BRIT Biodiversity Informatics
The BRIT Biodiversity Informatics Program supports the research and curatorial activities at BRIT through the development of tools and technologies that enable and facilitate the management, analysis, and dissemination of biodiversity data. Two primary products of the program are Atrium, a biodiversity information system, and Apiary, a workflow for extracting textual data from herbarium specimens.
Atrium is a biodiversity information system which was developed with the goal of revolutionizing biodiversity information management by enabling researchers and organizations to share, synthesize, manage, and publish biodiversity data in a collaborative online environment.
The concept for Atrium was originally envisioned by former BRIT researcher John Janovec, Amanda Neill, and Mathias Tobler as a means to accumulate, store, use, and disseminate data for BRIT's Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program (AABP) through funding provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The development team, including Jason Best and programmer Anton Webber, worked closely with the AABP researchers to create a system which integrates specimen and taxonomic data with geospatial data, weather data, and literature.
Since the original vision for Atrium was first formed, the project has continued to grow with new features and capabilities and now provides online access to a number of biodiversity projects including the AABP Atrium, the BRIT Digital Herbarium which hosts a growing number of BRIT's digitized specimens, and the Digital Flora of New Guinea.
Click here to learn read more about Atrium.
Apiary is an online digital workflow that streamlines the process of extracting label and annotation data from herbarium specimens to meet the critical need for worldwide, digital access to the wealth of knowledge currently trapped on millions of specimen sheets. The Apiary workflow provides a web-based interface that allows humans to quickly and accurately extract the textual data from digital specimen images with the assistance of computer processes such as optical character recognition (OCR).
Apiary is being developed through a collaborative effort of BRIT and University of North Texas's Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
For more information, visit the Apiary project site .