Plate IDs of PaleoMap

Recieved this question via earthbyte contact form and moved here by Michaelchin.

From: wendy
Subject: how to get the plate ID of PaleoMap?

Message Body:
Dear GPlate software engineers:
I am a PHD student of Nanjing University in China. These days, I learn about GPlates. But there is a little question that how to get the plate ID of PaleoMap? And there are any pdf of plate ID and plate name? I did not find in your websites or other place.
Yours sincerely!

Here is some info about PaleoMap PALEOMAP PaleoAtlas for GPlates – EarthByte

I am not sure about the plate IDs and names. Maybe @sabin.zahirovic knows more about them.

Most of that info should be in the PDF within that link. If not, save the terrane file out as Shapefile, and perhaps it is stored in the Name field. Otherwise, contact Chris Scotese - his contact details are in the PDF.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your answer. And I just want to know that whether there is list of Plate IDs of PaleoMap like Seton.

Seton_etal_plateids.xlsx (

Hi Wendy,

Not that I’m aware of. You might want to reach out to Chris Scotese. But in all honesty, it’s quicker and easier to create your own by saving the geometries out as SHP, and export the attribute table to a spreadsheet.


a quick way to generate such table from a shape file would be using GDAL’s ogr2ogr:

ogr2ogr -F CSV -dialect sqlite -sql "Select PlateID, NAME from PALEOMAP_PlatePolygons_polygon" test.csv PALEOMAP_PlatePolygons_polygon.shp

This will give you a CSV file with PlateID, NAME columns:


Unfortunately the one I generated from the Paleomap polygon data doesn’t have names. So @sabin.zahirovic’s suggestion to contact Chris Scotese is probably the best way forward.