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A Digitization Journey, a Knowledge Journey
Personal and Professional Insights From My Work on Polynesian Researches
This Bird Illustration Does Not Exist
Creating New Bird Illustrations With Machine Learning and the BHL Flickr
Since the public launch of BHL in Feb 2008, the BHL Technical development team has received repeated requests for an interface that would allow users to download a PDF for an individual article within one of the digitized books in BHL. This is actually a fairly challenging task, as previously reported, but with the right technology and a little bit of luck we’ve devised a solution that is working very well in production and is receiving positive feedback. Here’s how it works.
We have pushed a change to the BHL Portal user interface to enhance usability of our books. The new page is available at:http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/4323Our goal with the improvement was to make the page more visually informative and, at the same time, easier to understand. We also took this opportunity to add in code that makes BHL more readily indexed by Zotero and other reference management applications.
Sometime over the past weekend, the Biodiversity Heritage Library portal loaded it’s 10 millionth page!
Due to the way volumes are ingested from the various scanning centers, it’s a bit tricky to pick which was the EXCACT 10 millionth page, but for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to say that it was one of the pages of Coleopterorum catalogus by Junk and Schenkling. I’m picking this item because, as you taxonomic cognoscenti out there know, beetles (coleoptera) represent, perhaps, the most common type of animal. Indeed, the noted biologist J.B.S. Haldane is reputed to have quipped that, if nothing else, nature reveals that God has “an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
Starting this past June, BHL worked with Qin Wei, a Ph.D. student in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, to evaluate the taxonomic name finding software and algorithms used to identify scientific names throughout the BHL corpus. This work lead to some interesting findings, which were reported this week via poster and oral presentation at the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) 2008 conference in Fremantle, Australia.
A series of files is now available for download that will enable libraries and other data providers to identify digitized titles available within BHL.
This suite of files also includes metadata about each volume scanned, as well as information about the millions of scientific names that have been identified throughout the BHL corpus and the pages on which those names occur.
Many researchers are used to searching or browsing for materials by article. Article level access to BHL content is a goal that we’re striving for, and one that we haven’t yet reached!BHL is a mass scanning operation. Our member libraries are moving as quickly as possible through a range of materials – books, serials, etc. – in order to scan as much as possible during our relatively brief window of funding. Our goal is to scan & cache now, then add in advanced technology solutions for secondary post-processing as they are developed.
BHL’s existence depends on the financial support of its patrons. Help us keep this free resource alive!
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL’s global consortium of natural history, botanical, and research libraries cooperate to digitize and make their collections accessible as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
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