New York Botanical Garden uses jewelry photography method to digitize plants

In the past, the New York Botanical Garden was only able to digitize about 20,000 to 30,000 of its 7.3 million specimens every year. However, ever since they began using a light box that was originally designed for photographing jewelry, the Garden is now digitizing around 100,000 specimens every year. The system is so effective that the Garden is doing imaging for third parties now.

The New York Botanical Garden is packed with over 7.3 million specimens from all over the world. And when you’ve got that many plants, you need to get a little creative when it’s time to take their picture. It’s a high tech affair. Popular Science recently profiled the NYBG archival process and explained that the garden used to be able to digitize just 20,000 to 30,0000 specimens per year. However, things have picked up significantly since it started using a light box that was originally designed for photographing jewelry. The box’s uniform lighting makes it easy to get clear, natural pictures of the plants, and character recognition software helps the staff cut down on data entry. They’re now processing about 100,000 specimens per year.

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