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Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Murguia Romero, Miguel [1], Serrano-Estrada, Bernardo [2], Melo-Samper-Palacios, Ubaldo [1], Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor [3], Gernandt, David [1], Ricker, Martin [1], Magallon, Susana [1], Salazar, Gerardo [1].

IBdata website to consult and manage the National Herbarium of Mexico MEXU.

Introduction. The National Herbarium of Mexico (MEXU) holds over 1.5 million specimens of algae, bryophytes, macromycetes, lichens, and vascular plants. Over the last few years, a project has been carried out to digitalize its specimens, including a database with the information contained on the labels and digital images of the specimens.  Objective. To digitalize the specimens of MEXU and develop a web system for consulting and managing the collection's database.  Methods. The specimens were photographed and the digital images were passed on to a team of 40 capturists during a five-year period. Once most of the specimens were digitalized and the information of the labels integrated into a database, following the Darwin Core standard, the development of the web system IBdata (, to consult and manage the database and images, was started. A set of specifications were imposed to the design, such as a responsive interface focused on the user experience and a relational database structure, among others. We followed an agile development method that implied building a functional prototype with the users being able to test and provide feedback, to recursively increment its functionality in subsequent versions. An information architecture based on two windows, as well as three fictional characters (a taxonomist, a macroecologist, and a curator) guided the designing process. Usability testing was carried out in each cyclic stage of the development.  Results.  A relational database with 1.3 million records of specimens in the national collection was generated and published online; a digital image of the photograph is available for 95% of the records. The web system to consult the database is publicly available ( and allows to query the database through a variety of consult types. The images of the specimen can be zoomed in by the users. The system includes a Management module that allows to grant differential permissions to each registered user, and a Capture module for entering the information for specimen labels through the web. An App for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets; Android and iOS) is also available, to download records by plant family for its subsequent offline consultation.  Conclusions. The data from labels and digital images of the specimens in the National Herbarium of Mexico are publicly available through the IBdata web system by means of a user-responsive interface displayable in a variety of screen sizes, from mobile devices to desktop computers.

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Related Links:
IBdata website

1 - Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Botanica, Apartado Postal 70-367, Ciudad Universitaria, Cotoacan, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, 04510, Mexico
2 - SERES Sistemas Especializados, Mexico, DF, MEXICO
3 - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Biologí­a, 3er Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Mexico, DF, 04510, México

Agile development
IBdata App
responsive design

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1BI003
Abstract ID:512
Candidate for Awards:None

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