New Technology Digitizing Biodiversity

From explorations in outer space to studying and preserving insect specimens on earth, digital technology is surely one of our most powerful tools in these quests.  Individual specimen collections  can now be digitally photographed from hundreds of angles and made available in 3-D on the web.  These collections would easily fill hundreds of cabinets in any natural history museum around the world.

The Museum of Natural History in Berlin and the Florida Museum of Natural History are two examples of such online collections that are easily accessible from your preferred digital device.  At the same time, you can still make the trip and view these specimens in person, but I think you will probably have a better view looking at a digital screen.

And of course,  if you still prefer, you can resurrect your butterfly net (if you ever had one), and chase all these dazzling species in their natural habitats.  Unfortunately in our digital age, this may not seem as appealing as perhaps it once was.  Maybe there is really no need to chase these beautiful creatures when we can search and “capture” them on our computer screens.  Or you still might simply enjoy watching them on some sunny summer day and admire their natural beauty.

Ray Myers

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