Development and Implementation of an Efficient, Accessible Online Museum Site and Database with Open Access

WOODS, Justin A., Information Services, Southwestern Adventist University, 100 Magnolia, Keene, TX 76059, justin.a.woods@gmail.com, and
CHADWICK, Arthur V., Geology, Southwestern Adventist University, 100 Magnolia, Keene, TX 76059.

A paleontological digitization project underway for 15 years in Wyoming's Lance Formation, has amassed a significant amount of geo-referenced dinosaur fossil data, which is publicly-accessible via the project's website (http://fossil.swau.edu). Over the past 15 field seasons, over 17,000 dinosaur fossils have been recovered, their three-dimensional positions recorded with sub-centimeter accuracy using real-time kinematic GPS systems. Images of these specimens are geo-referenced to their positional data, and rendered in a number of formats for further study.

The project's website makes all metadata for each of the 17,000 specimens fully and rapidly searchable, utilizing a fully-normalized database schema comprised of over 40 tables. The website allows the position of any specimen or group of specimens to be plotted on a high-resolution rendering of the quarry.

Additionally, each specimen is imaged from 32 angles and presented in a photographic quality 3D image, preserving minute details. Complex searches can be done on all categories of information, and the results rendered in a suitable format for research applications.

Taken together, these features enable serious study of the collection by anyone in the world, including those without physical access to the collection.

paper presented at the GSA 2014 meeting, Vancouver, BC, Oct 2014.