HISCOM Teleconference May 2015

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Wayne Cherry (NSW), Anne Fuchs (CANB), Niels Klazenga (MEL), Zoe Knapp (ABRS), Donna Lewis (DNA), Rebecca Pirzl (ALA), Nick dos Remedios (ALA), Alison Vaughan (MEL), Aaron Wilton (CHR), Eleanor Crichton (AD), Ainsley Calladine (AD)


Ian Cowie (DNA)


HISCOM roles (handover update)

  • HISCOM Chair - Donna Lewis has taken on this role whilst Alison is on leave. HISCOM members to assist when required.
  • HISCOM Deputy Chair - Ian Cowie has taken on this role from Michelle.
  • AVH User Liaison - Eleanor Crichton has taken on this role. Alison provided notes on the AVH user liaison responsibilities. HISCOM members to assist with AVH queries when required.

ALA technical update (Nick dos Remedios)

  • HISCOM agreed that 'ALA technical update' is to become a standing item on the HISCOM agenda from this point forward
  • Type status in AVH - given there have been a couple of recent enquiries from people wanting to use a type status facet, this facet has been hidden for the time being until mapping problems are resolved.
Action 1: Contact Miles regarding the mapping/data delivery issues with Type Status prior to this facet being made available in AVH (Niels/Aaron).
  • New version of AVH went live yesterday which included new banner, colour scheme, fonts etc. The front end was almost a complete re-write in line with the ALA version that was implemented over a year ago.
  • There are a few outstanding niggling bugs that will be fixed within the next day or two.
  • The main updates made in AVH were those demonstrated at the AGM in Adelaide, September 2014.
  • The AVH uses the ALA code base so any bug fixes are generally reflected in AVH and core functionality is in ALA.
  • Temporarily running AVH on Amazon server until CSIRO have a machine so it can be migrated back.
  • Code is in GitHub which is where bugs etc are managed.
  • 2 NEW HUBS are coming online: 1. Australian Plant Pests Database. This will not be accessible without a login, and is not available through Biocache. Michael Hope is overseeing this project. It has host serving capabilities. Test version is going up soon and it will be a few more months before it goes live. The data delivering organisation is PHA (Plant Health Australia). 2. APA (Atlas of Pre-historic Animals?). It is available through Biocache and the hub data is being coordinated by Flinders University. This is a while off as the data is still being compiled.
  • NAMES - Currently the Atlas harvests names from APNI/APC which was last done 1 year ago. ALA have prioritised a re-import of names soon (no date on it yet). The ALA website has a new skin and the website has undergone a facelift. The ALA has employed an in-house graphic designer (Adam). A style guide has been implemented so users have a more consistent experience.
  • SANDBOX - login is now required. Personal datasets can be uploaded for running analyses. Prior to login datasets were disappearing and you were forced to re-upload. Alison suggested this as an AVH news item.
  • PHYLOLINK - a tool that intersects phylo trees and spatial layers for drawing upon environmental information. More work is to be done around Phylo diversity. A prototype is available personal trees, however SANDBOX is required for additional functionality. HISCOM members are encouraged to provide feedback.

AVH update (Alison, Niels)

  • Alison and Niels drafted an announcement on the revamped AVH which will go out today on the AVH news feeds and Facebook page and will include the following enhancements/functionality.
Action 2: Make AVH news item available on AVH page and Facebook, plus circulate this advice to CHAH, HISCOM and MAHC (Alison/Niels).
  • Spatial query tools - (polygon search etc)
  • Facet names and grouping - renamed to filters and re-labelled/grouped to align with DarwinCore.
  • Help pages - are being tidied up to reflect the new changes in AVH. They will need to be updated again when NZVH has been incorporated.
Action 3: Update Help Pages to reflect new changes (Alison).
  • Responsive website layout - Niels completed
  • BRI data - has been delivered and will require periodic updates. Wayne Martin and Dale ? are HISCOM reps.
  • AVH newsletter? (Action 2, Oct 2014 - Alison) - server issues which need to be discussed with CHAH about hosting options (CHAH website). Mel server is an option. Greg has always managed this side of things. Anne reported that CANB is still trying to host?? Re-visit next meeting
Action 4: Liaise with CHAH on where AVH newsletter can be hosted (is CHAH website an obvious option). Anne to discuss with Greg about this service? (Donna/Anne).
  • Human observation records (Action 11, Oct 2014 - Ben, Donna, Greg/Anne)

Donna - DNA have updated their data, however are yet to provide it until another matter is resolved. PERTH - 12,000 specimens (Ben) CANB - 3,000 specimens. Anne to coordinate this and suspects it could be a similar issue to DNA.

Action 5: Look into the Human observation records as per Action 11 Oct 2014. DNA to provide Niels data refresh (Anne/Ben/Donna).

