Why does digitization matter to everyone?

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    Lisa Lundgren

    An article from the New York Times called “A Guide to Digitized Natural History Collections” provides a (very brief!) look at some digitized collections. You can view the article here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/19/science/digitized-museums-guide.html 

    This got @sadie-mills and some of the other FOSSIL members based in Gainesville thinking about how to present the importance of digitization, especially paleontology digitization, to everyone, not *just* the people who are already doing it. So, some questions for this forum:

    Why does paleontology digitization matter?

    What does digitization in paleontology mean to you?

    What’s a link to a digital collection that you find particularly amazing?

    I’ll start: I love the Fossil Insect Collaborative, they have incredible specimens, and were doing some really interesting educational projects (which seem to have been shut down??), but the images themselves show an incredible variety of insects from the past! http://fossilinsects.colorado.edu/image-gallery/ 

    Sadie Mills

    As an undergraduate, I used the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web to learn key characters of mammal skulls (check out these great photos of a coyote skull, as an example!). It turns out, they also have a great online fossil repository too! UMORF, or the University of Michigan Online Repository of Fossils has both 3D and 2D images of fossil invertebrate and vertebrate specimens. As a newbie to paleontology, I really enjoy using their 3D viewer and marveling at the incredibly detail shown in the images!


    Walter Stein

    Digitization is essential! It’s a great way to share information with other researchers. We just launched a new site of our own, for our private collection. This took about 4 months of work, but only around $2,000 in funds. Here it is. Hope you like it:


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