The intensive, week-long First iDigBio Train-the-Trainers Georeferencing Workshop ended on October 12th, 2012. After a week, we are family and were sad to have to go home - but everyone seems very excited to get back to their own institutions to share what they learned and put it to good use in their own georeferencing and digitization projects.
The First iDigBio Train-the-Trainers Georeferencing Workshop is well into Day 4 now! Day one, participants and instructors met iDigBio PI Pam Soltis, Project Manager David Jennings, Biodiversity Informatics Manager Joanna McCaffrey, Cathy Bester, iDigBio Program Assistant and Kevin Love, the iDigBio IT magician who keeps us all in touch with one another and connected to the internet. Shari Ellis, iDigBio Project Evaluator, shared results of the iDigBio Pre-Workshop Survey for this workshop with all the participants.
iDigBio’s Public Participation in Digitization of Biodiversity Specimens Workshop was held on September 28-29 in Gainesville, FL.
Topics included the role of citizen science, ways to engage the public in digitization, methods to build public participant virtual communities, and an overview of biodiversity informatics software to facilitate public participation. Visit the workshop wiki page for links to the final agenda, the GoogleDoc, and the presentations.
iDigBio is very pleased to welcome Joanna McCaffrey, our new Biodiversity Informatics Manager!
Joanna comes to the iDigBio team from the Field Museum of Natural History, where she has spent the past ten years working in a variety of databasing, imaging, and collections positions.
Seeking participants for “iDigBio Augmenting OCR” workshop, October 1-2
Compiled from notes in the field from Deb Paul, iDigBio Digitization Expert:
The Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network (SCAN): A Model for Collections Digitization to Promote Taxonomic and Ecological Research kickoff meeting at Arizona State University.
August 15-16th 2012
iDigBio is very pleased to welcome David Jennings as our new Project Manager! David is an industrial/mechanical engineer with over 18 years of experience in project management and leadership and will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, developing requirements, coordinating activities within iDigBio, and coordinating activities between iDigBio and other networks/collections.
On 30 June 2012, iDigBio completed its first year of operation. As the national resource for the NSF-funded Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections(ADBC), our first year required that we identify and overcome major organizational hurdles as we develop a national infrastructure for the ADBC institutions. We are pleased to report that our first year was highly successful. In this article, we enumerate some of our major activities and accomplishments.
All of us at iDigBio are excited to announce the publication of Five Task Clusters that Enable Efficient and Effective Digitization of Biodiversity Collections in a ZooKeys 209:19-45 (2012) Special Issue No specimen left behind: mass digitization of natural history collections. We look forward to your comments...
Dr. Corinna Gries is PI and head of the North American Lichens and Bryophytes Thematic Collections Network. An accomplished researcher and programmer, here she is interviewed by Jill Holliday and discusses some of the history of specimen databasing, the goal of the North American Lichens and Bryophytes TCN, and the importance of public participation and crowd-sourcing to the TCN databasing projects.
Holliday: Corinna, you are the head of the North American Lichens and Bryophytes TCN.
Public Participation in Digitization of Biodiversity Specimens Workshop
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
September 28 - 29, 2012
iDigBio, the National Science Foundation’s national HUB for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC), is offering a workshop focused on engaging the public in the digitization of the approximately one billion biodiversity specimens housed in collections across the U.S. The workshop will explore how to involve the public in ways that are interesting and educational but also efficient and reliable for the facilities managing the digitization.
Members of the collections community gather in Gainesville, FL to produce optimized specimen digitization workflows at the Developing Robust Object-to-Image-to-Data (DROID) Workshop. Tremendous participant insight holds the promise for informative documentation that will benefit all collections conducting or initiating digitization activities.
Protocols for Slide-Scanning/Digitization of Standard Microscope Slides
Bruce MacFadden reports on the recent Paleocollections Digitization Workshop hosted by iDigBio and FLMNH. The workshop was held to assess the status and future of digitized collections within the paleontological community. Presentations, discussions and breakout sessions focused on three themes: 1) tools, datapases and portals, 2) digitization and workflows, and 3) research applications and Grand Challenges.
The InvertNet TCN reports on the details and accomplishments of the InvertNet Spring Workshop, which was held at University of Illinois/Illinois Natural History Survey. Presentations and breakout groups covered topics including progress in digitizing collections, information on current database platforms, and public outreach and educational activities. Hands-on sessions afforded an opportunity for participants to learn about different software and hardware tools related to digitization workflows.
