Digitization is the process of recording biodiversity information in a digital form. The digitization of biological specimens allows curators to manage their collections more efficiently and to publish
the information, which enables it to be used and studied in different ways.
There are two kinds of digitization:
- Text digitization: digitally recording the label data associated with a specimen, as text. When we use the word digitization, we generally mean text digitization.
- Imaging: creating a digital image of a specimen. See the imaging page for more information.
Digitization can be a very time-consuming process and it is therefore important to make it as efficient and error-proof as possible. See the documents
Data priorities for Canadensys
Only part of the Canadensys’ collections
can be digitized with the current funding. To maximize the use of the generated data for research, we need to prioritize what to digitize first.
Text information captured on the specimen label is sufficient for most research using biological collection information. Typically this information is the “what, when and where” of a specimen, but often much richer information can be found and used. Since it is hard to predict all the possible data uses (see Uses of primary species-occurrence data
), it is better to capture as much information as possible.
Since all our information is published using the Darwin Core
standard, it is useful to consult the Darwin Core terms
as an indication of what information to capture: these are the most commonly used elements of biodiversity information and the result of several use case analyses.
Collections should also prioritize the digitization of taxonomic and geographic groups that are most valuable for research. This includes the groups that are unique or well-represented in a collection, groups that receive research attention from the collection researchers or the Canadensys community (e.g. the genus Carex
), rare and invasive species, and groups that can contribute to climate studies.