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An Australian Virtual Herbarium

An Australian Virtual Herbarium

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An Australian Virtual Herbarium

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  1. An Australian Virtual Herbarium Jim Croft Australian National Herbarium

  2. Panel • HISCOM members • AD - Bill Barker • BRI - Peter Bostock • CANB - Greg Whitbread • DNA - Anne Fuchs • HO - • MEL - Marco Duretto, Paul Cholodniuk • NSW - Barry Conn • PERTH - Alex Chapman

  3. This Presentation • Description of an AVH • Need for an AVH • Preparedness for a AVH • Options for an AVH

  4. AVH - Keywords • Herbarium • Collections of botanical specimens • Sources of botanical knowledge and expertise • Sources of botanical information

  5. AVH - Keywords • Virtual • Appearing as • Computer dependent • Graphic, visual • High Tech • On-line

  6. AVH - Keywords • Australian • Implies national in coverage and view • States and territories • Government, educational • Distributed

  7. Name Options • Australian Virtual Herbarium • Australian Herbarium Virtuality • Virtual Herbarium of Australia • Virtual Australian Herbarium

  8. What is an AVH like? • Conceptual parallels in the: • Australian National Rare and Endangered Plant Collection • Australian National Fungi Collection • Australian National Plant Collection

  9. Foci of the AVH • Past (and current) foci • data • database design • technology • networks • Focus for an AVH • Information

  10. Why do we need an AVH? • Increasing expectations and demands on herbaria • Increasing costs of using duplicated data • Decreasing staff resources for herbaria • Gaps in individual data coverage • Competition from other sources • Demonstrable relevance of herbaria

  11. Cost of Specimen Data • Excluding computing & herbarium support • $ 4 (- 5) per collection • c. $ 2 data entry • c. $ 2 geocode calculation/verification • Each duplicate redone by recipients • Maybe 4 - 6 duplicates per collection • 6 million herbarium specimens in Australia • Less than 50% databased

  12. Costs of Other Data • Each herbarium maintains census • Each herbarium maintains taxonomy • Each taxonomist maintains a taxonomy • ? 5-6 x duplication of effort (Total curation costs: $ 25-50 / specimen)

  13. Australian Herbarium Collections • Herbaria completely databased • BRI - 600 k • QRS - 100 k • DNA - 170 k • PERTH - 400 k

  14. Australian Herbarium Collections • Herbaria partially databased • AD - 800 k (13 %) • CANB - 900 k (45 %) • HO - 350 k (20 %) • MEL - 1 M (6 %) • NSW - 900 k (25%)

  15. Australian Herbarium Collections • Summary estimates from State Herbaria • November 1996 • c. 5.3 million collections • c. 2.2 million databased • c. 42 % databased

  16. Australian Herbarium Collections • c. $ 12 M to complete the job! • c. $ 1.5 M if we share the task! • Divided views in the past: • High priority - do it now • Collect more - do it later

  17. Benefits of an AVH • Shared and common data • Common standards • Common authority files • Shared data entry and curation • Access to a larger database • Access to larger body of expertise

  18. Where have we come from? • Printed books, articles • Ledgers and cards (‘60s) • Simple databases (‘70s) • Complex databases (‘80s/90s) • Network connection (‘90s) • Exchange of and sharing data (‘90s)

  19. Are we ready for an AVH? • Computerized collections data • Compatible database design • Common data standards • Agreed data interchange format (HISPID) • Increased technical understanding • Common purpose • Goodwill

  20. Elements of an AVH • Plant name information • Specimen information • Observational information • Taxon information • Mapping and distributional information • Expanding botanical knowledge • Dissemination of knowledge • Linking with other programs

  21. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Plant name information • Nomenclatural • Taxonomic • Systematic • Typification • Bibliographic • Common names

  22. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Specimen information • Collections information • Transactions (accessions, loans) • Taxonomically authenticated point locality information • Images • live material, morphological, anatomical

  23. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Observational information • Surveys • Sightings • Anecdotal reports

  24. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Taxon information • Descriptive • Monographs, revisions, Floras, etc. • Images • live material, morphological, anatomical • Expert Identification systems • Intkey, Lucid, Meka, etc.

  25. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Mapping and distributional information • checklists, censuses • Electronic gazetteers • GIS output • Modeling • Predictive output

  26. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Expanding botanical knowledge • phylogenetic analysis • genetic studies • taxonomic research

  27. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Dissemination of knowledge • Basic data • Derived information • Published floras • Educational information • Biological information systems

  28. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Linking with other programs • Regional biodiversity, environmental, resource surveys • State and Territory surveys • Local Surveys

  29. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Linking with other programs (cont.) • National biodiversity, environmental, resource surveys • ABRS • TSCS (ESU) • NHT (Landcare, RFA, CRA, etc.) • ERIN • NRIC

  30. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Linking with other programs (cont.) • International projects • Plant Names Project • IOPI • Species 2000 • NSF/ASC collections projects • World Bank / GEF • Data repatriation

  31. Elements of an AVH (cont.) • Tools and Technology • Network Connectivity: Internet, WWW • Database functionality • Applications

  32. Can we build an AVH? • We have the technology • We have the ability • We have the data • We have the protocols and standards • Do we have the will?

  33. Where to start? • We are exchanging data • Taxonomic and census data • Specimen data • Build a virtual type herbarium? • ?

  34. Principles for an AVH • Shared • Collaborative • Distributed • Dynamic • Accessible • Authoritative • Strategic and proactive • Relevant