allow custom searches for mineral compositions.
This allows one to search the quantitative chemical composition
tables that Webmineral uses to construct the detailed chemical
composition table on each species page. The search engine uses php and
MySQL sql code that provides the custom searches.
Given a chemical analysis for a particluar element, you enter that
analysis into the Composition Search form. Depending on
the tolerance selected, you will identify a list of possible minerals
for your examination. Two or more elemental analysis will allow the list
of possible minerals to be reduced to a managable level.
Element name is the chemical symbol for the
The % tolerance number fuzzes
the weight percent data up and down by the tolerance value. For example, if
you choose "Ca" as the element, 22.2% as the weight percent, and
8% as the % tolerance, all values
between 19.98% and 24.42% Calcium are selected.
One, two or three elements can be selected to
limit possible minerals in the your analyses. Please note: The same %
tolerance number is applied to each element.
Example sql code for custom searches
SELECT a.species_id as Mineral,
round(a.weight_percent,2) as percent1,
round(b.weight_percent,2) as percent2,
round(c.weight_percent,2) as percent3,
a.element as sym1,
b.element as sym2,
c.element as sym3
FROM Data_Weight_Percent as a,
Data_Weight_Percent as b,
Data_Weight_Percent as c
WHERE a.element = 'Na'
AND a.weight_percent between 2 and 5
AND b.element = 'K'
AND b.weight_percent between .5 and 3
AND c.element = 'Ca'
AND c.weight_percent between 1 and 5
AND a.species_id like b.species_id
AND a.species_id like c.species_id
ORDER by a.species_id
Mineral Element Composition Search - To Reset - Click Here
Due to high server load, the webmineral website has been moved to a new Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS) and no longer resides
on a shared hosting site. The virtual dedicated server (cloud server)
has many advantages over a physical server and none of the
disadvantages. My thanks to the fine folks at Webmineral's hosting site,
Portal Web hosting
who helped make the changeover as easy as possible.
Webmineral users should notice a faster response time while using the
site. I have been going over the site looking for problems and have
fixed a few. If there are any I missed, I would appreciate users letting
me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any problems because the site is so large and I can't
review every page.
Added a highly experimental feature to Webmineral, a Pivot™ interface using a subset
of mineral data and mineral images. This interface is definitely a beta
feature and is subject to change as we try different iterations of
viewing collections of data and images. The Pivot™ software is very
restrictive because it only runs on Microsoft Vista or Windows 7 operating systems
and uses specialized xml known as cxml files. To use Pivot™, the user has to download the software and install it on
a PC (English Language, Vista or Windows 7 operating system only). The
Webmineral Pivot™ files are located here
Users can download the software and install it using one the following
201F 2B39 7B1C 9CBD
D7A2 7F8F 095D 8DF7
4DD2 1F33 0CEB 1ADE
Sign up on getpivot.com for new installation keys if the
above keys have reached the 10 user limit. Eventually the keys will not be necessary.
Converted the alphabetical listing pages over to 100% php code. Now
the alphabetical listing is always updated with the current new data.
The old style short-cut icons still available with the addition of an icon for crystal
structure files that are viewable using the jPOWD structure applet.
Short-cut icons to other webmineral data
Valid Species (Bold) - All Minerals that are IMA
approved or were considered valid prior to 1959 are in bold
Pronunciation Icon - Sound file Courtesy Photo Atlas of Minerals.
Mineral Image Icon - Mineral image is present for this
mineral. Click on Icon to view the image.
Mineral Image Gallery Icon - Multiple Images are present
for this mineral. Click on Icon to view the image gallery.
jCrystal Form Icon - There is a Krystalshaper (jCrystal)
form for this mineral. Click on Icon to view the Crystal Form
NEW - jPOWD Structure File from the American Mineralogist
Crystal Structure Database is Present. Click on Icon to
view the Crystal Structure Applet derived from the .cif files
Calculated Radioactivity Hazard Icons
Radiation Detectable with very sensitive
instruments. API Gamma Ray Intensity < API 500 units.
Radiation very mild. API Gamma Ray Intensity > 501
API units and < 10,000 API units.
Radiation weak. API Gamma Ray Intensity > 10,001
API units and < 100,000 API units.
Radiation strong. API Gamma Ray Intensity >
100,001 API units and < 1,000,000 API units.
Radiation very strong. API Gamma Ray Intensity >
1,000,001 API units and < 10,000,000 API units.