Registration is open for the Specimen Digitization Tools and Practices Workshop at the Botany 2012 Conference. The workshop will introduce current and future biological and paleontological specimen collections staff to resources and workflows that can lead to greater efficiencies in the digitization of their collections. The workshop will be held from 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM on Thursday, July 12, the day after the conference at the conference facility. Note: you do NOT have to attend the conference to attend the workshop.
An important activity of iDigBio is to deliver IT infrastructure and services for a highly coordinated biocollections digitization community.
Through the use of computer appliances, the community will interact with the iDigBio storage cloud and specimen database.
The iDigBio team seeks to team up with developers of tools to guide development, disseminate, and host virtual appliances that integrate such tools.
It is our pleasure to announce the Developing Robust Object to Image to Data Workflows (DROID) Workshop to be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. The workshop is designed to identify existing optimal digitization workflows, as well as process and technology gaps that must be bridged in order to achieve the scope of digitization required to meet the Grand Challenge. The workshop is co-sponsored by Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) and Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (S2I2). It will be held on May 30th and May 31st. Additional details may be obtained from the workshop overview.
Up to five participant slots are available for applicants. Accepted participants will be provided with travel, lodging and meals to attend the workshop.
Streamlining Collaborative Digitization: How to order and install multiple digitization work stations
By Melissa Tulig and Kimberly Watson
Please join iDigBio in congratulating Dr. Anna Monfils on her selection as our 2012 Visiting Scholar. Anna is an Associate Professor at Central Michigan University and Director of the Central Michigan University Herbarium.
Dr. Monfils' winning proposal includes building generalized, web-deliverable specimen databasing protocols, designing web-based teaching activities focused on databasing, and organizing a workshop aimed at professional botanists, students and citizen scientists from throughout Michigan.
Dr. Larry Page is the Project Director for iDigBio, where he is responsible for overall project management, oversight of the national resource activities, and implementation of the strategic plan. He is based at the Florida Museum of Natural History, where he is Director of the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute and Curator of Fishes. Here, Dr. Page is interviewed by Jill Holliday, executive editor of the iDigBio e-newsletter.
It is our pleasure to announce the Specimen Digitization Tools and Practices Workshop at the Botany 2012 Conference. The workshop is designed to introduce current and future biological and paleontological specimen collections staff to resources and workflows that can lead to greater efficiencies in the digitization of their collections. The workshop is organized by iDigBio, the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections. It will be held from 8:00AM – 5:00PM on Thursday, July 12, the day after the conference at the conference facility. A dinner for workshop participants will follow.
Meet the iDigBio Staff: An Interview with Gil Nelson
3 February 2012
Gil Nelson is iDigBio’s digitization specialist, with a focus on developing and improving digitization workflows and providing digitization support for the Thematic Collections Network projects. He is based at Florida State University. Here, Gil Nelson is interviewed by Austin Mast, a collaborator with Nelson on prior projects and a member of iDigBio’s Steering Committee.
The 2011 summit to kick-off the iDigBio project concluded on December 1st, 2011. By all accounts, this endeavor was a tremendous success, and enabled us to initiate a detailed dialog with representatives from the Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) and other Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) projects. Participants provided user insight into ongoing activities, projected progress, and resources available to the community.
The iDigBio team plans regular Blog and Wiki contributions that provide useful resources to TCNs and others who are in the process of imaging and databasing biological collections. The newest contributions, available now, include a blog post outlining important global issues and decision points to be resolved prior to initiating an imaging project, and three new glossaries that provide definitions of tools, projects and organizations, and terms important to the digitization effort. The glossaries are posted on the iDigBio wiki and are editable by registered users. Our intent is for the biological collections community to enhance these glossaries by making regular additions and contributions.
Imaging and databasing a biological collection seems like a straightforward task: procure the specimens, extract the data, take the image, and serve the image and data on the internet. However, in most cases there are numerous preliminary global issues and decision points to be resolved before actual imaging and data extraction can begin.
On any given evening, it is commonplace for the nightly news to refer to debt and spending amounts in the billions and trillions of dollars.
The use of these massive numbers is so ubiquitous that many of us have become numb to the true magnitude of what one billion objects represent.
Consider this: to count from one to one billion, one number per second, without breaks or sleep, would take you thirty one years!
Program Solicitation NSF 11-567 The new solicitation is the successor to solicitation, NSF 10-603 and differs in the following ways: