New projects and applications
In 2010-2011, three important projects have been applied for to enhance the storage, accessibility and digitisation of natural history collections in Estonia. Two of these are approved and one is currently under review. They all foster collaboration between different institutions and support each other, yet being focused on different aspects of collections and database development.
1. Natural history archives and information network (NATARC)
This is one of 20 objects of the Estonian research infrastructure roadmap to be funded primarily from EU support between 2010-2015. It is a collaborative effort where University of Tartu plays the leading role and Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Museum of Natural History and the Environmental Board are taking part.
Under the project the Institute of Geology will be able to build a much-needed additional drill core storage in the Särghaua field station and professionally redesign the database software including web-based user interfaces, common to all geocollections of Estonia.
2. BALTICDIVERSITY - Towards transboundary access of nature observation data
This is an INTERREG IVA Central Baltic project lead by the University of Tartu. Project partners include Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, Swedish Museum of Natural History and University of Helsinki, Museum of Natural History.
The primary goal of the project is to build transboundary access to bio- and geodiversity data in partner institutions.
3. Estonian soil and geology information system (EMMIS)
Together with University of Tartu and Estonian University of Life Sciences a project was proposed to widen to scope of the current geocollections information system into areas of soils and primary geological reseach data (such as qualitative analytical data), reference samples etc. The primary aim of the project will be to digitise large amounts of old and new data that have hitherto been virtually unavailable for the scientific community.
Database hardware upgrade
Thanks to support from the Environmental Investment Center (KIK) the server hardware of SARV was upgraded. As of April 4th, 2011, all data are successfully moved and user interfaces redirected.
The new hardware setup is based on Dell PE 610r server, with dual Intel Xeon CPU, 16GB memory, redundant power supplies and mirrored SAS hard drives. Storage is organised separately with Dell iSCSI box with 4TB RAID5 storage and plenty of room for future extension. Off-site daily backups are made into Synology DiskStation HDD box. Software-wise the system stayed on Ubuntu Linux, currently version 10.04 LTS, that has proved to be stable and secure platform for the database.
Increased storage now enables media files from all partner institutions to be stored in one place, which makes data management and queries considerably easier. Databases of all three partner institutions can now be accessed using the following addresses:
- Institute of Geology at Tallinn University of Technology: http://geokogud.info/git
- University of Tartu, Museum of Geology: http://geokogud.info/tug
- Estonian Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology: http://geokogud.info/elm