Radiation DANGEROUS. API Gamma Ray Intensity > 10,000,001
Added 600 missing mineral images from various sources to the image photo
library. The mineral images
index page now has the capability to display individual copyright information in
thumbnail gallery view. A paging function has been added to avoid having excessively large pages load when viewing
images. These changes are listed as follows:
The new mineral image index page based entirely on php. This index
of images page is subdivided by alphabetical listing of mineral images to avoid having to scroll long page sections
of thousands of minerals. I felt this
was necessary after adding all the new images (to webmineral.com) and
discovered how much of an effort it was to locate a particular mineral
in the old index page.
The thumbnail galleries are now paged at 20 images per page for faster loading. These galleries of images
either on an alphabetical list, single mineral gallery list, or on the mineral specimen image owner
Here is an example of showing all the "O"
minerals in the image gallery.
By reusing existing code, one can also display all images that can
be found for an existing mineral where the mineral has more than one
image present. Here is an example for all the
gold images in
The image galleries can be selected by copyright holder of the images.
For example, here are
images that I have personally taken and have added to the image section.
The copyright holder list can be found on the
index page at the bottom.
The image counter for each image is now visible when the large image is selected
for viewing. This counter has been running for about a year. Here is an
example for quartz.
Updated the jPOWD mineral structure files with all current CIF data
from the American
Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database. The data reflect current
mineral nomenclature changes. There are now 11,220 mineral structure
files in Webmineral. Thanks to Bob Downs of the
RRUFF project for providing this
Note to IMA - No one goes back and changes
the mineral names
for this legacy data.
I feel that valid mineral names should not be
changed to reflect some IMA subcommittee's idea of mineral groupings or
to make their Excel files sort correctly. Discrediting a mineral name is
certainly a valid IMA activity. Renaming valid mineral names violates
scientific rules of precedence in the literature and the practice
should be abandoned.
Here is a 10 year summary of Webmineral.com's
monthly traffic for the home page from the start-up of the domain name on
7/15/2000. The older stats from the
site (1996 - 2000)
are not included. The yearly low points are the summer months of June,
July, and August.
Major update of the site with new minerals to 7/09. The mineral count
in webmineral.com is now up to 4,714 after updating all minerals
to June of 2009. Several minerals were renamed due to IMA decree. Alas,
fluorapatite is no more (renamed to apatite-CaF). I have added internal
redirection links for all old names so that
data/ Fluorapatite.shtml will automatically bring up the new mineral
There have been a number of modifications and additions to the
website which need mentioning. These are:
All Dana classification numbers have been modified by converting all
single digit elements that make up the Dana ID by prepending a "0" to them. For example, 188.8.131.52
is now 01.03.15.04. This makes sorting easier rather than using custom
sort routines as was needed for the old numbers.
The Stunz classification numbers have been updated to the latest Nickel-Strunz
(version 10) classification. These numbers are courtesy of James A. Ferraiolo. Jim's scholarship on mineral classification goes back to
1982 when he published A Systematic Classification of Nonsilicate
Minerals that updated the Dana (7th Edition) numbers.
Randy Ernst, Editor of the Canadian Micro Mineral Association (CMMA)
has provided webmineral with updated mineral fluorescence data. These
have been incorporated into the species pages and are a welcome addition
over the previous fluorescence data.
All cumulative corrections received from 2005 to 2009 via e-mails from users have been applied
in this update. Many of these were for chemical compositon. The
chemical compositions are easily derived from the empirical formula
or mineral formula. I spent some time during this update cycle
correcting chemical composition by using the formula charge balance
suspect entries in the access database that feeds webmineral.
Converted the site from FrontPage format to CSS. This required the conversion
of all FrontPage tags to their CSS counterparts. When Webmineral was first
created in 1997, the average browser resolution was S-VGA (600x800), access
was 98% phone modem, and the most common browsers were NCSA Mosaic and Netscape
2.0. These older browsers will no longer work in Webmineral because they
don't support tables. I will continue to use a minimal amount of html code
that can be viewed quickly and easily in most common browsers.
This site has been evolving from a simple html site to one that uses
server side scripting (php) and now relies on CSS.
The majority of the pages in this website use plain old html with SSI and
php. This way the site can be updated in sections. The replacement product
for MicroSoft's FrontPage is Expressions Web. The newest version of Expressions
Web is Expressions Web 2. They even added scripting support for the open
source php software in the product.
If you experience undesirable problems with the new layout, please let
me know (
). Sections of the site will be upgraded to the new format in phases so
the old website format may appear in some parts of webmineral.
