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Brief Notes from Kew Mark Jackson Software Applications Manager.

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1 Brief Notes from Kew Mark Jackson Software Applications Manager

2 Focussing on... n Herbarium digitisation n electronic Plant Information Centre

3 Kew Herbarium n Guesstimated –7 million specimens –250,000 types n Less than 5% specimens databased n A variety of personal databases

4 Preparation for Digitisation n Computerise transactions n Agree and document policy and procedures n Establish core fields (HISPID pending ABCD) n Develop hardware and software infrastructure (e.g. catalogue database, mass storage)

5 Digitisation Strategy n Curators to barcode, database and image types for loan n Repatriation & research projects –to use infrastructure and core fields –data to be imported into Catalogue (eventually) n Pursue digitisation projects

6 Specimen imaging n Decision to try to match Cibachrome prints in terms of quality (e.g. suitable for many diagnostic purposes) – 600 dpi delivers 200MB images n Stored as uncompressed (but bzipped) TIFFs n Acquisition of mass storage

7 HerbScan n A3 flatbed scanner, inverted n Cradle for specimens n Distributed throughout Herbarium

8 Pros and cons n £30-40,000 n 200MB images barely achievable n 1 image per minute n Fixed n Versatile n £7,500 n 200MB images easily achievable n 10 images per hour n Some mobility n Suited to flat items 200 MB master images (600 dpi scans), based on capturing the level of detail of Cibachromes. Camera HerbScan

9 HerbCat Client Image Server Images Metadata image enquiries HerbCat enquiries

10 Focussing on... n Herbarium digitisation n electronic Plant Information Centre

11 n UK government funding for delivery of services electronically n Resource-discovery interface to multiple Kew data sources (not necessarily at Kew) n Data sources are heterogenous n Simple interface overlaying other systems ePIC Interface Data source

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15 Data sources Interface (java servlet)/JSPs Multi-threaded Java server Request queue Handlers: one per data source one for logging one for spell-checking Requests Data sources Configuration files (XML) Results Architecture

16 n Web documents indexed using Lucene n Flora Zambesiaca digitised and marked-up with XML n Experimentation with options for query and output via Java servlet –using XSL to output selections –using Lucene to index the XML –importing the XML into a database n Other texts - jury still out, but Lucene route looks promising Texts

17 Feedback n mechanisms n Web usability testing/focus groups n Logging –Quantitative success levels of usage, patterns & trends beware: crawlers, testing & development staff, harvesters referring URLs, Google link: popularity of site country, domain –Qualitative success success of queries esp. zero hits (spelling, common names, families) performance & system monitoring number of queries per session, return visits results pages viewed

18 World distribution of queries

19 Future n More data sources, including texts and images n Hierarchical browsing front-end based around revamped Brummitt Families & Genera with phylogenetic classification n Looking forward to –using the GBIF Names Service… –links with DiGIR/BioCASE resources...


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