Headline Oct 29, 2015/ "' MAGNIFICENT -iDiGBio- DATABASE "'


BE INFORMED. And be empowered. And be competitive : 

OURS is one of the most colorful relationships of history.  We need insects and flowers for our very survival.

To recap, -one of the largest efforts in the United States called the Integrated Digitized Biocollections, or  iDigBio, is underway at the University of Florida.

Financed by the National Science Foundation,  iDigBio  has bought together 283 institutions in all  50 states, mostly museums and universities, to create a common language and process for digitizing images of species. 

"Everybody knows there's a tremendous amount of information in natural history collections," said  Larry Page, the curator of fishes at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the director of  iDigBio.

"But the collections are inaccessible to virtually everyone. Even Scientists working on particular  groups of organisms  don't know what's contained in the other museums." 

The  iDigBio  search portal contains  45 million specimen records and about  12 million images. This is not  nearly enough,  Dr. Page said. He estimates there are half a billion specimens in the United States alone.

The project, in its fifth and final year of funding, has requested support for another five years. Dr. Page said the portal will prove in invaluable resource for scientists.

In a few years,  he said, a scientist studying climate change might be able to glean information from the  iDigBio  database about how an insect's range has changed and make predictions about future trends.

"The data will tell us what occurred where at certain periods of time, and we can link that environmental data and then look at the changes they anticipate," Dr. Page said.

Right now, the  iDigBio  project is focusing mostly on building a large database of species records, information collected by the scientists in the field about when and where a particular species was found.

Initially the project did not place much emphasis on images, but that has changed.

"I was sceptical about the use of images when the project first started," Dr. Page. "I thought Database information was enough. But images are becoming of huge interest to everyone because there is so much information in them."

That is why the efforts in Berlin and elsewhere have such potential. The highdefinition imaging of type specimens in general opens up the natural world in a way that scientists only dreamed of a decade ago.

Science stands to benefit not just from the advances in knowledge gained from world wide access to these specimens, but also by encouraging students to pursue careers in biology or environmental work.

"This is a chance to make everyone aware of how valuable the data are in natural history collections, how much they tell us about the natural world," Dr. Page said.   
With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

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Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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