Enhanced the Table of X-Ray spacing
to allow searching on D1, D2, D3, and chemical
formula in any order. The search is based on reported values from each mineral
where a diffraction file has been reported. Two theta values can be calculated
for different wavelengths based on commonly used X-Ray anode values. In
addition, the user can input any value for X-Ray wavelength and the 2 theta
angles are calculated for that wavelength.
1. Minmax tolerance is % so
that all D values with a +/- range in percent are returned. The default
is 10%. 2. The wild card character for formula searches is
"%" and is required, the search is case sensitive, and the order
is important. For example, %K%Na% will give different results than
%Na%K% depending on the order the element occurs in the formula.
3. You can use any combination of D1, D2, D3 and formula. 4. Try
increasing the tolerance. The larger the tolerance, the more records are
found. 5. Don't get too involved with complicated formula searches, one
or two elements work best. Don't forget the % wild card in the search
Upgraded OpenAds from version 2.4.3 to Openx 2.6.1. This
upgrade fixes security flaws in the
version and offers enhanced functionality in speed. This ad server
is configured to only support the paid advertisers
on webmineral.com. During the install process, I had to empty the
raw ad impression table in MySQL. This resulted in a 6 hour gap on 8/31/2008
in ad statistics for all the current advertisers.
Some of the technical specifications on statistics and reporting in Openx
CPA / CPL
Ad management: real-time/ hourly/ daily
Tracking and reporting across channels
Customization of reporting
Excel, HTML, CSV formats
News Section. Added paging and search functionality to the
news section on webmineral as the section was
starting to get too large for a simple listing. The news section contains
e-mails from webmineral's advertisers
outlining advanced sales, new acquisitions, and other news items. Included
with the advertiser information newsletters and e-mails are informational
e-mails from various geological and mineralogical professional organizations.
I have also, from time to time, added links to mineral
reports on the web.
The search capability allows the user to isolated the various news
item by key words in the e-mail title.
The news section of webmineral is not indexed with the technical
content of the other sections.
Upgraded OpenAds from
version 2.0.8 to version 2.4.3. This upgrade primarily increases the performance
of the OpenAds MySQL tables. The tables have been modified for optimal
speed. Additional capabilities have been added to the client pages wherein
access privileges can be granted to an advertiser to edit ad text.
This OpenAds software upgrade was intended to be added last October,
2007. Webmineral uses a development server for testing upgrades and major
code changes. The previous development server was based on Red Hat version
8.0 which has been running for the last 5 years. The server quit running
during the attempted upgrade and no amount of tinkering with the apache
server (v 1.33) could get it running again. While Red Hat makes a good distribution
of the LINUX kernel, their user support is lacking.
Without a development server to test the upgrades, I needed to configure
a new LINUX box. My research lead to the Ubuntu LINUX distribution as a
suitable replacement for the development server. To make a very long story
short, I installed Ubuntu on a spare PC and I have been slowly getting the
web server configured to match the production server that currently hosts
webmineral.com. Ubuntu's development community
very active and their implementation of the LINUX kernel is much better
than Red Hat's. I was even able to get the Samba server configured on Ubuntu,
a feat I could not do on Red Hat (I have over 4,000 hours of "face time"
on various computers).
Best of all, both OpenAds and Ubuntu are free.
Paper crystal models. Steffen Weber has created a replacement
version of JCrystal called
that can produce paper models of the
example crystals on the crystallography section
of Webmineral. Paper models for the 32 crystal classes have been reproduced
in .pdf format. These models can be printed on heavy card stock to construct
a physical model. Please note: the paper model forms may be simplified from
the JCrystal forms to avoid overly-complicated cut-outs.
Students may want to try and construct a physical model of the crystal
forms for illustration purposes. These models will help teach symmetry operations
needed to identify crystal forms. The student is encouraged to mark on the
paper models noting mirror planes and rotational axes. The hemimorphic forms
(in bold type below) can be identified by the [0 0 -1] face in the
appropriate crystal class.
In March, webmineral added crystal structure diagrams using jmol. All
attempts to install the structure diagrams on the species pages failed because
jmolApplet.jar is large (600 kb) which resulted in unacceptable download
times on webmineral's development server.
I looked for alternatives on the web to display crystal structure diagrams.
This is the first major website to use the jpowdjpx.jar applet which comes
with jPOWD from Materials Data, Inc. The program generates x-ray
pattern and structure simulation by reading crystallographic information
files (.cif) and generates a simulated x-ray diffraction pattern from the
atomic positions. The output of binary crystal files (*.jpx) from the jPOWD
program and the jpowdjpx applet allows web display of crystal structures.
