Catalog of Nature

Insect collections are valuable research tools that are moving into the computer age. Insect Museums are digitizing their collections with high pixel density images and digital text searchable labels. The photos of the insects are useful as is. The notes on the labels are more useful if transcribed into a data base.

Part of the Purdue Entomology Research Collection

Part of the Purdue Entomology Research Collection

Insect specimens are curated with labels, small rectangles of paper that contain information about the specimen such as when, where and who was the collector, identifier and ecological information such as host plant. Collections with millions of insects have a daunting task to digitize the information. The Essig Museum in California has an online program called, Notes From Nature, that enlists the interested public to help with the transcription. When you logon to the website, it provides you (the helper) with digital image of the insect and labels. You transcribe the information on the labels into the appropriate fields. This is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone with an interest in insect taxonomy and a more productive alternative to a video game.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

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