“Improving” GPlates output with Automator and Applescript

When you export reconstructed shapefiles from GPlates, you get two options: either dump all the shapefiles into one (but then not include an attribute field that can be used to separate the input files, or dump each shapefile into a folder named for its input file.  Since I’ve been working with multiple input shapefiles, this results in multiple folders of output:


I would rather have this:


The attached [email me if you need it, I need a reason to dig it up and share it again. 2014-02-18] Automator script (Mac only) takes whatever folders you input (e.g., my_first_shapefile and my_second_shapefile), renames the contents of each to match the folder name, and then moves all of these files to the parent of the input folders (e.g., Folder_Top).  It has a bit of applescript based on this post and this one.

Tested on: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard)
Requires: Dispense Items Incrementally Automator action
Input: One or more folders, dragged onto script icon (can be modified in Automator to pop up a dialog box)
Released under: CRAPL
Download: rename files to folder name automator.zip
Installation: Unzip file.  I think you need ro run Automator, open the unzipped file, and then “Save As” to hook everything up to your system correctly.



Quickly access journal PDFs for which UND has a subscription

If you're using Google or another engine to search online for journal articles, seven times out of ten you'll end up at the site where you can get the PDF (via institutional subscription) but you won't be recognized as the institution.  This also will happen if you are off-campus.  One way to get access is to head back to the UND Libraries site, find the eJournal search, type the name, and then navigate to the right issue.  There is a better way.

Take this URL for example.  I wound up here after Googling for one of the authors and looking for his email address:


In order to get that PDF (or see if we even have access), just add the UND proxy to the middle of the URL (bolded for convenience):


You'll get bumped to the UND Libraries off-campus login page, and then back to the article page when you've logged in.  Now if you click on the PDF link, you'll find out whether we have subscription access (the PDF will open) or not (you'll hit a paywall).  This has worked well for me for the past year or so.