Peek of the dome of the
Basilica di Santa Maria del
Fiore via a side street
I particularly enjoyed the keynote talk by Eric Meyer of the Oxford Internet Institute where researchers study the social implications of the Internet from different domain perspectives. Meyer explained why science and research are growing more collaborative and computational due to funding, technology, and the growing complexity of tasks. I also attended the Image Interest Group’s multimedia resources task group where the discussion was on the next steps for the Audubon Core data standard and its recent ratification by the executive committee. Having been involved in data standards work for the past 10 years with the VRA Core data standard I can appreciate what a huge milestone that is. I discovered some interesting parallels between the data models of Audubon Core and VRA Core. For instance, Audubon Core models species which can have one or more multimedia resources (e.g. images, video, audio, etc.) while VRA Core models works (art objects) which can have 1 or more still images (i.e. various views or details of the object).
Interior of the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
(aka Il Duomo). Filippo Brunelleschi designed the dome,
Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zucarri painted the dome with a
representations from The Last Judgement.
I was lucky to have had the opportunity not only to attend TDWG but to also to present as part of the symposium “Crafting the future of a global biodiversity library for diverse community’s needs”. There I talked about the NEH-funded Art of Life project which is an effort to identify and describe the hidden visual images found within the pages of the BHL corpus. I gave an update on the progress of the project, details on the algorithms and schema, and explained the benefits to the biodiversity community.
Even though my experience overall of TDWG was positive I do have some suggestions for the program planners of the conference. I would recommend providing opportunities for newcomers to ease their way into a new organization. For example, give overviews or introductory sessions about the standards that TDWG creates and manages. Many of the data standard discussions were at a very detailed level by folks who have been doing this work for years. I would also suggest partnering newbies up with folks who have been long time attendees so that they can show them the ropes and give them an understanding of the workings of a fairly complex organizational structure. They can also help introduce them to other participants. Lastly, have the leadership provide a breakfast or coffee just for newcomers. This makes them feel welcome and demonstrates that the leadership recognizes the importance of new voices and ideas for future sustainability of the organization.
|Fresco from the basilica of San Miniato al Monte|
By Trish Rose-Sandler, Data Project Coordinator, Center for Biodiversity Informatics (CBI), Missouri Botanical Garden