PowerPoint Presentation - Natural History Museum

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					Websites on a shoestring
Good cheap collection data publishing
         N. Dean Pentcheff
          Regina Wetzer




    Natural History Museum
     of Los Angeles County


   http://collections.nhm.org
   Natural History Museum
   of Los Angeles County
Why put collection data on the Web?

 • A collection's value is in its information
 • Information is useless unless shared
 • The Web is our most efficient way to share




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
Why put collection data on the Web?

 • A collection's value is in its information
 • Information is useless unless shared
 • The Web is our most efficient way to share

   Because you’d like to keep your job...
                                   (post-Terry Yates address)



      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
                            Talk Outline
•   Why put collection data on the web?
•   How do data flow from collections to the Web?
•   What are the main pieces of that process?
•   Who can provide the tools to do that?
    – commercial vs. free software
    – promises and costs
    – recommendations
• Data: examples from NHMLAC

        http://collections.nhm.org
        Natural History Museum
        of Los Angeles County
             The flow of data to the Web
   Collection with
label and other data




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
             The flow of data to the Web
   Collection with
label and other data




                          Desktop
                          database




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
             The flow of data to the Web
   Collection with
label and other data



                                            Database
                                            accessible
                                             from web
                                               server

                          Desktop
                          database




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
             The flow of data to the Web
   Collection with
label and other data



                                            Database
                                                           Web
                                            accessible
                                                          server
                                             from web
                                                         software
                                               server

                          Desktop
                          database




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
             The flow of data to the Web
   Collection with
label and other data
                                                                    The Web

                                            Database
                                                           Web
                                            accessible
                                                          server
                                             from web
                                                         software
                                               server

                          Desktop
                          database




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
                What are the main pieces
                   of that process?
   Collection with
label and other data
                                                                        The Web

                                            Database
                                                               Web
                                            accessible
                                                              server
                                             from web
                                                             software
                                               server

                          Desktop            Server operating system
                          database
                                              Web server hardware




               http://collections.nhm.org
               Natural History Museum
               of Los Angeles County
                            Talk Outline
•   Why put collection data on the web?
•   How do data flow from collections to the Web?
•   What are the main pieces of that process?
•   Who can provide the tools to do that?
    – commercial vs. free software
    – promises and costs
    – recommendations
• Data: examples from NHMLAC

        http://collections.nhm.org
        Natural History Museum
        of Los Angeles County
Who can provide the tools?

   Commercial software vendors
   Free or Open-Source software




http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
Commercial software vendors
• Operating system
  – Microsoft Windows Server; Sun Solaris
• Web server
  – Microsoft IIS
• Database
  – Oracle; IBM DB/2; Microsoft SQL Server
• Web front-end software
  – Macromedia ColdFusion; Microsoft ASP

  http://collections.nhm.org
  Natural History Museum
  of Los Angeles County
       Free or Open-Source software
•   “Free” as in “freedom” (and often in cost)
•   Freedom to examine and enhance source code
•   Freedom to share any enhancements
•   Licensing so that “...it becomes an inalienable
    right to cooperate with other people and form a
    community”                       Richard M. Stallman 2002




          http://collections.nhm.org
          Natural History Museum
          of Los Angeles County
Free or Open-Source software
      • Operating system
            – Linux; BSD
      • Web server
            – Apache
      • Database
            – MySQL; PostgreSQL
      • Web front-end software
            – PHP; Mason
 http://collections.nhm.org
 Natural History Museum
 of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  – High initial cost
  – Full support for the end-user
  – Ease of use for users with little expertise
• Free or Open Source software
  – Low or zero initial cost
  – Support by the community of user/programmers
  – Reputation for requiring wizard-level expertise

      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  – High initial cost ?




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  High initial cost
      Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (5 CAL)  $844
         (includes IIS web server)
      Microsoft SQL Server database         $1226
      Total for the base server             $2070 (required)

      Microsoft 20 CAL Package                  $647 (optional)

      Macromedia ColdFusion                     $799 (optional)

      Dell 2600 low-end server (no software)   $2598 (optional)

      Total Startup Cost                       $2000 – $6000
      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  High initial cost
  – Full support for the end-user ?
   “Gives you peace of mind to have the support of an
   established web leader that offers world-class support,
   services, and a recognized Partner community to ensure
   your success.”                    Macromedia ColdFusion 2003




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  High initial cost
  Full support for the end-user
  – Ease of use for users with little expertise ?




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  High initial cost
  Full support for the end-user
  Ease of use for users with little expertise
    “Any sophisticated software is going to take
    some expertise to run.”            Me 2003




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  – Low or zero initial cost ?




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
      Red Hat Linux                     $0
         (includes Apache web server)
      MySQL database                    $0
      Total for the base server         $0 (required)

      Access licences                   $0

      PHP or Mason                      $0

      Scavenged desktop PC              $0

      Total Startup Cost                $0
      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  – Support ?




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
              Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  Support by the community of user/programmers




     http://collections.nhm.org
     Natural History Museum
     of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  Support by the community of user/programmers
  – Reputation for requiring wizard-level expertise ?




      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
              Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  Support by the community of user/programmers
  Reputation for requiring wizard-level expertise


      “Any sophisticated software is going to take
      some expertise to run.”            Me 2003




     http://collections.nhm.org
     Natural History Museum
     of Los Angeles County
              Promises and costs
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  Support by the community of user/programmers
  Reputation for requiring wizard-level expertise
    High quality documentation is available

      “Any sophisticated software is going to take
      some expertise to run.”            Me 2003




     http://collections.nhm.org
     Natural History Museum
     of Los Angeles County
               Promises and costs
• Commercial software
  High initial cost
  Full support for the end-user
  Ease of use for users with little expertise
• Free or Open Source software
  Low or zero initial cost
  Support by the community of user/programmers
  Reputation for requiring wizard-level expertise

      http://collections.nhm.org
      Natural History Museum
      of Los Angeles County
                            Talk Outline
•   Why put collection data on the web?
•   How do data flow from collections to the Web?
•   What are the main pieces of that process?
•   Who can provide the tools to do that?
    – commercial vs. free software
    – promises and costs
    – recommendations
• Data: examples from NHMLAC

        http://collections.nhm.org
        Natural History Museum
        of Los Angeles County
                  Recommendations
• You will need to develop some expertise
 (or hire someone with expertise)

• Your choice:
  – develop expertise and pay for commercial software
  – develop expertise and use Free software

• Free software allows you to start small and tinker


       http://collections.nhm.org
       Natural History Museum
       of Los Angeles County
                    Examples...




http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
              Example Server




     20,000 – 40,000 complex accesses per day
     500 – 1000 Mbytes data distributed per day

http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
        Publishing collection data
• The value of a collection comes from the
  information in it and we must share that
• Commercial approaches have high initial cost and
  are not necessarily simpler
• You will need to develop (or hire) expertise
• Free software lets you start small and grow later



       http://collections.nhm.org
       Natural History Museum
       of Los Angeles County
 Publishing collection data
• The bad news:
  You have no excuse for not having
  your collection data on the Web




http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
 Publishing collection data
• The bad news:
  You have no excuse for not having
  your collection data on the Web

• The good news:
  There’s no reason you can’t have
  your collection data on the Web



http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
 Publishing collection data
• The bad news:
  You have no excuse for not having
  your collection data on the Web

• The good news:
  There’s no reason you can’t have
  your collection data on the Web



http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County
 Publishing collection data
• The bad news:
  You have no excuse for not having
  your collection data on the Web

• The good news:
  There’s no reason you can’t have
  your collection data on the Web



http://collections.nhm.org
Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County

				
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