Happy New Year to the Notes From Nature Community!
The NFN team wants to wish you all a Happy New Year! We also want to give a brief update about some of the things happening in 2016.
We have a lot of activity going on this year thanks to funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation. We will be posting more information, as new advancements are made and certainly prior to any major site changes. The main activity right now is a transition of NFN to a new platform called Panoptes. The current platform is called Ouroboros and we will be transitioning to the new platform by early summer. A few other Zooniverse project are also making this transition. For example, a new version of Old Weather has already been launched on this platform.
The upside of Panoptes is that it is open source and will allow for addition features to be added and bugs to be fixed much more easily. This will give the research team a lot more flexibility and value over the long haul as NFN continues to evolve. In addition, the new platform includes an improved Talk page. The new Talk is already being used on the main Zooniverse site if you want to see how it works.
The platform upgrade is just the beginning of several changes that will be taking place over the next few years of this grant funded project. There will be additional features that will be of direct benefit to our volunteers, such as improved volunteer profiles. We will also be bringing in biodiversity information from external sources such as Encyclopedia of Life and Map of Life. The goal is to give even more meaning to the specimens and the organisms that are preserved in the specimen images.
As part of the transition to the new NFN we will be pushing to complete the existing sets of images before any new interfaces are launched. Since the herbarium (SERNEC) interface will be the first project to launch on the new platform, we will be focusing on completion of those image sets in the coming months. There will be more information about our strategy for doing that very soon.