Dr. Steffen Weber has created a new version of JCrystal
applet using the SUN-Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The new applet
allows rendering transparent faces which is not possible with the
MicroSoft JVM - note, the MS-JVM is no longer available from MicroSoft
and only resides on older versions of MicroSoft's operating systems
(Windows 2000 and earlier). If you have Java installed\enabled and
you cannot view the new applet in the window to the left then go
and install SUN's JVM (JRE) software on your computer.
For normal viewing, I have left the old JCrystal Microsoft Java code (without
polygon transparency) on the species pages. The new SUN-only applet only
runs on the larger "pop-up" versions of JCrystal applet.
New addition to webmineral.com. See Webmineral
News and view items of interest from the mineral world. The topical
items may include news of upcoming auctions and mineral specimen sales from
webmineral's advertisers, mineral show reports from other sources on the
This capability just recently came available with the publication of
the open-source program, Jmol, written in java and the companion java
applet for web use. This program replaces Chime and does not require that
the user install a "helper" plugin. The ability to visualize and manipulate
crystal structures completes the capabilities of webmineral as a mineral
database. Users can also download and run Jmol as a stand-alone application.
The generation of these mineral structure required the following:
Mineral Structures - Thanks to the tireless effort
of Dr Robert Downs and his associates at the University of Arizona for
their crystal structure
database. This database contains every structure ever published
in the American Mineralogist, The Canadian Mineralogist, European Journal
of Mineralogy and Physics and Chemistry of Minerals as well as other
selected journals. These structure files contain over 12,000 entries.
It will take me some time go through them all.
Format Conversion - Now that we have all this data,
the goal is to convert the
File (.cif) into a format amenable for web display of mineral structural
data. The format conversion process is as follows:
Convert .cif format to
Protein Data Bank
format (.ent) files. This step has caused the most problems due
to the fact that the .ent format is designed primarily for proteins
and other large organic structures. I am still finding the
work-a rounds for these problems.
During the development phase of adding crystal structures to
webmineral, the .ent files are loaded full size. Future enhancements
will include the use of .gz compression to lessen the bandwidth.
When .gz compression is added, the structure files will be added
to the species pages and not as a stand-alone table.
Browser Display - From the
jmol.org page : "Jmol
is a free, open source molecule viewer for students, educators, and
researchers in chemistry and biochemistry. It is cross-platform, running
on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix systems.
The JmolApplet is a web browser applet that can
be integrated into web pages.
The Jmol application is a standalone Java application
that runs on the desktop.
The JmolViewer is a development tool kit that
can be integrated into other Java applications."
I am nearly complete in the upgrade of the banner ad rotation software
on webmineral.com from the existing perl code to a new php/MySQL system
from phpAdsNew. The planned change over
to the new banner ad system is July 1st. This will provide users with a
better selection of links should the user desire the opportunity to purchase
mineral specimens from the best of the mineral dealers who sell them on
The new system has a bunch of advantages. These are:
The phpAdsNew system is an integrated ad management software system
which allows a wide variety of banner ads. Because I detest DHTML and
pop-up ads, I have disabled them in phpAdsNew on webmineral. A demonstration
of the new ads can be found here at this
As you can see, I have added a few enhancements to the old banner ad
system. In fact, flash ads can now be used although I don't have an
example of one to show.
The delivery of the banner ads is by random placement as opposed
to the old strict rotation system. Each ad is considered a "campaign"
and as such each ad gets the same fixed percentage of all page views
Each "campaign" (i.e. advertiser) now can run multiple ads. The
multiple ads will not increase each advertiser's fixed percentage of
all page views, it will just serve up each ad 50% of the time for 2
banners or 33% of the time for 3 banners, and etc.
Each advertiser can now change his/her password, view and download
statistics, set warning levels for e-mails, and activate/deactivate
banners when the advertiser account (i.e. "campaign") has more than
one banner. Those advertisers who are running mineral auctions could
add a banner promoting that auction or add a banner for some of their
other domains. See the PDF
document showing the client features of phpAdsNew.
I have got the site mostly restored to the pre June 1st configuration
after they were able to chown the ownership from root to webmineral. I have
re-configured the webmineral's development server to be in line with the
purenetlistings.com site set-up.
