Handy Links for Geneva Meeting

These are just some handy links for me to present at a CETAF Information Science and Technology Committee meeting in Geneva, October 2015.

What RBGE publishes

Main Use Case

  • The Wallich Catalogue home page. A numerical list of dried specimens of plants in the East India Company’s Museum
  • Example Entry 2574. Shows links to specimens from three different herbaria.
  • How do we make these “pretty” i.e. more useful?
  • We only want to store specimen IDs on the Wallich server (though may cache a little)

Radical Suggestion

I always come up with something that is overly simplistic so here it is:

  • Most important thing is ubiquity. It is no good coming up with a specification for minimal data if 4 out of 10 providers implement it. We need 10/10 for it to be worthwhile.
  • Things that server two purposes are more likely to thrive.
  • FaceBook have a meta tagging standard based on open graph that they use to provide rich links to web pages and other resource.
  • Here is an example of my implementation on another project. Took twenty minutes to add to the page.
  • The Facebook approach meets my main use case. It could be done along with any other stuff with RDF. i.e. Every collection needs the URIs to redirect to human readable page and this is trivial to add to that page.

Second Use Case

  • This is a bit vague and others may know more.
  • Afghan Specimens Portal
  • Centre for Middle Eastern Plants
  • Dagmar Triebel  @ Botanische Staatssammlung München
  • & others
  • Could it be implemented as “just” a list of specimen IDs?




The role of the artists

I came to see that the human imagination is not paramount in the creative process: that what is paramount is “The Creation” and He who created it and that what the true artist is expressing is not himself but his response to this eternal continuing process of Creation … I believe that, in the humblest way, we are collaborators on Earth in God’s continuing Act of Creation, and that this is the role of the artist in Society.

Hew Lorimer (the guy that did the sculptures on National Library of Scotland)


Sister Coa Nghiem


I’m just back from a week at Plum Village. I’d hoped to do some portraiture but didn’t really have time. Retreats are busy places what with all the meditating and the Mindfulness.

My working meditation was in the vegetable garden with Sister Coa Nghiem. She is from Thailand and speaks Vietnamese but not much English or French. We worked in the evening as the sun was going down as it was too hot at other times. She laughed a lot. Possibly more than anyone I have ever met so it was a challenge to capture some stillness.