HISCOM Teleconference March 2017

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Gillian Brown (BRI), Ben Richardson (PERTH), Anne Fuchs (CANB), Niels Klazenga (MEL), Donna Lewis (DNA - Chair), Wayne Cherry (NSW), Michael Hope (ALA), Ainsley Calladine (AD), Eleanor Crichton (AD), Ryonen Butcher (ALA CCC), Alison Vaughan (MEL), Nick dos Remedios (ALA)


Aaron Wilton (CHR), Laurence Paine (HO)


Status of actions from October 2017 AGM


GBIF update (Ursula Smith)

No update provided

TDWG update (Aaron)

No general news. Niels and Aaron submitted a symposium proposal

Pre-SPNHC Workshop 2017(Aaron)

Presentation at pre-SPNHC Workshop in Denver June 18th in Aarons absence on biodiversity informatics initiatives in our region. No HISCOM action needed, other than replying to Aaron. Aaron is discussing with Simon Checksfield. Someone to present from the local organising committee in Aarons absence.

AVH update (Niels)

  • Data providers - no new providers
  • AVH fields - In an email from Niels (24/02/2017), ALA were asked to remove non-Darwin Core fields we have delivered in the past from AVH to clean up occurance detail pages in AVH. Some Darwin Core terms are to be removed including:

• fieldNumber (Event) was delivered in the beginning instead of recordNumber (Occurrence); we fixed that more than three years ago, but all the fieldNumbers are still hanging around. • lifeStage we have never delivered, but has been populated with data from various other terms; we have included lifeStage in HISPID now, so some providers may start delivering it, so we should get rid of all the values that we think do not belong in this term. • establishmentMeans we have always delivered and we’ll keep delivering; however, the current values are the concatenated values from the abcd:CultivatedOccurrence and abcd:NaturalOccurrence elements, while we have now should use the TDWG vocabulary (which is the GBIF Establishment Means vocabulary). I will redeliver the converted values. Another change is that we now deliver locality also as verbatimLocality. This is so that this data will end up in the downloads (for some reason locality does not end up in the ‘locality’ column). abcd:LocalityText maps to both locality and verbatimLocality in Darwin Core, so ABCD providers don’t have to change anything. Herbaria that use the BioCASe provider for AVH delivery don’t have to do anything at this stage. It would be good, however, to get new ABCD Archives in the next few weeks/months, now that the NULL value issue has been resolved, so we can get AVH in synch with our own systems and can fix aggregation errors that have happened in the past.

  • HISPID 6.0 implementation - cmf file provided via https://github.com/hiscom/avh-biocase. Institutions can implement when they are ready. The ABCD-AVH template, which people should use, has been there all along, as that is what MEL has been using since 2013. Since the HISCOM meeting, Niels has added a Simple Darwin Core Record template and a HISPID Record template. People can use those if they want, but Niels' role is strictly harvesting ABCD and converting it to Darwin Core CSV, so mappings to these templates will not be harvested by Niels.

Australasian Virtual Herbarium update

  • AVH static pages (Alison) - Alison will update after the production release.
  • Names Index (Michael) - still being worked on and should go live in next 2-3 weeks.
  • Outstanding bugs (Michael) - working through HISCOM and FCIG bugs from the last AGM 2016. No significant bugs to address prior to the production release, apart from Names Index,
  • Promotional material - discussion and agreed that until CHAH provide a formal response to HISCOM's previous requests to support the design of AVH promotional material. Donna to raise again at next CHAH teleconference. ACTION #?
  • Release (end of March) - agreed to set a date at the end of March for a production release. Possibility of end of April 2017.


All agreed HISPID will continue to be called HISPID 6.0 and version if need be. For reference to HISPID see GitHub HISPID repo https://github.com/hiscom/hispid where RDF and PDF versions can be accessed, and for the issues see https://github.com/hiscom/hispid/issues. The terms can be accessed via http://hiscom.github.io/hispid/terms/. For new HISPID terms that are not Darwin Core, the intention is to publish these terms through TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification. Site for the candidate TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification is at https://github.com/tdwg/vocab.

National Species List (NSL) update (Anne)

  • APNI editing workshop

APNI editing workshops were running in March 2017 - 2 separate groups with representatives from each State/Territory herbaria. A paper was prepared for CHAH by Michelle and Anne covering the issues around data governance for all Flora datasets in the NSL. Anne understands CHAH have requested that ABRS (Anthony Whalen) in conjunction with NSL prepare a paper building on this. There has been an initial meeting.

ALA Symposium (Donna)

  • NSL infrastructure

Michael advised that the Symposium will include all NCRIS facilities. The program has not been decided on yet. Michael to keep the botanical community informed. All agreed that presenting NSL infrastructure was a good idea as it is the core of what we do.

HISCOM email list (Niels)

The following proposal has been supported by CHAH - HISCOM to proceed. Email from Niels 7th November 2016. HISCOM proposes to change over the email service from the ANBG-hosted Mailman service to Google GSuite (https://gsuite.google.com/). This is what ALA uses for its email lists, so we can benefit from their experience and have a smooth transition. I have never had spam in my Gmail and avh@ala.org.au has in fact been bouncing back all of the spam it gets via avh@chah.org.au. GSuite costs $AU 5 per user per month, which works out to $ 20 per month for the four user accounts we’ve got. There is a number of payment options, one of which will hopefully satisfy the auditors. The chah.org.au server currently only hosts the (very small) AVH website and redirects the chah.org.au and hiscom.chah.org.au to the ANBG and RBGV respectively. There are severe limitations what can be done on this server. For the AVH website, we couldn’t have pretty URLs (without the ‘index.php’) and we can’t send emails (which we wanted to do some time ago). Also, they changed the rules about what redirects you can do, which broke the links to the HISCOM Wiki and HISPID (in the GitHub repository).

HISCOM proposes to move the server to Amazon AWS, which is also ALA’s preferred server solution. AWS costs 3 cents per GB per month. Also, in the first year you get 50 GB/month for free, so with the usage I suspect we’ve got that means the first year will be free. Amazon has an Australian cloud, which should help with compliance. This will take some time to set up, so I don’t want to do this until next year (i.e. 2017). For now, I propose to do DNS redirects for the chah.org.audomain and subdomains to ANBG and RBGV (whichever is the most appropriate for the subdomain) IP addresses, so that Anne can cancel the current hosting solution. ACTION #? Anne to check if there are other lists (i.e. CHAH, HISCOM, MAHC, APC, AVH - also need a new list for APNI editors.

HISCOM AGM and other dates (Donna)

  • ALA Symposium 16-18th May 2017 - Canberra
  • IBC 23-29th July 2017 - China
  • HISCOM/MAHC/CHAH/FCIG/CHAFC AGM - 16-20th October 2017 - Melbourne
  • TDWG week commencing 9th October 2017 - Ottawa
  • ASBS November 2017 - Adelaide