I looked into moving webmineral.com
to its own server but the costs would just about equal the monthly income
from the banner ads. The problem is bandwidth. As the bandwidth approaches
100 Gb per month, I am nearing the end of a shared host solution. This is
why I am really cracking down on people who download the site using web
Hosting sites which advertise unlimited bandwidth
and 10 Gb disk space for $10.00 a month are really not a solution because
as soon as you start to use appreciable bandwidth, they cut you off. You
get what you pay for in this business. Sites that advertise $200.00 / month
for your own server generally put you on a cheap pc clone computer with
IDE drives and no hot-swap capability. This is also not a reliable solution.
When they did that, they used an
old backup version of webmineral that is way out-of-date. To add insult
to injury, I cannot update or delete any files using ftp. I called them
about it last night and tech support said that it will be fixed right away
and he would call me back. I guess the technician was too busy so I sent
an e-mail today outlining the problem and I am still waiting for a response.
Until this problem is fixed, I am unable to restore the site to its
The mineral count in webmineral is now up to 4,442 after updating
all minerals to 2004. The crystallography section has been converted to
a php/MySQL database for easier updates in the future. All minerals in the
database now have a publication date (See IMA Status on species pages).
This has allowed an accurate assessment of the number of non-discredited,
valid minerals (1,645) present prior to the establishment of the
International Mineralogical Association
(IMA) and the
and Mineral Names (CNMMN) in 1959.
Chemical composition pages for each element have been changed to include
elements which are present in the empirical formula but are not present
in the chemical formula. The changes are illustrated by the following excerpt
from the chemical analysis pages (Titanium) accessed by the
Komarovite example shows the presence of titanium in
the chemical formula and Ti is highlighted
in red. Watatusmiite example shows the
absence of titanium in the chemical formula and the presence of titanium
in the empirical formula. The formula is highlighted in
Mindat.org, Webmineral.com and MinMax websites are cross-linked by thousands
of URL references. Although people who use software programs to download
whole websites appear to be a minority, when they do, it affects all of
our users. Especially if they have a broadband connection to the web.
If you really need to have an off-line copy of webmineral, just purchase
the PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE
TO MINERAL SPECIES 2nd Editionwhich features the
data files from webmineral with thousands of mineral images.
The big problem is created whenever one of these people configure programs
(eg. HTTrack 3.0, Teleport Pro, Wget, WebStripper, Webdup, WebReaper, WebZIP,
Offline Explorer, and etc.) in promiscuous mode to "crawl-all-links". This
really hammers the websites and creates access and response problems for
their users. The resulting files created would most probably fill up the
diskspace on most computers with gigabytes of data.
to this problem is to restrict access (see .htaccess documentation on www.apache.org)
using the IP addresses of the worst offenders. I don't like to do this,
but I have restricted access to webmineral from whole subnets when the offenders
move from machine to machine to get around the blocks I put in .htaccess.
Anyone caught downloading data from webmineral will be banned from access
to the species pages and the IP address sent to the other on-line mineral
databases for possible inclusion to their ban list.
If your address is found in the above list and you wish to have the block
removed, then send me an e-mail promising not to download the site and I
will remove the block.
Added a new class of calculated data for each mineral species, the Fermion Index and complimentary
Boson Index. There are some unusual properties which are linked to
these values. These properties are not yet well understood. It has been
speculated that these properties may link metaphysical (spirit) and physical
(real) worlds. This is pure speculation at the moment.
Jeffrey G. Weissman, co-author of the
to Mineral Species is currently updating his Photographic Guide
with new and larger images. Jeff has given webmineral permission to use
some of his older mineral images from the current version of the CDROM.
These new mineral images are in-addition-to the 1,475 images already
in webmineral's image files assembled from individuals over the last three
years. This now makes webmineral the most comprehensive (as measured
by number of separate species) picture index site on the web.
Please note: The 1,105 new species added from the Photographic
Guide represent some of the rarest and hardest-to-find minerals in the world.
These images are the "Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and are an invaluable
reference to anyone who needs mineral data.
There is a whole class of information which can be derived from the data
contained in webmineral. Calculated values for various different parameters
have been added to the species pages in a section titled "Calculated
Properties" along with the more familiar "Physical Properties"
and "Optical Properties".
The new calculated variables are:
Density - relectron =
rmineral x (S
Atomic number / Molecular Weight). This calculation corrects the
mineral's bulk density value to the apparent density seen by X-Rays
and Gamma Rays. Use this value of density to calculate porosity numbers
using bulk density logging tools.
Absorption Effect - Pe = (Z3.6/10)*0.0025. This value
represents the cross-sectional area which absorbs low-level Gamma Rays
. The higher the number, the greater absorption of Gamma Radiation.
Gamma Ray (GRapi)
response. This calculation represents the amount of Gamma Radiation
given off by the mineral when compared to Oil Field gamma ray tools.
