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Inselect: Natural History Museum (London) Digitizing Their Entomology Collection of 34 Million Insects & Arachnids Using Open-Source Software | #foss #entomology

Browse the oldest and most important entomology collection in the world of over 34 million insects and arachnids.

Gathered over 300 years, these specimens are key to telling the history of collecting, the science of taxonomy and the human desire to understand the natural world.

Using a smartdrive SatScan the Natural History Museum in London are digitizing their collection of 33+ million insects. Currently contained in hundreds and hundreds – nay thousands and thousands – of drawers, the SatScan system allows entomologists to scan an entire drawer in a few minutes, and then using the NHM’s Inselect software (available here on GitHub) the system is smart enough to know where and how to crop to each individual insect for tagging and uploading. A sample beetle drawer scan is shown above, and the video below shows some action shots as well. The collection is being digitized right now but what is online is available here. Only +600k of the entries have images so that leaves 30+ million bugs to go – but what an amazing effort!


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