New terms in Darwin Core

For the first time since its ratification in October 2009, Darwin Core has been revised! But don’t panic: it’s probably not going to affect your data publication. Darwin Core is a community standard, so anyone can submit ideas, suggestions or corrections via the Darwin Core issue tracker (guidelines to do so can be found here). […]

VASCAN portal and database are now open source

The Database of Vascular Plants of Canada (VASCAN) web portal and its database are now open source. The code is hosted on our Google Code site and can be used by anyone to create their own checklist portal. By doing so, we hope that the time and effort that went into developing VASCAN can benefit […]

Updating a customized IPT

This is a follow-up of the post Customizing the IPT. As mentioned at the very end of my post about customizing the IPT, I face a problem when I want to install a new version of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit: installing it will overwrite all my customized files! Luckily Tim Robertson gave me a […]

How many species?

This guest post by Terry Wheeler originally appeared on the Lyman Entomological Museum blog. One of the fundamental rules of running a business is that you have to keep track of your inventory. If you don’t know what’s in the warehouse, or who works for you, you’re not going to get very far as a […]

VASCAN functionalities

This post is also available in French. Our Database of a vascular plants of Canada (VASCAN) is a bit over a year old now (launched on October 22, 2010) and the response has been great so far! The site is averaging 1,850 visits / 20,500 page views a month from over a 100 countries, and […]

Counting all specimens at the Marie-Victorin Herbarium

Last summer, 36 volunteers inventoried all of the 22,000+ vascular plant specimen folders of our Marie-Victorin Herbarium (MT), in preparation of its move to the Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre. I gave a talk about the process, results and potential two weeks ago at the TDWG 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans: You can read […]

Opening a Darwin Core Archive with Excel

One of the editors of VASCAN asked me for an Excel file with all the vernacular names in our database, so she could check them for typos. As the database administrator, I could have exported the names from our MySQL database, but I chose to approach the request from a user’s perspective instead. All VASCAN […]

Customizing the IPT

This post originally appeared on the GBIF Developer Blog. One of my responsibilities as the Biodiversity Informatics Manager for Canadensys is to develop a data portal giving access to all the biodiversity information published by the participants of our network. A huge portion of this task can now be done with the GBIF Integrated Publishing […]

Specify at the Biodiversity Centre

This post replaces an obsolete static page of the Canadensys website, which was last updated on June 8, 2010. We have since moved to FileMaker Pro for our database needs, which – although not perfect or cheap – allows batch importing, editing and exporting: features missing from Specify at the time (see also my message […]

Technology behind the community website

This post replaces an obsolete static page of the Canadensys website, which was last updated on May 28, 2010. The community portal is powered by WordPress, an excellent and easy-to-use open-source Content Management System (CMS) using PHP and MySQL. It allows us to create blog posts, update pages, add translations and edit settings from a […]