EUDAT pilot project on herbarium image analysis

Digitarium is participating in Herbadrop, an archival service for long-term preservation of herbarium specimen images and a tool for extracting information by image analysis.

New insect line for Helsinki

Digitarium has delivered an automatic imaging line for pinned insects for the Finnish Museum of Natural History at the University of Helsinki. The line is identical to the one operating in Joensuu.

EU BON and CETAF met at Digitarium

EU BON and CETAF informatics groups had an astronomically successful meeting in Joensuu 17-20 March 2015. The event coincided with solar eclipse and show of the decade for northern lights.

ESF funding for distance work in transcription services

The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in South-Savo has granted 155,757 euro for a new project "Digitisation goes rural". The aim of this European Social Fund project is to explore distance work in transcription of digital information. This is a joint project of Digitarium, the Finnish Museum of Natural History LUOMUS, and the Joensuu Regional Development Company JOSEK.

Mass digitisation of pinned insects

A novel automatic imaging line for pinned insects and other small objects has been taken in production at Digitarium. Using the imaging line, an entire beetle collection of 15,000 specimens was digitised in two months.

Butterflies and climate change at the EGI meeting

At the EGI Community Forum meeting, May 19-23, in Helsinki, Finland, Yuliya Fetyukova presented a study led by the BioVeL-project partners at the University of Eastern Finland: "Large scale modelling of the distribution of butterfly biodiversity in Europe using the BioVeL portal on the EGI infrastructure".

Species distribution modelling allows determining variation among species and their shifts over time as responses to climate and environmental changes. Butterflies are good and viable biological indicators. They react quickly to changes.

Imaging of new plant species by Digitarium

Plant collector Juhani Räsänen from Joensuu has described six dandelion species, which are new for science. A recently published paper (Memoranda Soc. Fauna Flora Fennica 89: 42-56. 2013) shows the type specimens collected by Juhani and imaged by Digitarium. In close-up images, attention has been paid to differences e.g. between achene structures.

Structural reforms needed for funding digitisation

The importance of digitisation of cultural history was highlighted in a recent article by Kai Ekholm, the Director of the National Library (newspaper Helsingin Sanomat 2013-12-24) where he called for a national digitization initiative, following Norway’s example. Digitisation enables use of historical material in a modern way.

Unlike cultural history, for natural history there are no established funding channels available.

Visit from American iDigBio

Deb Paul, the User Services Specialist of the American iDigBio programme, from Florida State University, visited Digitarium on 2013-10-15/16. Discussions covered digitisation workflows, crowdsourcing, data standards, and mutual collaboration. It was agreed to continue exchange of information and make further visits.

Not only natural history

One could think that digitization of cultural history objects is completely different from that of natural history specimens. However, when digitizing a historical artifact or a plant specimen, procedures are alike. In fact, an old plant sample could be digitized by the same token as a historical artifact.