Name of the organization/project in the original language:
Agentschap Plantentuin Meise
Name of the organization/project in English:
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Please indicate the mandate/goals/activities of your organization/project.:
Meise Botanic Garden is a centre of excellence for science and horticulture. We are responsible for safeguarding the heritage of the past and for providing a legacy for the future. Not only do we look after beautiful plant collections, but also historic buildings, one of the largest herbaria in the world and a botanical library of international repute.
Our collections contain a considerable body of information on the diversity of plants and anyone can use our facilities. Students and researchers often visit from Belgium and overseas.
European botanic gardens have a long and fascinating history. During their history, they have succeeded in adapting themselves to the needs of society. In other eras, European Botanic Gardens were at the heart of several important economic and sociological developments. They were partly involved in the drive towards the acquisition of colonies and the validation of tropical products such as timber and rubber.
Nowadays the mission of botanic gardens is educative, botanical and ecological. They constitute invaluable tool in the management and conservation of biological diversity. Moreover, especially in Europe, botanic gardens are frequently located in historic parks and, as such, they carry huge responsibility of maintaining historic sites.
The botanic gardens of the European Union have created a Consortium within 'Botanic Gardens Conservation International' (BGCI), which promotes botanic gardens worldwide.
How are you performing research on Citizen Science, taking part in Citizen Science activities and/or supporting Citizen Science?:
Meise Botanic Garden developed a multilingual crowdsourcing platform called www.doedat.be. This platform forked from Digivol of the Australian Museum. Some of the useful features we inherited from Digivol include a georeferencing tool, configurable templates, simple project management and individual institutional branding.
Crowdsourcing has helped many herbarium collections digitize their labels and generates useful data for science. Furthermore, direct engagement of the public with a herbarium increases the collection’s visibility and potentially reinforces a sense of common ownership.
Currently, we are focusing our work on the transcription of label information on Belgian herbarium collections were Dutch and French are the primary languages, but in the future we may expand our languages when we work on our international collections.
The information that we gather through this projects on Doedat will be added to the collections database and will be freely accessible on our virtual herbarium: www.botanicalcollections.be
Name of Citizen Science Project:
Brief description of project:
On www.DoeDat.be, you can find three main kind of projects:
- transcription of label information on herbarium sheets (projects per Family, currently mainly collections from Belgium)
- recognizing animals on images from camera traps placed in the Botanic Garden
- transcription of old documents related to the herbarium collection BR.
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