January 30, 2013

SITR Kick-off Meeting

Collaborators Present:
Marti Louw, UPCLOSE, University of Pittsburgh
Chris Bartley, CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
Molly Johnson, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University
John Wenzel, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Stephanie Sanner, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Mary Ann Snyder, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Joe Stavish, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meeting Notes:

Overall a great kick off meeting where new collaborators could get up to date on the project work to date. The meeting took place in the afternoon at the Carnegie Museum of Natural history. The meetings goals were simple, to get all collaborators up to date on project work, and talk about the goals and next steps for the tool we are going to create.

John started by explaining his orignal vision:

A digital teaching collection to be used by novice and expert learners to gain a better understanding of aquatic macro invertebrates. He explained that students currently training to become science professionals learn by studying keys and collecting their own insects. Those with the resources of an institution may have access to a collection of correctly identified and preserved insects, but most do not. A digital teaching collection utilizing GigaPan imagery could take the place of this preserved collection for a fraction of the cost.

We also spoke briefly about helpful additional features:

  • Professional annotations
  • Student annotations, students could add their own annotations to find their own unique features to remember.
  • Specialty photos (e.g. side of body, close up of mouth parts etc.)
  • Downloadable sets on mobile so the tool could be used in the field when there is no data connection
  • Photographs (GigaPans) of habitats, e.g. Large GigaPan of stream with interest points marked for different habitats
  • Large format prints of the insect GigaPans for Powdermill Nature Preserve.

Benefits of artist renderings over photos:
  • Removes individual photo bias
  • Ideal visual
  • Artist can draw what you cannot see, especially on preserved insects
  • It may be more appropriate to do an artist rendering at the top level of the tree

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