RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
VMINE is a member of the 4dcoders consortium
VMine core system development will be all new.
It will include new code to allow import from DM single precision files,
and will support the new VMDD/VMDA file formats (and VMX for data transfers).
For graphics, it will support the SVG, JPEG, GIF, VTK, and VRML export formats.
The processing capabilities will include
functionality for open-world database management, with supporting utility programs.
VMine applications development will start from a solid base of
stable Fortran applications
code which has stood the test of time, much of it from G-EXEC,
some from third-party developers, and much of it
tested over the years by inclusion within Datamine.
The intellectual property rights of all parties
will be respected.
New applications will be developed in areas not currently covered by 'mainstream'
geological/mining software vendors. In particular these will include nonparametric and
other experimental and non-standard 2D and 3D modelling applications, and
innovative approaches to exploration statistics.
There are significant innovations in developing VMine:
This product remains in an early stage of development.
What is made available currently is 'proof of concept'.
Data may be uploaded and
imported into the system from Datamine (single or extended precision) files
or in csv format. Full documentation of the VMINE
data formats is made available
so that users and other software developers may also upload and
download 'native' VMINE data tables. All
follow the same principles of the
'self-describing file' relational tables originally developed for G-EXEC in
the British Geological Survey in the 1970s, and later adapted for use in Datamine.
- Once it is sufficiently robust, it is possible that VMine could be made
available over the Internet as a so-called 'cloud'
solution (SaaS = 'software as a service'). This means that for the user
it is truly platform-independent
as it can be accessed worldwide through any Internet browser. No special
software need be installed, and
there is no applications software for you to maintain. Graphics, whether
two or three dimensional, will be
accessed through standard formats using publicly available viewing software.
Interactive graphics may be implemented
via standards such as WebGL, through VRML browser plugins, or through
stand-alone software such as
implemented locally on your own computer.
For the first time ever you
will be able to use full-function geological and mining software
even from a smartphone, and from anywhere in the
world that you have Internet access!
- Although continuing to use relational tables, for data transfer
these are no longer in the obsolescent
DM files, but using the more efficient VMINE formats with choice
of external interfaces ranging from CSV files to an
industry-standard XML format based on the ideas in
A description of the XML-standard VMine VMX file is given
here. Within VMine, a new simplified
random-access binary file format will be used, with
data definition held in an accompanying sequential ASCII header file,
maintaining the underlying principle of the
self-describing relational table.
- All graphics from the system will be produced in industry
standard formats: 2D plots using SVG, JPEG, and GIF,
3D output using VRML2 and VTK formats, for which a variety of
free virtual reality viewers are available.
For more information, please email me at
(to foil spammers this is just a graphic - you'll need to type the email address).
1None of the programs to be built into
VMINE products will be software that is covered by DATAMINE copyright: it is all either newly developed code,
or was developed personally by Stephen Henley (i.e. not as part of Datamine during the tenure of
his director's service with MICL), or is third-party or public domain software.
Some of the application software is adapted from G-EXEC and the copyright of this is owned by the
Natural Environment Research Council.
G-EXEC source code was made freely available in the 1970s and supplied free-of-charge to
academic, governmental, and commercial users around the world.