Yesterday (Monday) was the first full day at TDWG 2011. This post is an extraordinarily incomplete summary of some of the things I learned that day; a lot happened on that day, and I really don't have time to write about it all here (although I might post my thoughts in future posts). I'm writing down some URLs for my own interest. If I missed something you found interesting, it's likely that I was just too fascinated by the presentation to take notes (see my single sentence describing Michael Donoghue's keynote speech for a perfect example). All errors are mine, and when you spot them, please do let me know in the comments!
- Hank Bart announced the Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute.
- TDWG Annual Conference 2012 will be at Beijing, People's Republic of China!
- Since 1988, TDWG has been a part of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), a 92-year old biological organization which inexplicably has scrolling text on its homepage.
- Everybody working at TDWG is a volunteer - including everybody working hard to make TDWG 2011 a success. That's crazy!
- Nozomi James Ytow is the representative for Asia on the TDWG Executive.
- Since 1935, the Index Herbariorum has maintained a list of herbaria around the world. But it does not have a Wikipedia page (as of Oct 19, 2011, anyway). Interestingly, this database has been set up in KE EMu, the popular collections management system, which is also missing a Wikipedia page.
- Audubon Core is "a set of vocabularies designed to represent metadata for biodiversity multimedia resources and collections". Its specification, interestingly enough, is based on a wiki "developing a range of new, much easier and paper-free identification tools, for use within schools and universities across Europe". Interactive/digital keys have come up before, and will come up again, in this conference.
- One good way of helping support TDWG is by collaborating with them on a grant proposal. Who better to work with on biodiversity standards?
- Michael Donoghue had an excellent keynote address to start the conference with.
- So far, 39 awards have been made under the NSF's Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC), including InvertNet, and the Consortia of North American Lichens and Bryophytes.
- The TDWG Taxonomic Names and Concepts Interest Group had a meeting, where I found out about a bunch of taxonomic information aggregation and exchange projects around the world. Discussions included:
- A comparison of the Taxon Concept Schema (TCS) and Darwin Core (DwC). If we want to move on to ontologies, the TDWG Ontology came up.
- TDWG's own Global Names Architecture project, which has some exciting things ready already (Global Names Index) and some in the works (GNUB).
- Naim Matasci also mentioned the iPlant Taxonomic Name Resolution Service (TNRS), a pretty utility "for correcting and standardizing plant names". And the source code is available on GitHub, released under a modified BSD license.
- I know how awesome Pensoft Publishers are. But I didn't know about IPNI.
- The BGBM's Biodiversity Informatics Section (BDI) has some fascinating resources available on their website.
- Javier de la Torre showed off the Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool (GeoCAT). As you would expect from Vizzuality, the website is fast, slick, efficient and easy to understand. And yes, it's on GitHub. Hard to tell if it's open source, though: there ain't no license.
- Denné Reed described a "federated system of data collection" he uses for paleoanthropology. And yes, he uses Darwin Core.
I'm dreading writing tomorrow's blog post, since today (Tuesday) was an incredibly valuable day for finding out about projects, websites, ambitions and niches. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that for a day at least, maybe more.