The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is pleased to announce the release of Collection Researcher version 1.0, an innovative web application that provides unique access to the Arboretum’s living plant collections through its geographic information system (GIS). Available on the Arboretum website, Collection Researcher integrates a searchable inventory of the Arboretum’s nearly 15,000 curated trees, shrubs, and vines with high-definition, digital maps of its 265-acre landscape.
Combining the tools of cutting-edge GIS technology with the resources of modern curatorial practice, Collection Researcher was created through the collaborative efforts of the Arboretum’s curation and information technology staffs, in partnership with Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis.
Central to this initiative has been the Arboretum’s longstanding commitment to provide staff, scientists, and visitors with access to the depth and richness of its plant collections. “Bringing Collection Researcher online signifies a giant step in our efforts to share our remarkable collections with the world,” states Arboretum Director Ned Friedman. “We aim to ensure that everyone—from genomicists to environmental biologists, and citizen scientists to the visiting public—can access our plants and the biology that lies behind them.”