HISCOM Teleconference July 2016

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Donna Lewis (DNA, Chair), Anne Fuchs (CANB), Aaron Wilton (CHR), Gill Brown (BRI), Ryonen Butcher (PERTH/ALA), Niels Klazenga (MEL), Nick dos Remedios (ALA), Eleanor Crichton (AD), Ben Richardson (PERTH), Alison Vaughan (MEL), Wayne Cherry (NSW)


Laurence Paine (HO)


Status of actions from February 2016 Teleconference

February 2016 Teleconference Action items

There are no outstanding items from the February teleconference.

GBIF update (Ursula Smith)

This is a standing action item. Donna hasn't received any updates on GBIF from Ursula since the last meeting.

TDWG update (Aaron)

Conference dates have been announced, as has funding for some working groups. There are a number of working groups that have become active again, and Aaron is involved in a communications working group. The Otago Museum (in Dunedin) has put in a bid to host both SPNHC and TDWG in 2018. SPNHC have accepted the bid, and TDWG are still considering it. There has been some renewed activity around Darwin Core. HISCOM should propose the addition of our new HISPID terms into DwC before the Costa Rica meeting in December 2016.

Action 1: Follow up on proposing that HISPID terms are added to Darwin Core (Aaron).

AVH update (Niels/Nick)

The ALA have been working on some issues related to the backend processing of new names. Now that these issues have been resolved, they can start resolving some of the indexing issues relating to the presentation of data in AVH.

  • Threatened Species

The new test version has national EPBC values displayed. State-based values (based on where the record was collected, not where the specimen is held) were previously displayed. Both terms should ideally be displayed. Nick said that the ALA will be mapping terms from the different jurisdictions to consistent ALA terminology so the data can be compared meaningfully.

  • Data Downloads

New download functions are available on the test site (the link has been sent to HISCOM via email, and is not for wider circulation at present). Users now have the option of continuing to query the site while waiting for a download. Downloads delivered via email come with a citation file that includes a block of text that can be copied and pasted by users (some variables in the citation text are currently undefined, but will be fixed when the next version is deployed). HISCOM members are encouraged to test the new features and provide feedback.

  • Providing feedback on AVH test site

A discussion about the best way to coordinate feedback on was had. In the first instance, it was agreed that Ryonen circulate the last ALA sprint review notes to identify what changes have been implemented in the AVH, in order for HISCOM members to prioritise which components and functionality to test. It was agreed that it is good to see other people's feedback in order to refine ideas. It was decided that the best way to gather feedback is via a repository in the HISCOM GitHub site, so discussions can be had and ideas can be fleshed out among HISCOM before being passed on to the ALA. Once decisions have been made, Ryonen will transfer the final feedback to the ALA GitHub repository.

Action 2: Create a new repository in the AVH GitHub site for AVH testing (Ben).
Action 3: The last sprint review notes regarding AVH updates to be circulated to HISCOM (Ryonen).
  • Duplicate Detection

In the last ALA sprint, it was reported that duplicate detection now also looks for collector’s number, and collector’s name is assessed singly and when part of multiple collectors. This component should be tested to ensure it is functioning sufficiently. See Action 2 where feedback can be reported via the AVH GitHub site.

  • ALA Sprints

It was agreed that HISCOM receives ALA/AVH sprint review notes in future via Ryonen. HISCOM members can therefore keep track of recent updates and undertake any testing if required and have further dialog via the AVH GitHub site.

Australasian Virtual Herbarium update (Aaron)

There are three outstanding components for the integration to be finalised and ready for production, including: 1. Names - incorporation of NZor, waiting on BIE in which Michael is currently working on. 2. NZ regions to be finalised. 3. NZ data to be updated and refreshed. Regarding the static site, it was agreed that the static map can remain as is and can be incorporated later. From discussions, it became evident that the static content needed to be reviewed/checked prior to the production release.

Action 4: Circulate AVH static page link to HISCOM/MAHC for comment via the AVH GitHub site (Niels).

AVH User Liaison (Alison)

  • Checking current arrangements

Eleanor has not been receiving avh emails due to suspected departmental constraints with spam. Alison, Niels and Nick have been responding to AVH queries and will continue to do so. Once Eleanor is receiving again, she will continue to coordinate avh queries.

Action 5: Delete Eleanor and create a new account (Niels).

HISPID Review (Aaron/Niels/Ben/Anne)

HTML and PDF versions of HISPID 6.0.0 are available. There are minor details to finalise to get it over the line 2016.

Action 6: Fill in gaps via the HISPID GitHub site (Aaron).
Action 7: Prepare content for the source file in HISPID GitHub site - introductory, background text etc (Alison).

National Species List (NSL) update (Anne)

A test model for searching the NSL has been circulated to HISCOM and the eFlora Names working group. It is much clearer and more concise. Members are encouraged to test and provide feedback via https://www.anbg.gov.au/ibis25/display/NSL/Search+feedback. HISCOM were encouraged to test in particular the model and how to search and what to do with it. The IBIS Team are currently working towards the tree component of the NSL, due mid-late August 2016. There have been no changes to web services at this stage. Lichen data is pretty much close to loading.

ALA Strategic Plan (Biological Collections) and follow-up Surveys (Michelle/Donna)

Donna reiterated the outcomes of the ALA Strategic Plan (Biological Collections) that was held in February 2016. Four priorities were presented at the workshop including 1. Solid Infrastructure, 2. Names, 3. Images, and 4. Annotations Service. Michelle (CHAH Chair) presented big ideas, plans and vision on behalf of the botanical community which was very well received. An outcome of this was to establish current status of State Census Workflows and Images that herbaria maintain with the intention of delivering images (including GPI) to the AVH in future. To move forward in this space, two surveys were circulated to HISCOM and MAHC and almost all herbaria responded.

  • State Census Workflows (Anne)

Results are currently being compiled. The survey results identified that there are a lot of requirements. Further discussion will take place at the forthcoming HISCOM/MAHC AGM in Brisbane October 2016. HISCOM agreed that a document be prepared for CHAH which identifies the requirements and provides the options.

Action 8: Circulate results of the State Census Workflows survey (Anne).
  • Images (Donna)

Results are currently being compiled. All institutions maintain images (varying types, sizes & formats) and would be able to link images to a specimen or a taxon name, unique id etc. There are many impediments in mobilising the images to the AVH but all agreed we need to make it happen and work through the issues. It was agreed that this be discussed in more detail at the forthcoming HISCOM/MAHC AGM in Brisbane October 2016. Niels provided an update on GPI images via email following this teleconference. Niels has spent time on MEL GPI images with converting to JPEG 600dpi using ImageMagick (command-line program). 95% quality was used to redistribute pixels to downsize the images as just compressing them didn't work - result is 12-15 MB files which is ideal. Niels will be using ExifTool to edit the EXIF data in order to extract the metadata??. There are already quite a few specimens in ALA that are linked to AVH records, refer to AVH test site. GPI images are on external hard drives which have been sent to JSTOR and should be back by the end of August.

Action 9: Circulate results of the Current Status of Image survey (Donna).

HISCOM AGM and other dates

  • ASBS - 26-29th Sept 2016, Alice Springs
  • FCIG/CHAFC AGM - week commencing 6th October 2016, Darwin
  • HISCOM/MAHC AGM - 17-21 October 2016 (17-18 MAHC, 19 MAHC/HISCOM, 20-21 HISCOM) - Brisbane
  • TDWG Conference - 5-9th December 2016, Costa Rica
  • CHAH AGM - proposed for Nov, NZ