Gamma Ray logs are routinely used for correlation purposes in geology.
This upgrade of webmineral.com converted all the
mineral pictures to a MySQL/PHP database and
reporting system. The previous set-up used static pages and server side
includes (SSI). This was not the correct way to handle the image
data in a large website. The conversion to php to handle image libraries
should help site maintenance considerably. The look-and-feel of the old
pages has been preserved with the added benefit that many more images can
be easily added in the future.
Future plans are to convert as much of webmineral's content to an on-line
database as possible. This will help the update cycle and allow more up-to-date
content rather than the batch process done on a periodic basis.
The mineral count in webmineral is now up to 4,339. This update
includes all the error corrections and additional information that have
accumulated in the Access database over the year. The chemical analysis
have been error checked by converting the chemical compositions to oxides
and comparing the sums of oxides to the original analysis.
The most important change with this version of webmineral is the use
of cascading style sheets to format certain aspects of mineral data.
Please note that the rotational inversion axes of 3
(3BAR), 4 (4BAR),
and 6 (6BAR)
and overbarhkl values may not
be visible to older browsers (Netscape v4 and Internet Explorer v5) which
don't use cascading style sheets (.css). This means that 15% of webmineral's
users cannot view these changes.
Breakdown of Mineral Species In Webmineral
# of Species
Not Approved by the IMA.
Formerly valid species Discredited by the IMA.
Proposed new minerals awaiting publication.
Duplicate minerals with valid Dana or Strunz Classification
Valid Mineral Species Approved by the IMA or considered
Valid prior to 1959 (Grandfathered species).
Number of synonyms of mineral names (Grandtotal=10,639)
Due to technical problems with webmineral's provider, vitalstream.com,
the site was unavailable from Saturday, August 9, till Monday morning, August
11. We are examining the problem to prevent a reoccurrence. Thank you for
New Feature. The index page has been modified to show random
User Tips and Factoids. This list is summarized in this
link. If you want to add to this list, please
e-mail suggestions to the webmaster.
Preparations for a major site update with new and revised data is underway.
As part of the update, mineral reflectivity data for hundreds of opaque
species were added. Webmineral now has the largest collection of spectral
opaque mineral reflectivity data on the web. This reflectivity data can
be accessed along with the other data types on the mineral species pages
(See Reflectivity). This data is also
summarized in the determinative mineralogy tables for
New Feature. Need a fast and easy mineral label for your specimens?
Just visit the species page for the particular mineral you need a label
for and print a handy copy to place under your specimen. The label (already
filled in with necessary data) is included in the "See
Also" section of the species page.
For more options in creating mineral specimen labels, you can take the
time and download Ososoft's
Mineral Label 5.0 for free. Bob's Rockshop is a
so you can also download it there.
The mineral count in webmineral is now up to 4,281 after adding 61 new
minerals and deleting 35 obsolete entries. This update includes all the
error corrections and additional information that have accumulated in the
Access database over the year.
The big news is webmineral now has a working version of
Gladstone-Dale Compatibility Index
programmed in SAS and the data is now available on the species pages. Many
thanks to Dr. Anthony Kampf of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History
who provided the background information and a copy of his ChemComp program
which does the calculation. The reference for this technique is Mandarino,
J. (1981) paper in Can, Min, (1981), Vol 19, pp 441-450).
Basically, the compatibility index (CI) compares the Gladstone-Dale
constants (KC) for the chemical analysis using
the oxide values for each mineral and (KP)
derived from density and index of refraction values. The CI
is a measure of the "goodness" of the data based on physical and chemical
properties for each mineral. An additional benefit is that the index of
refraction can be calculated (from KP) if the
optical data are not present.
The application of this technique pointed out deficiencies in the mineral
data. The results are as follows:
300 minerals were suspect.
150 Z values were wrong due to my mistakes.
50 Z values were wrong in the published literature.
30 empirical formulas were wrong. Mostly in part due to my mistakes.
20 measured densities were wrong.
These have been corrected and work is underway to correct some of the
deficiencies in the data when the oxide percentages are derived from the
empirical formulas (∑ ± 100% ). The tolerance is 95% to 105% of the sum
Webmineral has obtained a copy of Dana's 7th edition. All those wonderful
crystal drawings missing in modern mineralogy references are now in the
process of being added to webmineral using Jcrystal.
It is a slow process so I can only do a few at a time.
