Updates from the Beyond the Box Digitization Competition

The clock is ticking! There are less than 3 months left to submit your solution to the Beyond the Box Digitization Competition. The competition deadline is September 4, 2015.

As always, if your team has any questions, use the “Ask a Question” link on the FAQ section of the Beyond the Box Web site. We will continue to post all questions and their associated answers to the Web page. Don’t delay when it comes to asking questions!

In other news, please join us in congratulating Nick VanAcker of Michigan State University for his winning entry in our Creative Curator Contest. Nick offered a thoughtful answer to the question: How might digitized data from insect collections be used to answer new questions or solve problems? His winning answer is below:

“Digitized collections are the future of the modern natural history museum, allowing for
greater access from both researchers and the general public. While the benefits of this access are endless, one which could be particularly helpful to both parties is the development of a smart phone app, which could aid in the location and identification of insects. A large majority of the specimens held in collections have location data attached. Once digitized, this data could be laid out onto a map and accessed by the application, allowing users to see the locations individual insects were collected. This would aid both researchers and individuals, allowing them a better idea of where to look for specific insects. Once one was found, a photo could be taken of it, which the application would then compare against all photos in digitized museum collections for identification. While this identification may not be species-specific, it could still provide the user a general idea of taxonomy. This photo and location data could then be uploaded to the map, allowing researchers or citizen scientists the ability to positively identify it by species at a later date, adding immense detail to our current knowledge of insect dispersal and habitat.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BeyondtheBugBox.

Sincerely,

The Beyond the Box Team

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