Florida Museum of Natural History Hosts Summit for Digitization Project

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Six months after receiving $10 million from the National Science Foundation to organize digitization of the nation’s biological collections, University of Florida researchers welcomed participants to Gainesville this week for the project’s kick-off symposium.

Researchers from 31 institutions, project collaborators and five program officers from NSF are participating in planning workshops Wednesday and today at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on Southwest 34th Street.

“This is our first opportunity to get the staff of iDigBio together, who are providing toolsets to help collections become digitized easier, cheaper and faster, and integrating those databases into one research tool,” said iDigBio project manager Jason Grabon, who works at the Florida Museum of Natural History. “We’re also hearing from some of the tool providers so we can create plans and road maps for interfacing, moving forward and prioritizing needs.”

UF and Florida State University are leading the project, which aims to digitize as many collections as possible during the next five years. Based on current technological capabilities, complete digitization of the nation’s collections would take about 150 years. The first collections to be digitized will be those with a focused theme, known as thematic collection networks.





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