University of Miami Launches DAMSL (Digital Atlas of Marine Species and Locations)

The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has launched DAMSL, the Digital Atlas of Marine Species and Locations. Located at, DAMSL currently contains about 1,000 images from photographer Myron Wang’s collection. (Myron Wang and his wife Nicole donated their collection of more than 5,000 images of fish, corals, and other examples of marine life to the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; I assume those images are going to eventually end up in this database.)

From the front page you can learn more about the project and get an overview of the people involved, or browse the database by geography or species. There’s also an option to browse by catalog index number. Browsing by geography (you can choose east or west hemisphere) I started with Hawaii and was presented with over 70 results, from a sea slug to the “Humbug Dascyllus” (and a picture of Mr. Wang and his family!) The images are presented in a gallery of thumbnails, three to the row, with information on the common and scientific name of the item pictured when applicable.

Clicking on the image gives you a popup window with more information about the species represented: date collected, where and when, latitude and longitude, kingdom/class/family/genus/species, and catalog number. There are also arrows for browsing through the other items in the search results.

If you’re looking for a keyword search check out the view by species page. Here you can search by common name, display by scientific family, look at the whole catalog, or search by keyword. A keyword search for turtle found six results, five of which were the “Green Sea Turtle”.

These images are great and I liked the fact that you could browse by both species and geography. But the site seems to be image oriented; there’s not much additional text information on the species that I could find. How about hooking up DAMSL to Wikipedia, or marine information sites from other universities?

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