Further to this, the filter in AVH has apparently been hidden for the time being. Aaron suggested we shouldn't be restricted to 'preserved specimens', so if there is other data then there is no reason why it can't be in the Biocache. Nick pointed out the filter is available so we can determine what data is shown....??

Australasian Virtual Herbarium update (Aaron)

  • Aaron met with Michael Hope regarding the NZVH amalgamation. It was agreed that data will be harvested into the Biocache end of May 2015 using IPT. Data for five herbaria are in the cache with the new DarwinCore definitions and collectory pages for those herbaria. Sensitive data service will be used and lists for NZ records for rare and threatened species have been compiled.
  • Design? (Action 3, Oct 2014 - Aaron) - Aaron suspects few changes are required for amalgamation apart from a potential new logo and some text. NZ images are also required.
Action 6: Review AVH website and decide what changes are required for when amalgamation with NZVH takes place..logos, text, participating herbaria etc.. (ALL).
Action 7: Provide NZ images for AVH homepage? (Aaron).
Action 8: Liaise with CHAH whether a new logo is required for Australasia Virtual Herbarium launch. Do we do it in line with CHAH logo re-design? Note: Aaron wasn't happy with logo results from graphic designer and is happy with the current for the amalgamation (Donna).
  • Spatial datasets for NZ offshore islands? (Action 10, Oct 2014 - Aaron) - still working on the spatial dataset side of things.

HISPID Review update (Niels, Aaron, Ben, Anne)

  • Status of documentation - Niels circulated documentation to CHAH, HISCOM and MAHC encouraging members to review and provide feedback.
Action 9: Send a reminder email to HISCOM and MAHC members that feedback is required by end of May 2015. Encourage combined HISCOM/MAHC effort from each institution (Niels).
Action 10: Provide feedback on HISPID review by end of May 2015 (ALL - HISCOM/MAHC).

eFlora discussion (Rebecca, Chair)

  • Project progress - A number of major gaps include names and nomenclature. Keys are also missing, however aim is to incorporate the works of Adam and Niels. Authorship group has been developed and is working on various aspects regarding authorship. A prototype is available and includes data from Flora of Australia and NSW Flora for testing purposes.
  • Discussion - a number of questions where raised: 1. Core set of fields for profiles - currently admin users can set the required fields, however do we need to set mandatory fields across floras? HISCOM agreed that it needs the flexibility and degree of atomisation. The botanical community needs to address this as these issues arise. 2. Nomenclature. Names are indexed when they come into the Atlas from NSL - are weekly updates for of names acceptable? This issue is quite circular and workflows need to come from the community. ALA need to be presented with a list of scenarios for workflows to be addressed. It was agree that this need to be raised and addressed by the eFloras Reference Group 3. Solutions for versioning. The Authorship Group is discussing these issues. Wayne Cherry agreed to take over Alison's position on the eFloras Reference Group. Rebecca encouraged HISCOM members to look at the eFloras platform and provide any feedback on the prototype site.

2015 annual meeting

  • Venue and dates yet to be confirmed - Gintaras has expressed interest to host the next face to face meeting in Hobart 2015. Pina has emailed Michelle for clarification on the venue and the date and is awaiting a response. HISCOM agreed to having a combined meeting with MAHC again, especially in light of the HISPID Review.
Action 11: Follow up with CHAH when and where the next AGM will be and if they will be combined meetings ASAP (Donna).

National Species List (NSL) update

  • Anne raised NSL and offered to provide an update. HISCOM agreed NSL should become a standing agenda item from this point forward.
  • All APNI /APC is being edited in NSL. Currently fixing internal connections. The infrastructure is in place, however Fungi, Algae, Freshwater Algae etc are yet to be incorporated into NSL. Documentation is required on the services NSL provides.
Action 12: Circulate an update on NSL to HISCOM (Anne).

Status of actions from 2014 annual meeting and recent teleconferences (all)

September 2014

  • Action item 2: Could this be a good, practical task for the 2015 annual meeting? (Document the specimen data concepts and definitions used in collections databases (and how they are mapped to exchange standards). This will help us compare database structure between herbaria, provide valuable system documentation and help identify projects for HISCOM. Herbaria to provide information on the data concepts used and delivered.)

Partly agreed this was a good idea but not to do at the face to face. It would be more valuable for institutions (HISCOM/MAHC reps) to undertake this task prior to the HISCOM AGM in which could be a very valuable exercise for the HISPID review.

Action 13??: Document the specimen data concepts and definitions used in collections databases and how they are mapped to exchange standards. Still need some direction on what exactly we wish to achieve here, requires further discussion? (ALL - HISCOM/MAHC).

October 2014

Action 14: Circulate World Flora Online to HISCOM. This was an Action for Greg from a previous meeting (Anne).

February 2015

  • All actions from February 2015 teleconference have been completed.