Specimens housed in Natural History Collections (NHCs) are needed as reliable historical baselines for researching climate change and biodiversity loss. But while demand for digital access to these historical records continues to grow, funding and availability of classification experts continues to be a challenge.
To assist collections and enable more people to participate in digitization projects, our classification app has been optimised for automatically classifying large quantities of preserved specimens, empowering a much larger community of volunteers and assistants to become an integral part of their collection’s workflow. Through the release of this app we hope to accelerate the sorting and digitization process, resulting in faster release of historical data and lower digitization and curation costs.
The app implements a hierarchical classification technique, researched by former Library Lab fellow Ankit Dhall (more detail here),and has been specifically designed for Collection workers; focusing on an ergonomic layout, fast results and minimising clicks. It is available now in the App store for iOS, with the Android version expected to be released later this year. In case you would like to be invited to use the app and create an account, or have any questions, please contact us here at the Library Lab or through the BioDex website. As an alternative to using the app, it is also possible to integrate BioDex into existing workflows by using the classification API which allows for the predicted species to be returned programmatically. Allowing the potential Collections’ existing digitization software to interface with a standalone classification service.
1. January 2020 – 30. September 2020