Digital Fish Library Press Release

Today is the big day – our press release is now out, and even featured on the SIO (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) website. In just under an hour we’ll begin scanning a juvenile great white shark as part of the press “event.”

If you haven’t read my other posts on the DFL, here’s a brief recap: We’ve been given an NSF grant to digitize most genera of marine fish (some freshwater) in the world using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The end goal of this has several application points: 1) Fish anatomy is digitized, so researchers can perform virtual dissections and explore the fish’s organs without physically destroying the real specimens; 2) These data, along with software tools we’re creating, will be used as teaching tools in high school education programs, provided by the Birch Aquarium as Scripps, 3) the availability of data will encourage conservation practices, as destroying real tissues will become less and less a necessity to perform common anatomical research – something especially important when dealing with rare specimens.

The press release is at http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/article_detail.cfm?article_num=718

More importantly, the DFL website is located at http://www.digitalfishlibrary.org/


DFL Beta

The new DFL Beta site is up. It’s finally at a place where the other collaborators can begin working to add content without me having to be an intermediate. It’s a little sparse in the fish department right now, but that’s up to our friends down at SIO to do for us – write roughly two fish accounts per week. This is also the first version of the Beta that I’m actually proud of. It’s been a tough meeting some of my boss’s imposed deadlines (like the arbitrary groundhog’s day), but the app’s classes are developed well enough that I can now prototype new features fairly quickly.

Check it out: Digital Fish Library

Press Release

Keep an eye out in two weeks for a press release of the DFL. In two weeks we should have a pretty good beta up and running… sort of? It’ll depend on my other responsibilities at work.

The beta is up and running right now: DFL.

Things left to do for this revision:

  • Tie-together a couple back-end administrative tasks
  • Content, content, content
  • More/tighter integration with the DFL data view app that German is working on


Well, as my situation at work would have it, German (coworker), Larry, and I are working on a paper to submit to Siggraph for our work on the DFL. The deadline is Friday.

In the event our paper isn’t accepted, we’re going to look at doing a poster or talk.

Wish us luck!

New DFL site coming

Feb 2 is the tentative due date for the DFL rewrite. Actually it’s the first phase of the upgrade, which will bring it up to speed with the current site in many ways. Additional functionality will be added every few weeks after that.

One of the biggest new features in this update will be the addition of the MRI dataset viewer/rendering application. Let’s just say this is groundbreaking work – the first time anything like this has been done successfully on the web. My coworker, German (yes, that’s his real name), has been working very hard on this application.

DFL update

My boss wants a nice looking front-end to the new DFL site, even if all the links are broken, so expect something next week. As it currently stands the new design is going to borrow heavily from the current one, though it should use space a little bit better and display information a bit more logically. You can see the current site at http://www.digitalfishlibrary.org/. The new site redesign is taking advantage of the Smarty Template Engine, so expect to see some Smarty tutorials in the near future.

Digital Fish Library

I’d like to introduce you to the Digital Fish Library, of which I’m a developer on. The idea of this library is to catalog MRI data from hundreds of fish species worldwide and provide online analysis tools. It’s like open source resarch, so to speak. Scientists can log in and do dissections and other analyses if they wish. My job is to collect and post the data and develop the website.

The project is currently at http://www.digitalfishlibrary.org/ if you’re interested in taking a look. I’m in the process of completely rewriting the codebase to take advantage of the Smarty template engine and PHP5’s support for object oriented programming.