HISCOM Teleconference May 2008

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The HISCOM Teleconference for May 2008 was held on Friday 16 May at 12:30 AEST.

Minutes, mainly actions, of phone hookup

Compiled by Bill Barker as a draft for comment/modification. HISCOMers to take particular note of wording and intent of actions and recommendations

Present: AD - Bill Barker (MC, minutes), Rex Croft; SAPAC, Uni of Adelaide - Paul Coddington, Shunde Zhang; PERTH - Alex Chapman, Ben Richardson, Amanda Spooner; BRI - Peter Bostock (Chair HISCOM); NSW - Gary Chapple, Karen Wilson; CANB - Jim Croft, Greg Whitbread; MEL - Alison Vaughan; HO - Laurence Paine.

Time: 12.30 pm, Eastern Standard Time - c. 2.40 pm.

Summary of discussion, actions and recommendations to CHAH

1. Resourcing AVH2 completion and extension

ABRS had managed to gain c. $80K from NHT for this, on condition that a full set of data (AVH MoU fields)was delivered to them by end June. The agreement was being negotiated currently with CHAH executive.

What Jim suggested was needed was a roadmap for future development of AVH2.

ACTION 1. HISCOM develop costed time-schedule of steps in development of AVH2.

RECOMMENDATION to CHAH 1. CHAH communicate this schedule to ALA Steering Committee indicating the continued importance of the AVH to the business of CHAH and their desire to its development resourced by the ALA funds as part of the ALA framework as an important node of delivery and access to data and information.

After discussion agreed that CHAH needed us to deliver on the AVH and the Early Warning System - a credibility issue (for HISCOM as well).

2. Discussion on the set of prioritised recommendations circulated to HISCOM for upgrading AVH2

Bill had circulated to HISCOM list an excel spreadsheet which Rex had moved into this AVH2 web facility QA - bringing to public release - Apr-May 2008. The spreadsheet was the result of a great job by Chris Brodie in Adelaide over 6 days paid by CHAH. As a general botanist user without an IT background he raised the many issues in the first place with input from Rex and Bill; Rex and Bill had spent another 2 days evaluating his comments and establishing a first pass on a list of prioritised actions.

Once on the site another set of Comments were added by: Paul Coddington and Shunde Zhang, including indication that a SAPAC bug fix, and Alison Vaughan. Jim Croft and Nick Lander had also made comments to the list, still to be added. There had also been a deal of discussion on the improvement that Ben Richardson's proposal of an improved design of the AVH pages (particular on his choice of green as the background!).

Immediate priority

It was agreed that the immediate priority should be:

  • What is broken
  • What is wrong
  • Data inconsistency.

To that should be added:

  • Implementing a 10 minute square grid (demanded by the AVH MoA)in the current mapper (suggestion to look at Hakea aenigma overlying Kangaroo Island).
  • Implementing the List and Large Query mechanism already approved by CHAH
  • Appropriate null designation
  • Null queries (suggested to indicate by "(null)").
  • Dropdown box for infraspecific ranks
  • Error messages: distinguish between no matching records and not working
  • Implement two URLs - one for public, one for Login (must be within the one AVH application).

Also consider in priorities

  • Add flag for indication of always provided vs. sometimes filled fields
  • ... as distinct from MoA vs. non-MoA fields that at moment are not provided by all herbaria
  • Grey out the collections query page (Login area) as only AD supplying data at this stage
  • Shade out fields on other pages that only one or two herbaria providing data
  • Add search on empty fields (possible strings suggested: !* or empty or null)

ACTION 2. The Adelaide group (AD, SAPAC) would review the list of prioritised issues, add others that had been raised in emails and in this meeting, and come up with a costs and programming time for a recommended set of high priority fixes to take no more than 3 weeks of programming by SAPAC.

In compiling the comments in the spreadsheet Rex and Bill had used HISPID5 as the guide to consistency of data. Examples were: different use of capitals and abbreviations in Country, State, etc.

It was agreed that data consistency in the first immediate priority fixes this should be fixed at the AVH2 end. Ben proposed the following, which was agreed.

AGREEMENT 2. Providers to AVH2 should ultimately deliver HISPID5 compliant data.

Subsequent priority

It was agreed that the following should be considered for subsequent implementation.

  • Have a link to an AVH implementation of Rex Croft's Google Maps implementation viewed by HISCOMers linked to AD data
  • Browser facility for scientific names appearing against AVH2 records
  • Add user notes.


ACTION 3. Alison Vaughan to provide draft of User Notes.

ACTION 4. SAPAC to provide HISCOM (Greg/Jim?) dump of MoA data fields for DEHWA in compliance with MoA as soon as possible.

ACTION 5. Jim Croft to ask re availability of CANB web designer to draft new AVH2 web design in consultation with Ben Richardson.

ACTION 6. HISCOM (Jim Croft coordinate) develop a implementationn plan (time lines, costing, other needs) for provision to CHAH for utilising the current NHT/ABRS funds and for future requests for financial support