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Introduction

There are several potential group projects in the Informatics portfolio in 2009-10.  The following list has been pulled from a longer list of project requests made by our customers.  Realistically Informatics Services would see one, perhaps two, of these projects go forward.  Here's a list of possible projects.  These are being developed into longer project ideas below.

  •  Lightweight monitoring service
  • Taxonomic thesaurus for natural history museums
  • CineFiles Web 2.0 and Film Clips design
  • CineFiles: Improving searching and exploring (faceted browser and/or ontology)
  • Botanical Garden Propagation Web: Improving searching and exploring (common names, faceted browser and/or ontology)
  • High-resolution photo image service for CalPhotos (integration with the Media Vault)
  • Bioinformatics system integration model
  • Arctos/CalPhotos/Biocode metadata synchronization messaging service
  • Delphi: A model for productizing a faceted browser
  • Business intelligence and reporting for museums: BIRT in campus museums (or Hyperion in campus museums)
  • Redesigning Spriro: A new interface for the CED Visual Resource Collection
  • Geospatial: Incorporating the GoogleMaps API into BerkeleyMapper, or Building Dynamic Layers for Range Maps

Lightweight monitoring service

As Informatics Services and our clients create more service interfaces that allow systems and end users to access data and functionality outside of traditional web-based user interfaces, there is an increased need for lightweight monitoring of key services.  These should alert the team and customers when these services suffer availability issues and should allow some gathering of data about usage as well.  Example: Informatics Services hosts a TAPIR provider that is used by multiple clients to access data about specimens in multiple natural history museum collections.  While there is some logging that is performed, there is no good mechanism for monitoring the service to ensure it is up nor to track whether the service is being used, how often, and by whom.  Users of the service do not "register" in some usual way so notification is also problematic.

Taxonomic thesaurus for natural history museums

Provide names & higher taxonomies to the consortium and suppor for integration of this service into the various models.  This would need to be coordinated with the Global Names Architecture Development (http://www.globalnames.org/). All of the museums could utilize such a service including many of the soft money projects proposed or in existence: Manis, Ornis, Vertnet, HerpNet, Moorea Biocode, and the Consortium of California Herbaria.  Design generalized thesaurus model based on hosting thesaurus information with a provider organization and developing web servcies for integration and interoperability.

CineFiles Film Clips and Social Networking design

CineFiles, the online system for the Pacific Film Archive, is releasing a newly refactored online system for access to its collection of film-related documents (e.g., reviews and press kits).  In the next phase of work, they want to continue to build the educator and student focus of the site by a) adding Web 2.0 capabilities (user accounts, personal collections, annotations, and sharing) and b) incorporate film clips into the interface.

CineFiles: Improving searching and exploring

CineFiles, the online system for the Pacific Film Archive, is releasing a newly refactored online system for access to its collection of film-related documents (e.g., reviews and press kits).  In the next phase of work, they want to improve the system's ability to facilitate search and discovery.  Currently the system relies on browse lists and search screens that benefit from expert knowledge.  Ideas discussed to date: full-text search, faceted browsers, and ontology information.

Botanical Garden Propagation Web: Improving searching and exploring

The Botanical Garden is in the process of releasing a new web site that provides searchable access to information about propagation of plants (including methods and results).  Currently searching is done by scientific name only, and the Botanical Garden wants to make this propagation information more available through search and exploration.  A common name search will be added.  In addition, full text search, faceted browsing, ontologies and other approaches would be useful.

High-resolution photo image service for CalPhotos

Add functionality for handling high resolution files. Biocode has an immediate need for this. Options include using Media Vault on the backend, Texas Computing Facility, or  IST SAN storage and UCBackup. CalPhotos can work with CollectionSpace in developing open access to these and other photos. The framework for handling high resolution images in CalPhotos is mostly in place; the issues to be figured out would be a) where to physically store images, and b) the protocol for accessing and uploading them. 

Bioinformatics system integration model

Museum related research is quickly expanding across the realms of field biology through Laboratory Information Management Systems and Sequence Databases.   We can't possibly hope to build applications that cover all of this data.  However, we can help build networks to tie information together.  One significant challenge is assigning unique ID's for biological individuals collected in the field and tracking tissues (also sampled in the field) that immediately get recorded in different institutions.  There is a huge opportunity also in linking sequence information reliably from specimen databases to sequence repositories (BOLD and Genbank in particular).  In addition, there is a need for a general model for metadata synchronization amongst systems.

Arctos/CalPhotos/Biocode metadata synchronization messaging service

alphotos relies on stored metadata to perform queries and deliver annotation on photos to contributing members and the viewing public.  Currently, metadata updates on photos contributed through specimen databases relies on manual changes to both the originating database and to collection.  We are proposing an automated system to perform updates on Calphotos.  We will begin with an update service for Arctos and expand this to CollectionSpace, Media Vault and other projects using a generic configuration file. Implement using REST or SOAP web services.

Delphi: A model for productizing a faceted browser

Delphi is a faceted browser and ontology framework being used by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.  How can this system (the result of an earlier School of Information master's project) be productized and made available to other museums and collections?  Effort involves a subset of: deployment options, economic models for sustainability, design work around generalizing the software.

Business intelligence and reporting for museums

Several campus museums currently use a reporting system based on BusinessObjects software, a legacy platform that needs to be replaced.  ...

Redesigning Spriro: A new interface for the CED Visual Resource Collection

Spiro, the web interface to the visual resource collection for the College of Environmental Design, needs a makeover! ...

Geospatial Projects

Incorporating the GoogleMaps API into BerkeleyMapper, or Building Dynamic Layers for Range Maps ...

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