Friday, April 18, 2008

New Changes in the Imaging Lab

It's been awhile since our last blog entry, so we thought we would update everyone on our daily scanning operations...

Exciting stuff has been going on in the imaging deparment! We recently hired three new imaging technicians bringing our total to six, which is the most we've ever had. (Previously, the most we ever have had was five...)

In other news, we have put our Better Light scanning station back into full-time production. This was a major station used in the scanning of large rare books for the Illustrated Garden website. It is a large copy stand setup comprised of a Cambo large format camera and a Better Light scanning back and is surrounded by four hot lights. Once we shifted our focus to Botanicus, this station had unfortunately fallen more and more out of use in favor of the rapid scanning we were achieving with the Indus book scanners. The Better Light produces far better quality scans than the Indus scanners, however, its major drawback its speed. (Since it is a scanning back the imaging sensor moves across the back of the camera much like how a flatbed scanner operates, which in turn creates long scan times as opposed to the instant capture of a CCD in a digital camera.) The good news is that we upgraded to a newer model of Better Light scanning back which is much faster both in scanning speed and data transfer speed, so using the Better Light scanning station as a full-time production station for Botanicus station is much more feasible than before! This station will be useful in adding what we consider "oversized" material (books that are too large to be scanned on the Indus book scanners), so expect to see an increase in the number of folios that are added to Botanicus in the future...

We have also been taking steps lately to further improve our image quality. Every scanning station has undergone calibration methods so that our image captures can be as close to the original as possible. The major drawback to calibrated systems is that the monitors of the end users of Botanicus are not calibrated, so the difference to the average user may not even be noticeable. However, for archiving purposes, it is reaffirming to know that our stored images are more accurate to the source material than ever before in the past.

Mike Blomberg
Imaging Lab Coordinator
Missouri Botanical Garden


At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work! I've been looking at your scans from time to time, sometimes needed a reference, sometimes copied pictures to WikiCommons. I also subscribed to your feed for some months, and must say, your output of high quality scans is remarkable. The field of botany is unusually blessed to have people that care so much for the old works. I'd like to see that in chemistry, physics, genetics, or other fields.

My only gripe is that 1. your graphics format appears not to be supported by my browser (Firefox 2), so I always have to download the full PDF, and, most importantly, 2. why is the line to your site so slow? that was the same with the MBG site, and now botanicus too. Not good. But ok, we'll cope with that.

All the best!

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning

Thank you for everythink, it is very interesting.

I am interested by the book of Dodoens 1583.

Unfortunately, when I download it, it records himself about 150 Mb, then downloading stops and I cannot open the pdf which is incomplete.

This arrives for the big files which you put online, since he exceed a certain fatness (about 120 - 150 MB), since you have a new procedure of downloading. Before, I did not have problems.
I have not problems as the small files.

How have the file of this book SVP?

Thank you
Martine Deshogues

At 7:00 PM, Blogger cactus99 said...

I have the same problem as Martine, but with smaller files. I've tried about 12 times to download a 90Mb file. finally I got a pàrt file which I could read, but it was missing about 400 pages.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger cactus99 said...

Great resource.
Any chance you could do A.H.Haworth Revisiones Plantarum Succulentarum. London from 1821

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Doug said...

We have Plantarum Succulentarum. London from 1821

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Tee Chess said...

Great information. I love to know and learn about latest information related to scanning and imaging technology. The changes that you have incorporated in your imaging lab are worth noting and impressive too.
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At 12:10 AM, Blogger best lab said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life...

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