Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Open source data logger - towards an Open tool chain for biodiversity science

This is a paper I published recently as the first Open Hardware publication in the (still new) Biodiversity Data Journal: Open source data logger for low-cost environmental monitoring.

The device described is a basic environmental (temperature, humidity) data logger with Internet connectivity and also SD card storage. It could easily be run alongside traditional sampling methods such as malaise or pitfall traps, or combined with camera trapping to provide abiotic data for use alongside specimen/observation datasets.

Using devices such as this we can build a chain of Open tools that manage biodiversity data from the point of collection. For example combining this project with an open source camera trapping project (coming soon) we could collect observational and corresponding environmental datasets using Open Hardware (apart from the Camera in this example), automatically upload these data to a Virtual Research Environment such as Scratchpads (Open Source) where species could be identified online by experts around the world and the raw dataset curated. A manuscript could be collaboratively authored either in the Scratchpad or the Pensoft Writing Tool and published as an Open Access data paper in the Biodiversity Data Journal. Over time I hope that other tools may be switched in to or out of this tool chain as appropriate - but progress is being made.

Further reading: