The SilverCollection Tour
The Leading Web Portal for Biological Collections
SilverCollection is an interactive web portal for herbaria and other biological collections. It is a client-specific customized application for online access to specimen data and images. This application provides an interactive solution for curating, searching, and browsing your collection records.
Taxonomy, Geography, Collectors & Type
One of the core features of SilverCollection is to allow users to easily browse the database in a hieratical form. In this example we have set up a Tree based on the Taxonomy of the collection. Additional trees like Geography regions, filtered taxonomy trees for specific regions, and even state level trees to easily find relevant information for your research.
A) To view the children of a category simply check the arrow to load the results. All information is loaded from the server when requested so there are no long loading times when browsing the trees.
B) By checking the related checkbox the associated records are instantly shown in the the grid view. Multiple checkboxes can be added and removed in real-time. This allows you to customize your list of results as many times as you want.
C) The additional information located at the end of each entity represents the number of records associated with the provided checkbox. This is a hint to let you know how many records are available before loading the information.
Auto complete Smart Filters
When typing in any filter, SilverCollection performs an operation to supply the user with the available data related to that field. This way the user will never misspell a name and you can guarantee that there is something in the online collection related to that value. With the example below we are looking for every family in the database that starts with "as" as shown below.
After the selection has been made the results are shown instantly. See Advanced Real-time Search Engine for more information. Shown below is an icon added to the filter to quickly remove that specific filter from the list of values. There are no form submits with SilverCollection and all the results are instant.
Advanced Real-time Search Engine
When Auto complete Smart Filters are applied or when browsing and checkboxes are applied this information will be sent to the SilverCollection data grid. These search parameters filter the records and only return the relevant information. Form here you can easily sort, group, download, email, and even view distribution maps of your custom query.
A) Each column has the ability to sort in ascending and descending by simply click on the column. Note: The columns that are displayed are defined during the installation of the software.
B) We have a nice feature called grouping which allows any column to visualize the different specimens.
C) You can also collapse groups so that you can view just a summary of which specimens it contains.
D) Each group summary shows the grouping column, the group value and the number of specimens related to that grouping.
At the bottom of each data grid you will find a paging toolbar plus additional plugins which allow you to jump to different ranges in the data set.
To the bottom right you will find the number of species that are found for the related query and the current visible records.
Seeing an image of the specimen and related species images can be very useful. Integrated in the software are a few wonderful features to help the visitor explore the collection.
To make things easy they are presented with the ability to browse and select the images they are interested in. When they do that all the images shown will get replaced with only those they have selected.
For more flexibility the users can use features to filter their results. This meta data is provided by the provider and can provide added value when looking for certain types of images.
All images are shown in a multi-view layout. The user can switch between small, large, hybrid and text format to aid in locating the images that are of most interest. Included are the normal column filters, sorting and paging features.
The visitor also has the ability to right click and view a list of custom external links. If that image has a related scientific name it will be used to link directly to the related web page.
A visitor may also double click on an image to view details about that image. If it is related to a occurrence record then the related occurrence record will be selected. If it does not have related records, then a separate tab will open to view the image in higher detail.
When you see a button that looks like you are able to download the data in comma separated value (CSV) format. The data is relevant to the data that is shown in the related data grid.
Dynamic Email Support
When browsing and searching you will notice a button at the bottom of the page to activate the email module. This module will ask for an email address, message you wish to send (optional), and a security word to protect against spam and abuse of your mail server. When you click on "Send Data", relevant search results that were shown on the screen, are sent as a comma separated value (CSV) attachment to the email address.
Shortcuts to 3rd party Information
When you right click on specimen records you will get a list of 3rd party links that are relevant for your field.
Each link passes the appropriate information that is relevant. For example if you right click on a species that species' information will be appropriately formatted to the link to load up the most related information on their website.
Caching is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. Once the data is stored in the cache, future use can be made by accessing the cached copy rather than re-fetching or recomputing the original data, so that the average access time is shorter. SilverCollection applies caching to almost all areas where the database is being accessed. This is highly efficient due to the fact that the data is not being changed much. Note: When the data is synchronized to the authoritative database the cache is cleared.
Building custom checklist is super easy. The visitor can explore the different geographical regions and selecte any combination to generate a custom list. These list represent the species found in those areas and includes the total number of occurrence records at each locality. This can be useful to determine if there have been enough sample collected.
The first option to view your results is a basic grid were each locality and species is represented by a row. Common use for this is to be able to generate a list of species before going out into the field. It is also great for people wanting to discover which species are found in their area.
This will show the same results but instead of looking at each locality as a row we pivot the information to show each species and have a column to represent the locality. This can be very useful to learn if similar species have been found in the areas of interest. As more localities are checked in the browse section those areas of interest are added as a new column.
SilverCollections uses Google Analytics for insight into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back.
Each portal gets it own tracking id which allows tracking what features of the software are being used as well as what are the types of things people are browsing and searching for.
SilverCollection is a license based software and can be issued for an individual collection, university, natural history museum, state, consortia, or country.
Things that come with a license:
- The right to use the software as long as you like for your collection.
- Remote installation of the software by a SilverBiology staff member.
- Access to free upgrades for the first 6 months.
Site License: $7,400 USD*
* License is for collections with 20,000+ specimens. For collections less then 20,000, or group licenses please contact us for small collection and group discounts.
Optional Annual Maintenance Agreement
Support Improvements & Features
We are not a government funded project and depend on our clients to help support our continuing development. AMA's are not required for the use of SilverCollection but we encourage your support. By subscribing to this agreement you get the following benefits.
- Direct input on roadmap, current & future features
- Free software upgrades
- Email support
- 1 hr/ month for configuration changes (non cumulative)
- Access to API information and how to develop in-house tools using the existing framework
Site License: $999 USD
There are a few minimal requirements needed to install SilverCollection on your web server. If you do not understand what the requirements are we will be happy to discuss with you in more detail what these requirements mean. If you do not have any access to a server or Virtual Machine in your organization then there are online hosting options we can refer you to that are compatible.
- PHP 5 >= 5.2.3+ (MySql)
- SSH access to web portal folder for installation and upgrade support
- MySQL 5+
- Access to the authoritative database(s)*
* If an IPT installation or Darwin Core Archive is not available for your collection then we will need to create a harvester directly from your authoritative collection management software.
Expected Release: Winter 2012
- GeoLocate Features
- ApplyPie (Filter/Push) Annotation Support
- Improved Mapping Features