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Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

by Jul 7, 20200 comments

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria web catalog. ©Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria streamline their content management and distribution with dbapprove

Customer

Company: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Website: rbg.vic.gov.au

Industry: nonprofit, botanic gardens

Goal

RBGV needed to streamline and simplify their content management and improve channel distribution and publishing

Result

dbapprove has made content management more efficient and has vastly improved user experience.

Comprised of two remarkable gardens – Melbourne and Cranbourne, as well as National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV) house an extensive and growing botanical library and archive, and a collection of botanical art. For the past 12 years they have been using Cumulus DAMS to manage and share their large collections of images of living and dried plants, fungi and algae.

As the number of images grew and a new public website was introduced, things started to get complicated and issues arose with existing workflows.

Niels Klazenga, Cumulus DAMS Administrator and Biodiversity Informatics Developer at RBGV, has been the driving force behind the Gardens’ DAMS success and was always looking for ways to improve his team’s user experience and overall digital success of the organisation.

Challenges

“As more people were becoming involved in processing digital content there was a need for clearly defined procedures and workflow,” stated databasics senior consultant Erez Pelach after an on-site visit to RBGV.

Over the years, the number of images had grown significantly with many new files added to the collections, and the average size of images had increased, especially the widely used Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) assets. Additionally, along with VicFlora public website, RBGV had created HortFlora  – a visual online guide to horticultural flora of South-eastern Australia. As a result, the Gardens wanted more staff to participate in the management of the images without needing access to the master catalogue. 

It was clear, the existing image transfer, conversion and distribution processes were no longer suitable for the current requirements. RBGV needed a solution that would help content managers process a large volume of digital content from the initial cataloguing, through an approval process, channel distribution, web publication, and final archiving.

Solution

After initial consultation it was decided that dbapprove, a solution developed by databasics, would be a good fit for the challenges at RBGV. 

dbapprove is based on Canto Cumulus  and Roboflow  technologies.

The solution comprises catalogue structure, metadata sets and automated channel distribution workflows (approval, publishing, conversion, and archiving).

It is versatile, scalable and can be implemented as standalone, integrated or hybrid solution.

Cumulus screenshot

©Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Implementation

databasics worked in collaboration with Niels Klazenga to develop and implement a tailored solution design. A hybrid solution was devised by updating some of the existing configuration and integrating additional customised dbapprove components.

The solution included:

  • approval workflows
  • multiple staging and production channels feeding content from different sources into publication catalogues for integration with websites
  • automated image conversion workflows
  • API integration between the publishing catalogues and the RBGV VicFlora and HortFlora websites using Canto Integration Platform (CIP)
  • automated metadata synchronization workflow
  • archiving workflow.

In addition, databasics provided extensive solution design and implementation documentation as well as training.

Results and benefits

“The biggest benefit for us is that, with the implementation of dbapprove, staff can work on their own images in their own staging catalogues and, when the metadata is complete, these images can be brought into the RBGV system (the production catalogues) using the dbapprove workflow,” says Niels.

Sabine Glissmann-Gough, Chief Information Officer at RBGV sums up:” We finally feel that we have a handle on the RBGV images.”

Nearly 100,000 images were processed by the solution in just the first few months and the workflow “didn’t fail once”, according to Niels. “The solution is very well thought out and seems broadly applicable,” he adds.  

RBGV can have staging catalogues for short- and long-term projects and, at various stages during the project, can decide which images they want to have in their production catalogue, which need to be archived and which can be deleted. As a result, more people can process content simultaneously, collaboratively, and effectively.
In summary, the dbapprove implementation at RBGV proved to be a robust and agile solution. It has addressed past and current digital content management requirements and can be flexibly adapted to resolve future challenges. The entire content management process is now streamlined, simplified and more efficient with less room for user error.

“We can only imagine how much easier things would have been for us if dbapprove would have been there 12 years ago when we started out with Cumulus,” concludes Niels Klazenga.