Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Font Size: 
SERNEC collaborative georeferencing; leveraging the interoperability between GEOLocate and Symbiota for a large scale digitization project.
M W Denslow, H Brown, E Gilbert, N Rios, Z E Murrell

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-06 11:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Last modified: 2016-10-15


The Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) is a Thematic Collections Network (TCN) focused on digitization of over 4 million herbarium specimens from the southeast United States. In order to meet SERNEC’s primary goal of generating a research ready dataset for public use, all metadata records will be georeferenced. Given the large number of specimens to be digitized and the size of the herbarium network, GEOLocate’s collaborative georeferencing tool is well suited for the network’s needs. Symbiota is a platform for creating specimen-based biodiversity information communities online. SERNEC is utilizing both of these tools in order to meet its goals. Newly built functionality between these two software packages will provide a stable and efficient platform for georeferencing specimens. Specifically, interoperability between GEOLocate and Symbiota was extended by adding a set of web services to their API libraries that allow project managers to coordinate real-time data augmentation through the two applications. Several user interfaces were created within Symbiota that give collection managers the ability to push data packages of non-georeferenced occurrences from a Symbiota portal into a targeted GEOLocate community expedition. Global unique identifiers and Darwin Core Archive transfer protocols are implemented to enable coordinated record flow between the two applications. The collaborative georeferencing tools also allow SERNEC to engage with it’s wider group of stakeholder to crowd source the georeferencing tasks within online communities that are built within the system. We will give an overview of these newly built functionalities and present how these create an efficient workflow for georeferencing in a collaborative environment. We will also describe how data provenance is handled in the system and how other projects can leverage these new tools.