iDigBio project receives $15.5 million NSF grant to digitize biodiversity collections

The National Science Foundation awarded a five-year, $15.5 million grant to the iDigBio project based at the University of Florida to continue leading the national effort to digitize biodiversity collections and make them available online.

The iDigBio group is the combined efforts of the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Advanced Computing Information Systems (ACIS) laboratory and the Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication at Florida State University.

Prompted by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program in 2011, iDigBio aims to make the vast amount of information in biodiversity collections readily available online. To date, the iDigBio search portal at iDigBio.org contains more than 64 million specimen records and 14 million images thanks to the collaborative efforts of Faculty and staff at 270 institutions across all 50 states. This seemingly vast amount of information is but a small fraction of the over one billion specimens in the U.S..

It is estimated that the iDigBio project could double the number of specimen records in the database over the course of the next five years.