ASDM Sonoran Desert Digital Library

ASDM Digital Library

Screenshot of ASDM Digital Library Search Page

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum‘s Sonoran Desert Digital Library is an IMLS-grant funded web site. The ASDM Digital Library provides detailed information about the specimens in ASDM’s physical museum collection. Visitors to this site will find high quality images, complete taxonomic data, and an easy to use interface that permits searching and browsing for species using scientific nomenclature, English common names or Spanish common names. Additionally, excerpts from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s publication A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert provide supplementary information about many thousands of the species in this repository.

In October 2007, I became the primary programmer for the Digital Library, in addition to my prior role as the project’s Production Coordinator. The site was completely rebuilt to avoid licensing issues with the previous programming team. This project required the construction of a custom CMS (content management software) with highly specialized search capabilities, as well as interfaces for the general public, contributing photographers, Museum staff, site administrators, copy editors, research volunteers, and subject-specialists for species identification.

The site is written in PHP with a MySQL database. The pages are rendered in W3C-validated XHTML 1.0, with validated CSS 2.1. This ensures the greatest compatibility with older as well as modern browsers. Additionally, widgets formerly displayed using Adobe Flash technology have been redesigned using JavaScript to run natively in the greatest number of browsers and devices.

I will be adding posts as time goes on to describe and explain some of the features and behind the scenes logic of the site. These posts will include descriptions of:

  1. Combined Keyword-Taxonomic Search Engine — coming soon!
  2. AJAX Image Uploadssee it in action
  3. OAI-PMH Metadata Harvesting Web Service — coming soon!
  4. XML API — coming soon!
  5. Search Mineral By Elementsee it in action
  6. JavaScript Image Slideshow
  7. Phenology Database & Graphingsee it in action
  8. Desert Adaptations Gamesee it in action
  9. Desert Zoodoku Gamesee it in action
  10. Layered Images in JavaScript
  11. SeaDragon AJAX Image Viewersee it in action

Comments are closed.