In addition, I have also purchased a copy of "Determinative Mineralogy
and Blowpipe Analysis" by Brush & Penfield, 1906. This book, first published
in 1874, is the state-of-the-art manual for qualitative blowpipe
analysis of chemical elements in minerals. I am adapting some of the element
tables (see Borax and
Phosphate) and the analytical techniques
and have been re-doing portions of the chemical element pages.
This update now has the chemical composition of all minerals in place.
The elements are calculated as % and as oxide % where applicable. This update
also includes the new minerals for 2000 (4,255 total). The main changes
are as follows:
Moved the mineral groups for Strunz and Dana from the classification
page to the mineral page. Since this increased the size of the classification
section in each mineral page, it has been moved to a lower level.
Added a link to Mindat.org's
incomparable mineral location information both on the alphabetical listing
and on each mineral page.
Completed the chemical composition section to include all minerals.
Restored Tenacity and Fracture
for each mineral which was mistakenly left out of the old web pages.
No one picked up on this omission.
I am trying out a new machine translation service from
InterTran to replace
the Babelfish service that I was using. It provides a larger selection of
languages and the Java applets work after the translation. If there is enough
of a demand for this service, I could upgrade the service from a free translation
to a paid-basis translation. The paid-basis translation would allow the
selection of more appropriate grammer for the Mineralogy Database and would
run on a dedicated server for faster translations.
I am moving the Mineralogy Database over to a new server. My old ISP
wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to host the mineralogy database site
because of its size.
The temporary URL is http://webmineral-com.temp-url.com/default.shtml
until the domain name is transferred. The main change is from a NT server
to a UNIX server. The old server was just too overloaded with site bandwidth
running at 22 Gb/month and the cgi scripts were corrupting the counter files
on a regular basis. Plus, microsoft does not recommend running cgi scripts
on a NT domain server.
I intalled a new search engine on the webmineral.com site. For a preview,
see ../search.shtml. It is a shareware cgi perl
script system from fluid dynamics
that allows administration from web browser pages and it seems to work very
very good. It is much better than Microsoft's search engine supplied with
I have submitted the domain change to registrar.com. When the changes
propagate though the DNS system, webmineral.com should be active on the
new servers at http://www.publichost.com. Hopefully, the changes should
be transparent to the users of the Mineralogy Database. If there are any
problems, please notify
There are file corruption problems with the cgi programs on the Mineralogy
Database's server. Please bear with me until I change the site over to a
server that can handle the load.
Changed the "See Also:" section on the mineral pages. Marc Farve of Alkali-Nuts
and Herb Yeates of Franklin Minerals have changed their access to mineral
data and the reference URL's have changed. The "see also" section of the
mineralogy database is created from a listing and I can change it at any
time easily because I use SSI includes for the data.
I have also expanded the search engine links in the "see also" section
to include most of the currently available search engines on the web. This
is really handy because it allows specific data to be called up by just
clicking on the link.
Added a redesigned advertisers page to allow
clients of the mineralogy database to log-on and review their usage statistics
in real time.
There are more images being added to the site with photos generated by
the site's sponsors. These photos are exceptional in quallity and may be
viewed on the specimen page in the database.
The images are heavily cross-link to the data pages and vice versa. I am
adding more images on a regular basis since the advertising revenue allows
for the increase in the size of the site.
The site has gone through a major update. One of the biggest changes
is the inclusion of .shtml pages for the individual mineral pages. Unfortunately,
most sites that link to the individual mineral species page are now out-of-date.
This means those sites who have linked http://web.wt.net/~daba/data/Quartz.html
or ../data/Quartz.html will now need to link to
Lets go on with the additions:
Thanks to Dr. Anthony Kampf of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural
History for providing more sound files in the form of .wav for mineral
name pronunciations (in english). These sound files are from the new
version (1.3) of The Photo-Atlas of Minerals CD-ROM.
All the new and proposed minerals up to July are included in the
An expanded section on the calculated chemical composition of minerals
is included in this update. You can now view (most) minerals arranged
by chemical composition for all the elements.
The Strunz classification has been re-done the so that it is the
same format (with expanded hyperlinks) as the Dana Classification section.
This will allow better comparisons between the two classification schemes.
The crystallography section have been updated with new data. There
is a better correlation between space groups and crystal classes then
there was in the old version. This crystallography data is high lighted
in the Dana and Strunz classification pages.
I have increased the number of Java crystal models in the data pages.
You can view the list by clicking here.
