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Preserving and Digitizing Plant Images:

Linking Plant Images and Databases for Public Access

Completed November 2000

Progress Summaries

Final Report, November 2000

March 2000 | Second Interim Narrative Report, June 2000
January 1999 | March 1999 | Interim Narrative Report, June 1999 | September 1999

November 2000

Final Report

June 2000

Second Interim Narrative Report

March 2000

Between September, 1999 and March, 2000, we have:
  1. Chris Freeland has replaced Alan Tucker as the Technical Coordinator for the project.
  2. Leslie Miller has created a complete set of protocols for scanning 35mm slides, which are being used with the Gentry slides and additional slide sets. In order to increase efficiency, we have purchased two Nikon Coolscan LS-2000s with autofeeders to scan the 35mm slides in batches of 40 slides per scanner. We have also purchased additional Macintosh G4s to maximize our editing process.

September 1999

Between March, 1999 and September, 1999, we have:
  1. After an extended period of testing with the Leaf MicroLumina camera, this product was discontinued before it could be purchased. A much shorter trial period led to the purchase of the Kaiser Scando Dyn A digital camera. We are happy to report that this camera outperforms the Leaf MicroLumina in every respect. We are using LaserSoft's SilverFast digital imaging software to capture and manipulate the images produced by the Scando camera. Leslie Miller spent several months learning this powerful but complicated software package, and developing a fast and efficient protocol for imaging herbarium specimens. We are now testing and refining this protocol.
  2. Lighting for the digital cameras, both the Leaf and the Kaiser Scando, has proved difficult. With the assistance of light designer Gary Register of Plume Ltd., we have purchased and installed Scandles high-frequency lights. The lights allow the camera to reveal fine texture in the herbarium specimens without creating confusing shadows.
  3. Bar-coding has been added to the processing of the Gentry 35 mm. slides. In order to facilitate handling, and linking the slides to database records, each slide will be bar-coded. The barcode reader and software are now working well after some initial difficulties.

March 1999

Between January, 1999 and March, 1999, we have:
  1. Conducted an extensive evaluation of the Leaf MicroLumina digital scanning camera;
  2. Completed the sorting process of the Gentry slides for all families A-Z--except for Bignoniaceae, which makes up a vast majority of the Gentry slides;
  3. Created new labels for all unlabeled families and filed all slides; and
  4. Streamlined the Macintosh network that volunteers, interns, and staff use for image editing.

In January, Chandra Oleksiewicz was hired as a Web Analyst. She will be working closely with the IMLS project's web development.

In February, Kristin Pierce joined the project as Herbarium Assistant. She is entering field book information about the type specimens that will be associated with the slide images in the IMLS project.

Also in February, Molly Ives Brower and Chandra Oleksiewicz participated in a three-day class to learn more about Cold Fusion, a web application development tool that will be used in the integration of the TROPICOS database and the digitized images from the three collections targeted by the IMLS project.

In March, Alan Tucker participated in a two-day class to learn more advanced features of Cold Fusion.

January 1999

Between December, 1998 and January, 1999, we have:
  1. Developed a process by which to implement digitization of the slides in the Gentry collection;
  2. Begun sorting slides for digitization and data entry in the TROPICOS database;
  3. Determined, after reviewing literature on scanning and imaging technologies, that the digitization of the slides and specimens should be done using a digital scanning camera or scanner rather than a traditional camera and PhotoCD technology;
  4. Evaluated equipment for digitizing slides and specimens, including several digital camera scanning backs, digital cameras, and scanners;
  5. Tentatively chosen the Leaf MicroLumina digital scanning camera and arranged a demonstration of the camera's capabilities; and
  6. Developed a web site for the project (http://www.mobot.org/mobot/imls/).

We have also begun selecting and ordering equipment for use in organizing the slide collection, and hardware to upgrade existing computers to the standards necessary to streamline the project.

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If you have questions about this site, contact Doug Holland, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299