interest group
Image by Kawin Harasai


Robert A. Morris
Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts/Boston;
100 Morrissey Blvd; Boston, MA 02125, USA
Email: name [at], replace "name" with "ram"


To seed the formation of a full TDWG Subgroup whose purpose would be: To develop standard computer-based mechanisms for managing and transferring descriptive information about media including metadata terminologies, ontologies, descriptions, file exchange formats, and associated resources.


Many TDWG members have an interest in images. The largest focus at the moment is digitization of specimens (not specimen records), but the increasing importance of observations, which often are documented by images, video, and audio, will lead to an ever greater demand for exchange standards, most notably for content metadata.

The interest group emerged following an informal brief meeting in Christchurch at the 2004 meeting, and a somewhat longer one at the 2005 meeting in St. Petersburg. The latter gave birth to the wiki at


A full task group may be expected to be concerned with the following topics, at least:

  • Descriptive content metadata
  • File formats, especially new standards such as JPEG2000
  • Standards for image LSID management and deployment
  • Best Practices for the acquisition, curation, and distribution of multimedia resources
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Outreach, e.g. workshops on image acquisition
  • Connections to other organizations involved with these topics to reduce duplication

Core Members

The wiki has been inactive since St. Petersburg, so I list here only people I know to be active in image management research:

  • Robert A. Morris (UMASS-Boston)
  • Reed Beaman (Yale)
  • Greg Riccardi (Florida State University)
  • Stinger Guala (USDA PLANTS)


Everybody concerned with any aspect of documenting the nature and occurence of organisms, and their behavior and interactions in biotic systems.

Outcomes and outputs

The formation of a full subgroup with an active wiki by June 1, 2007


This needs a good hook, because everybody takes a lot of pictures, and few people do anything systematic with them. So the core group - if it agrees to be such - needs to brainstorm about strategies and seek advice from the TDWG executive committee.