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TDWG 2013: A toolkit for reconciling multiple taxonomic perspectives

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 Euler/X Toolkit – Perelleschus talk.

Franz Et Al. A Toolkit for Reconciling Multiple Taxonomic Perspectives: Euler/X and the Perelleschus Use Case from taxonbytes

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TDWG 2013: Using ASP to simulate the interplay of taxonomic and nomenclatural change

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 ASP Taxonomy Nomenclature talk.

Franz Et Al. Using ASP to Simulate the Interplay of Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Change from taxonbytes

Using Answer Set Programming to Simulate the Interplay of Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Change

Nico Franz, Joohyung Lee & Chao Zhang

Date: 2013-11-01 10:03 AM – 10:11 AM

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Museum event premieres the artwork of Desiree Costanza

DESI  It was difficult not to notice the three large arthropod models – a robber fly, jumping spider, and  Jerusalem cricket – that were hanging about at our Bad and Ugly Halloween Bug Event. Read  about artist Desiree Costanza and how she came to discover her new passion of making BIG bugs  here.

AR Learning Tools to be presented at the iDigbio Summit III

Melody Basham who serves as the Education/Outreach representative of SCAN will be presenting an exhibit and demo at the iDigbio Summit III to take place on November 18-20 in Tallahassee, Florida.

Title: Addressing Broader Impacts with Specimen-based Learning Tools

hercules_screenshotThe exhibit and presentation will review NIBA’s 2010 key objectives which encourage collection-based institutions to explore new ways of integrating biocollections into the classroom utilizing new mobile technologies.  Melody will demonstrate InsectARium, a specimen-based learning application using  augmented reality technology which our group has been involved in developing since July 2012.

A special thanks to all who have contributed to the development of this project: Kevin Demater,  Ozlem Ozan, Yasin Ozarslan, Justin Kujawa, TBLR (Technology-Based Learning and Research at SkySong) and also a special thanks to the Virginia M. Ullman Foundation for their support.


TDWG 2013: Concepts and tools needed for taxonomic expert participation in a Global Names-based infrastructure

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 Global Names talk.

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Franz Lab members to attend ESA in Austin – November 2013

Joining ~3000 entomologists, members of the Franz Lab will attend the 2013 Annual Entomological Society of America Meeting this year in Austin, Texas. We plan to drive our lab truck (Ford 150) there and carry out some collecting along the way. The members will give four talks and one poster. Postdoc Guanyang Zhang will present the “Featured Young Professional Presentation” at the SysEB Section Meeting and give another talk on his recent work on Caribbean weevils and biogeography. Graduate student Andrew Jansen will be presenting his research on the systematics of Minyomerus Horn, 1876 and Piscatopus Sleeper, 1960. Graduate student Salvatore Anzaldo will present the findings of his internship this past summer at the Frost Entomological Museum on the hind tibia of gasteruptiid wasps. And there will be a poster on the Weevils of North America project.

Look out for the ASU squad this year at ESA!

TDWG 2013: Crowd Sourcing with Symbiota Presentation

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 Symbiota LBCC Crowd Sourcing talk. Thanks to Ed Gilbert, Ben Brandt, and Corinna Gries for timely feedback. An overview of the new crowd sourcing module’s functions and “rules for engagement” for prospective contributors and collection managers is here.

Franz Et Al. Crowd Sourcing and Community Management Capabilities Available within Symbiota Data Portals from taxonbytes

TDWG 2013: SCAN – Leveraging Filtered Push Technology to Enhance Remote Taxonomic Identifications

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 SCAN talk.

Franz Et Al. SCAN – Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network: Leveraging Filtered Push Technology to Enhance Remote Taxonomic Identifications from taxonbytes

Date: 2013-10-29 02:45 PM – 02:50 PM


SCAN – the Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network ( – is the first regional arthropod biodiversity data network that utilizes the Symbiota software platform ( Since its origin in 2012 SCAN has unified and newly created specimen-level occurrence records on-line pertaining to nearly 15 south-western United States arthropod collections; including more than 515,000 records that represent some 18,000 species. However, due to the disproportionately mismatched diversity versus taxonomic expertise for the region and focal taxa, at least one third of the specimens are not identified (authoritatively or otherwise) to the level of species, with concomitant limitations for derivative taxonomic or evolutionary/ecological research. The member collections are typically separated from each other geographically by distances that prohibit frequent interactions with regional or global experts, except in virtual realm. SCAN has therefore implemented a Filtered Push (FP) based service ( whose primary purpose is to connect high-quality imaged of yet insufficiently identified specimens with suitable experts who can provide identifications remotely. This is achieved through the FP-server system which both records these contributions externally and pushes them back into the source Symbiota platform for review, acceptance, or rejection by the respective collection/node leaders. SCAN is therefore primed to utilize FP at a large scale and with a well circumscribed focal purpose that is relevant to the specific needs of this collections network. We illustrate the SCN/FP workflow, underlying concepts and technology, and current state of implementation and usage. FP allows experts to gradually accumulate credit and “reputations” for their identification contributions, and thus represents a promising means to improve data quality through transparent and distributed expert involvement and attribution.