Monthly Archives: January 2015

Literature for IBSS project

Hi Leslie,

Thanks – Dr. Rials also seemed to be happy with the use of Zotero for our goals so I’m glad to hear positive feedback from you as well.

You asked about categories.

As information scientist, I tend to "geek out" about categories, or taxonomies, to use the vernacular of IS.

Another reason I like Zotero is it offers a broad spectrum of taxonomic categories.

So far, I have only made use of the category "Journal Articles," but here are the remainder that Zotero offers:

Basic: Book, Book Section, Document, Journal Article, Newspaper Article.

Expanded: Artwork, Audio Recording, Bill, Blog Post, Book, Book Section, Case, Computer Program, Conference Paper, Dictionary Entry, Document, E-mail, Encyclopedia Article, Film, Forum Post, Hearing, Instant Message, Interview, Journal Article, Letter, Magazine Article, Manuscript, Map, Newspaper Article, Patent, Podcast, Presentation, Radio Broadcast, Report, Statute, Thesis, TV Broadcast, Video Recording.​

So, as you can see we have a lot of flexibility in what make available both from the Zotero online library, and ultimately through our SE-IBSS Web site.

One of the challenges from an information design standpoint is mapping the taxonomic categories from Zotero back to our SE-IBSS Website categories for "Publications" which includes:

  1. ​Peer Reviewed Publications
  2. Accomplishment Reports
  3. Extension and Outreach Publications
  4. Presentations
  5. Posters
  6. Learning Materials
  7. Patents

Along these lines, you asked if there is anything I need from your side of things, which I will take to mean SREF as a whole.

I’m glad you asked – while I like to think of myself as self sufficient and resourceful to work with what I have, I will never turn down help.

I was hired in part on the strength of basic programming knowledge, but let me say without shame that Daniel is on a higher level of programming expertise and, if he has availability, the Zotero API provides some interesting opportunities for generating dynamically updated content for the SE-IBSS site that he could help make possible.

For example, if we had a customized RSS portlet added as a new template available for use on the SE-IBSS site, then we could use the Zotero API to dynamically feed new records/citations to the IBSS site, with Zotero serving as a kind of back-end record management tool and database.

As an example of what we might accomplish, here is a dynamic stream of data sourced from a "Journal Article" collection I created <>, available as a data stream from Zotero via its API:

Note the collection "key" referenced in both URLs is "4HQNA7HP."

I ran this data (atom format, a type of XML) from that URL through Google’s "Feedburner" to transform the source data from atom to RSS 1.0 specification (another "flavor" of XML) to produce the following:

I then manipulated that RSS 1.0 output data further using Yahoo Pipes to get an alphabetically ordered list of citations specifically from the year 2014:

This list of items (what I am calling a data stream) is then available again for export in a few common data transfer formats, which can then go back to Feedburner for additional "Feed Flair" (e.g., "share on Facebook, e-mail link," see for an illustration).

Now, if we had a special module or portlet available in the Plone site that could capture and display this type of data stream (either the raw API from Zotero, or a formatted RSS feed from one of the aforementioned services), then we could offer a diverse assortment of items from the Zotero database mixed and matched on the SE-IBSS site as we see fit.

I should point out I currently do have access to an "RSS Feed Portlet" within the SE-IBSS Plone site, but it has three main problems:

  1. The current RSS Feed module is limited to display Title only – no description.
  2. The current RSS Feed module displays "date" based on the date of syndication (i.e., when it was published to the feed, rather than the date the material was originally published).
  3. Clicking the title of the item in the feed opens the content in the same window, rather than a new window.

Now all of this discussion begs the question: do we "need" to have a new RSS Feed Portlet template?

I certainly think there are a variety of useful applications, but admit the proposed module might be more "nice to have" rather than a "must have."

However I will also say budgeting some of Daniel’s time to create a new RSS Feed template for the SE-IBSS site holds promise to make the challenge of integrating publications data across multiple categories and data formats not only easier for site managers, but probably ultimately more rewarding for the end-user.

As an example of how both IBSS staff and site users benefit, one of Zotero’s categories is "Video Recording." If I created a new record in Zotero for each of our IBSS YouTube videos, we could then have a dynamically generated list of videos fed back to the SE-IBSS site, mixed and matched as appropriate.

A dynamic listing of webinars, for example, might prove more useful than what we currently have here:

The above is a static list that requires manual addition of new videos as they become available. You might notice the list has grown rather lengthy and does not offer basic descriptive metadata such as a summary (although that information is preserved for each video on the YouTube site itself).

In contrast to a static, hard coded list of webinars, a dynamic list of biofuels webinars indexed in Zotero could be made available on both the "Webinars" page and also "Learning Materials" page, depending on how the content is grouped together and shuffled around behind-the-scenes with Zotero.

So, this is my thinking on what SREF might have to offer at present concerning the work Miriam was doing with EndNote, in context of the challenge of providing integrated access to multiple data and publication formats. There are probably some other use cases for a new RSS Feed portlet template, but I hope what I have provided illustrates the concept fairly well.

Daniel has the access and expertise to create this kind of portlet template – I don’t know if he has the time.

However, if SREF can spare some development time on this, I think it’d be a worthwhile pursuit.

Beyond that, do you have any other questions about the available categories for E2O publications or other thoughts on how integrate E2O content into the site?

Also one final comment – I believe any time someone uses the "Report Your Results" tool, Jessica and I get an e-mail notification. So far, there have been no new notifications.




UGA LiDAR project for Smokies – highest granularity?

Hi Tommy and Marguerite,

Thanks for the explanations.

The LiDAR point cloud data from The National Map is the first actual LiDAR dataset I have interacted with, so I was not sure what to expect.

The local news covered the project a few years back; Tom Colson was quoted saying "you could see a boulder resting against a tree."

From that I was optimistic the project data might produce a visualization something like this:

Wishful thinking: In that visualization, I noticed today you can actually see several tripods set up within the forest collecting data.

As I got better at using ccViewer I got closer to the kinds of visualizations your report demonstrated.

I grew up in Gatlinburg so there are a lot of features I recognize (I went to school at the elementary school downtown which has distinctive "pods.")

I also downloaded a software called mPointCloudViz <> that can drape the .03 m orthoimagery over the point cloud data.

Basically I was looking at this data to see if I could help me tease out certain tree species, specifically HWA damaged hemlock trees.

I was hoping the LiDAR data might offer a way to "fact check" accuracy of photo interpretation work pinpointing the location of hemlock trees, without actually going into the field.

Thanks again for taking a moment to explain what "classification" means.