The data pages on the old site (http://web.wt.net/~daba/Mineral) have
been deleted. Please use ../ as the URL for the Mineralogy
Database. I have also added advertising banners
to help support the increased costs associated with this move. So if you
like this site, please visit the sponsors who are kind enough to place their
ads in the Mineralogy Database.
I hope I have left enough redirection pages and .htaccess files on the
old site so all those people who link to the old site can find the new site.
If you have any questions, complaint, gripes, and etc. about this move please
let me know (email@example.com).
This will avoid having the site go dead for people who just link those
pages. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask.
Added a search engine feature from
FreeFind. I have not tried it out extensively, so have at it and report
back your impressions. The mineralogy database site was too large for their
spider to index fully so there may be some holes in this feature. It will
not do element searches for "Ca Fe SO4" but it will find minerals where
the chemical analysis are present (not present on all minerals in the database).
For example, try a search on "sodium iron monoclinic". It does a good job
of finding all the minerals with "Canada" in the locality section. Try "JCrystal"
and you will get all the pages with Steffen Weber's JCrystalApplet on them.
Weber offered the use of his JAVA based, JCrystalApplet for the webdisplay
of crystal shapes (see the help file
for a description). This program allows a user to manipulate a crystal shape
with mouse and keyboard control with a realism almost equal to actually
holding a real crystal model. It is such a nice program that I added the
JCrystal version to the crystallography table
for interactive examples of crystal morphology for the different crystal
systems. I left the original static images in place so that older browsers
without Java support could view the content.
Steffen also offered me the use of a beta copy of the actual stand-alone
software, JCrystal, which creates the html files that JCrystalApplet uses.
Using this program, I have started adding crystal morphology images to some
of the pages (e.g., quartz,
benitoite) for the more common minerals
as an added feature to the mineral database. If there are any people
out there who use this program to create crystal shapes for the different
minerals, I would appreciate a copy of the hkl files so I could add that
mineral to the ones already in the database.
This is a major update involving every page of the Mineral Database.
Because of the many items that were changed, I decided to list those in
Frederic Biret and I traded databases and the result is a major
revision of the site. Frederic's data was well-populated in crystallography
and X-Ray diffraction. So much so that I needed to add a whole new sub-heading
for the X-ray powder diffraction data. Of course, his many additions
are reflected in the massive amounts of data that are now included in
the individual mineral web pages and in the crystallographic parameters.
Thank again for Frederic's impeccable scholarship in providing this
Marc Farve of Alkali-Nuts contributed his type locality information.
Many of the missing locality data in the database were enhanced with
his generous contribution.
Forrest Cureton has lent his sonorous voice (See mineral pages and
the alphabetical listing) for mineral name pronunciation. All this is
courtesy The Photo-Atlas of Minerals CD-ROM (great photographs) provided
by Dr. Anthony Kampf and the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.
If you disagree on the pronunciations, I suggest you contact Forrest
directly. I felt really bad that curetonite
was not included with his pronunciations.
I have quadrupled the number of external hyperlinks. This was done
by adding more url's for the individual mineral pages. The more
popular minerals now have a dozen or more links for additional information.
For those of you that are keeping records, there are now 21,345 external
hyperlinks and about 100,000 internal hyperlinks.
Revised the crystallography table to include
examples of crystal morphology for the different crystal systems. This fixes
one of the weakest links (content wise) in the mineralogy database. I have
also placed a prototype of a new layout of the mineral pages (see
example) for testing on different browsers. When it is field tested,
then I'll update the whole site with new entries in the database.
Added a statistical web tracker to monitor the usage on the mineralogy
database. This tracker does not keep individual statistics,
just general information. I was kind of interested in knowing who
was using the database, who is linking to it, and how many new users were
accessing the information. It is open to public access by clicking on the
ExtEME tracking logo on the bottom of the index page.
Revised the links page to include more sources of mineral data on the
web or from commercial sources.
Abraham Rosenzweig graciously sent me some unpublished material dealing
with the silicate classification. He writes, "A detailed explanation
of the logic behind the development of the class numbers in this group was
to have been part of the new book, and manuscript for this was furnished
to the publisher. However, the publisher chose to eliminate this section,
along with some other matters, in order to save pages, as the book was already
large." I have incorporated this data in the Dana classification pages.
Took pictures of my personal mineral specimens and added a page of images.
I used a 200mm telephoto lens with macro focusing to take the pictures and
scanned them after the photo lab was finished processing them. The images
were enhanced using Adobe PhotoShop 4.0 and resized to 640 x 480 resolution.
Created the precursor program for the Mineralogy Database using the data
files from Microsoft Access to create a Win95 Hypertext Help file using