[Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site launched

Hannu Saarenmaa hannu at bioshare.com
Wed Nov 7 12:03:17 CST 2012


Contrasting infrastructure vs content is an interesting question.  Lets 
consider the cost of digitising those 2-3 billion specimens in world's 
biological collections.  It is an effort of 100,000 person years, or an 
order of magnitude more.  The cost you can calculate from knowing that a 
person can on average digitise 100 specimens in a day.  Our automated 
digitisation line can do 1000, see www.digitarium.fi/en  But still...

This announcement is from an EU project.  The EU does not support 
digitisation, as it is seen as a national responsibility.  That is a 
shame, but understandable, given the magnitude of the task.  In the new 
whitepaper for the European Commission on biodiversity informatics this 
view will be challenged, though.  See
http://vbrant.eu/sites/vbrant.eu/files/BiodivInfoCommunityDraft_v04.pdf

Some countries like the Netherlands, Norway, USA have started big 
digitisation programmes.  We need to see more such initiatives, as 
digitalisation is a big change factor in society.  But I do agree that 
an e-infrastructure is only as good as the content it moves.

Hannu Saarenmaa

On 2012-11-06 16:01, Chris Thompson wrote:
> Wonderful, Donat,
>
> Your answer is perfect although Paul did not really frame his question
> properly.
>
> This is another example of waste, re-inventing the IT / computer software
> instead of investing in scientific content.
>
> For more than a half century, since computers first became accessible, IT
> has continually got large sums for as you wrote
> " to produce more efficiently, richer and easier accessible open access
> content ..."
>
> but nothing really has gone into developing that "content " as the
> underlying assumption is taxonomic content is FREE!
>
> Check out the old article "Why Museum computer projects fail" in Museum News
> 1981, vol. 59 (4): 40-49. Nothing has changed.
>
> The Public would be better informed if funds were invested in CONTENT, new
> and enhanced observations of our natural world, so we can make better
> decisions about what is driving things like climate change, loss of
> biodiversity and even the one no one speaks of "whether we generating NEW
> biodiversity."
>
> But instead, a few more dollars / euros will be wasted on "new technology"
> to better deliver the old content.
>
> Oh, well ...
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Chris
>
> from home
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Donat Agosti
> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 6:28 AM
> To: 'Paul Kirk' ; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site launched
>
> Hi Paul
>
> It is not about creating another database, encyclopedia but figuring out
> what new technological and conceptual  possibilities and ideas are emerging
> that could be used, that need be tweeked to produce more efficiently, richer
> and easier accessible open access content hopefully  reaching beyond the
> traditional users of our publications, aka biodiversity knowledge management
> system. Hopefully, you will be able to agree to the outcome that the EU
> funders look forwards to make decisions that suit our community. The best
> way of course is, if you participate in the workshops and contribute your
> experience and knowledge. Most of them are open and hopefully attract
> exactly people like you that are deeply emerged in and highly critical of
> this work.
>
> Cheers
>
> Donat
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Kirk [mailto:p.kirk at cabi.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 2:43 PM
> To: Donat Agosti; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site launched
>
> Thanks Donat,
>
> WOW - one family out of 500 :-)
>
> Less than convinced.
>
> Paul
> ________________________________________
> From: Donat Agosti [agosti at amnh.org]
> Sent: 06 November 2012 10:40
> To: Paul Kirk; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site  launched
>
> Hi Paul
> No, fungi are not ignored. Some Russulaceae taxa will be part of a pilot
> study conducted as part of the project, as well as  some Bryophyta. Also,
> there is an effort made to emphasis mycrohizae relation in other pilots.
> All the best
> Donat
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Kirk [mailto:p.kirk at cabi.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 1:58 PM
> To: Donat Agosti; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site launched
>
> Yet again the fungi are ignored in a major EU project ... at a time when the
> ash tree is being devastated across europe by an emergent fungal pathogen.
> When will botanist realize that plant do not have roots - they have
> mycorhizae? How can 'Data acquisition and curation' and 'Semantic mark-up'
> be carried out when a major branch on the tree of life is ignored?
>
> Paul M. Kirk
> Mycologist
> ________________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Donat Agosti
> [agosti at amnh.org]
> Sent: 06 November 2012 08:51
> To: TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: [Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site  launched
>
> Pro-iBiosphere is a European Union  FP7 funded project to develop an outline
> of a future European open biodiversity knowledge management system. The
> Pro-iBiosphere project has been launched on September 1, 2012 for the period
> of 2 years addressing technical and semantic interoperability issues and
> challenges that will ultimately lead to a more efficient system of the
> management of biodiversity information.  For practical reasons and to
> demonstrate the functionality of the proposed ideas, the test beds are
> primarily the production of floras and faunas produced at the partner's
> institutions, how they can be linked to external datasets, and how the new
> information can be made more widely accessible.
>
> A series of open workshops will be help to discuss specific tasks in the
> envisioned system.
>
>
>
> Consortium partners are the Naturalis Leiden, the Royal Botanical Garden
> Kew, the National Botanic Garden Belgium,  the Botanic Garden and Botanical
> Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Sigma Orionis, Pensoft and Plazi.
>
>
>
> More information is available at http://www.pro-ibiosphere.eu/
>
>
>
> Donat Agosti
>
> Plazi / Pro-iBiosphere
>
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