Dieback management in Western Australia

On Friday I gave a talk and demonstration of the Dieback Information Delivery and Management System (which has the best acronym I’ve seen in a long time, DIDMS), with Annabelle Bushell from South Coast NRM Inc (SCNRM) at the Dieback Information Group (DIG) Conference.

Since late last year, Annabelle and I have been working with the team here at Gaia Resources, and a whole range of stakeholders to develop a state wide system for the management of dieback information.  If you are not sure what dieback is, I will point you here, because that says it clearer than I could.  It’s a $1.6 billion dollar threat, and I think it is still poorly understood apart from the small core of professionals who work with it and undertake research into it, like the people who go to the DIG conference.

Annabelle and I gave a presentation about the DIDMS project, as it stands at the moment.  I didn’t go live given the short time for the presentation, so I thought as a follow up I’d record a live demo and then put it up as a Youtube video so that people can watch it and get more detail.



(as a side note, this is the first screencast I’ve recorded using Camtasia, which seems to be a pretty useful product!)

I once described the DIDMS project as being the map table in the middle of a war planning room.  The DIG attendees are definitely fighting a battle against dieback, and on a range of fronts.  What the DIDMS will enable is for them to do that in a co-ordinated fashion, by sharing the data they want to, and then being able to report and analyse the data that they are working on.  It’s very exciting to be involved in this type of work, because it shows how our work as a bunch of developers and analysts can deliver real benefits to those working to protect and conserve the natural environment.

DIDMS is another instance of the Biological Data Recording System (BDRS), an open source system we are developing for the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA).  In this case, the ALA isn’t funding DIDMS, but the SCNRM is, and we’re building on top of the BDRS using this funding.  This ongoing development of the BDRS, from various sources of funding, has turned the BDRS into a heavyweight application that can deal with just about any biological data you want to record, and it comes with mobile and desktop solutions included.  If you are technically minded (i.e. you can develop in Java), you can go to the rather unassuming site here, check out the code, compile and install it on your own server.  We’re actively continuing to work on the software for a range of different groups, so this software will change and develop as time progresses.

Over the next couple of months as we finish up the DIDMS project we will put more information about it up here in the blog to show where this project is going, and to demonstrate the real world benefits it is having.

You can contact me for more information via email or Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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