SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: Putting the contents of the Geological Museum on the web

TitleSPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: Putting the contents of the Geological Museum on the web
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHowe, Mike, McIntosh Bob, Harris Simon, Contessi Michela, and Tulloch Graham
Keywords3D models, automation, British Geological Survey, conveyor belt, digitization, fossils, SPNHC 2014, SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization
AbstractThe Museum of Practical Geology (Jermyn Street, 1851-1935) displayed most of the British Geological Survey’s specimen collection. With the move to the Geological Museum and then to Nottingham (Keyworth, 1985 onwards) most items were consigned to drawers. The internet has provided the means to re-exhibit these collections. BGS has been at the forefront of collections digitization since the 1970s. By 2000, the collections had digital catalogues of varying completeness, and in October 2000 the borehole and rock catalogues went on line. By 2006, all the main collections had online text and GIS searches. During the past five years, BGS has made high resolution digital images of various collections available, including building stones and 4000 early twentieth century glass plates of the Kidston palaeobotanical collection. 125,000 7216 x 5412 pixel images of UK Continental Shelf cores1 were made available online in 2012, a project requiring a conveyor belt and extensive use of barcodes. 100,000 rock thin sections2 were added in 2013. The most innovative project to date has been a collaboration between BGS, the National Museum Cardiff, the Sedgwick Museum Cambridge, the Oxford Museum of Natural History and the Geological Curators’ Group (representing other national, university and local museums) to create an online database3 of British macrofossil types. The web portal provides data about each specimen, searchable on taxonomic, stratigraphic and spatial criteria. High resolution photographs, stereo anaglyphs and many 3d digital models are available. We are keen to share our experiences, particularly of 3d digital models. 1 https://www.bgs.ac.uk/data/offshoreWells/wells.cfc?method=searchWells 2 http://www.largeimages.bgs.ac.uk/iip/britrocks.html?id=250000/258489 3 http://www.3d-fossils.ac.uk/