GrapEl – a simple spreadsheet application for managing and disseminating graptolite biozonal range chart data
Datasets usually provide raw data for analysis. This raw data often comes in spreadsheet form, but can be any collection of data, on which analysis can be performed.
Biostratigraphical data frequently consist of tables indicating the presence, absence or relative abundance of taxa in a sequence of rock units or time units such as biozones or various chronostratigraphic units. Spreadsheet programs provide a simple means for managing this data and can be used for archiving and disseminating it, in addition to manipulating it. A simple spreadsheet (‘GrapEl’) is used to link the biozonal ranges of graptolite taxa to illustrations of representative or type specimens. Use of the filtering function enables the rapid selection of species from particular biozones, or species belonging to particular genera, and is intended to assist workers with a limited working knowledge of the faunas concerned. This approach is briefly compared to other uses of spreadsheets and databases in the management, analysis and distribution of graptolite biostratigraphical data.