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Digitarium is a digitisation factory and a centre of expertise. Its services cover the following areas:

  1. Imaging of natural history specimen collections
  2. Recording of metadata connected to natural history collections, including expert georeferencing
  3. The required transportation, handling, marking, and long-term storage of natural history specimen collections
  4. Hosting and archival services for images and other data, enabling open access to data, using international standards
  5. Training and capacity building across all aspects of natural history specimen digitisation
  6. Research in biodiversity informatics and development of technologies for digitisation
  7. Delivery of mass-digitisation equipment and software to customers worldwide, including installation, support, and training of users

Automated mass-digitisation line for herbarium sheets and other similar objects, developed and built at Digitarium.

The high standard of services offered by Digitarium is based on Digitarium’s own research and development work, Digitarium’s own academic training programme, precisely defined methods and high-end equipment and components. Clients may become acquainted with these methods by viewing Digitarium's Wiki Service Description. It is also possible to tailor the services offered by Digitarium in accordance to client’s needs.

  1. Digitarium uses advanced photography methods in specimen imaging. Manual photography is used for example in insect stacking photography and in fungal, moss and lichen photography. However, imaging has been largely transferred to automated lines for mass digitisation. Customised lines are available for flat large objects such as herbarium sheets, and pinned insects, respectively. This novel technology was developed at Digitarium. Digitarium has also developed an interface that gives the client an almost real-time online access to images being produced. This interface may also be used for downloading the images to client’s server.
  2. Recording of metadata is based on Darwin Core standard. This XML-based data entry system is compatible with all databases. Digitarium has developed a data entry application DigiWeb, which enables a subcontractor or a homeworker to enter metadata via a web-based application. Digitarium has also developed an interface for metadata that enables the client to view and verify metadata and download it to her own server. Georeferencing is done during the data entry stage by Digitarium's roster of highly skilled natural history experts. The site for the specimen record is given in decimal degrees according to the internationally agreed WGS84 datum and ETRS-8 Coordinate systems.
  3. If the customer wants to ship their material to our site for imaging and tagging, we offer a worldwide door-to-door service through our partner Pegasus Moving Ltd. They are a professional international removal company, with references from major natural history institutions for transport of delicate material. A tailored service package offered by Digitarium includes transport, handling and tagging with unique identifiers of specimens in collections. Digitarium’s guidelines for these can be viewed from Wiki Service Description. Digitarium offers also long-term storage options for client’s collections.
  4. IPT Service at Digitarium uploads the digitised natural history collections to international databases upon client’s request. Examples of such databases are GBIF, Morphbank and OpenUp! in Europeana. Digitarium also is a data provider in the Finnish GBIF network, and gives support for setting up GBIF services. The IPT hosting service is available for data sharing. Data may also be uploaded to Metacat data-archive (under construction), which is a public archive for ecological sciences in Finland.
  5. Digitarium as a provider of training is discussed on the Expertise Centre page.
  6. Digitarium as a developer of methods and technology is discussed on the Digitisation Centre page and on the Expertise Centre page.
  7. Our mass-digitisation equipment has been proven in large projects with our customers. We now offer this industrial strength equipment also for our customers, who cannot or do want not to ship their invaluable collections to our site. Using this equipment the customers can tag and image their collections at their own premises, at the pace they want, employing their own staff. The equipment can be tailored to the specific needs of the material at hand. It comes with an open-source web application for transcribing the data by the customer's own crowd-sourcing network.

We believe Digitarium has the most hassle-free and economical solution for large scale digitisation. Our offering fits the needs of academic institutions that prefer collaborative research and development between equal partners instead of short-term commercial procurement. Acquiring mass digitisation capacity in-house, through collaboration with a world-leading research unit is the optimum solution, because digitisation of natural heritage is an open-ended process that will never be finished.

For inquiries, contact our Project Manager Riitta Tegelberg riitta.tegelberg(ät)