Trying to find a permanent home for GN I travelled to Champaign-Urbana on Thursday-Friday to visit Species File Group at the University of Illinois. I do know this group rather well, as Lisa Walley and I went there more than a year ago for a hackathon organized by Matt Yoder.
I am quite impressed with work this group does and when Matt suggested me to join them – my first thought was – this might be a way to make Global Names financial situation more reliable!
Currently Global Names completely depends on grants, and grants come and go. It is a pretty bad way to finance an infrastructure project, as you do not want to have roads or electricity depend on unstable funding. We always want to be able to drive to a store or a concert, and we want to always be able to have lights in our homes. Same goes with projects like GN. If people start using them – they start depend on them and it is really bad situation when funding dries out and service deteriorates as a result.
The visit went well. I had a great opportunity to talk to David Eades, Matt, Dmitry Dmitriev, and Yuri Roscov. It was especially great to talk to Yuri, as he is the main person behind the Catalogue of Life content. I consider Catalogue of Life to be one of the most important use cases and partners for GN, and talking to Yuri for an extended amount of time was extremely helpful.
Originally position was about helping Yuri to automate his work-flow, however when Matt and I talked on Skype the accent started to shift towards supporting Global Names. David Eades, Matt, and Yuri all believe that GN is a missing link in Catalogue of Life functionality and as such by working closely with Yuri, and figuring out what GN can do for Catalogue of Life actually does help to automate some of hard parts of Yuri’s work.
The meeting was very encouraging and inspiring. Now I have to think hard and make a decision. I would love be able to keep my house on Cape and I would love to be able to come in summer and work with MBL and RISD. And it seems nothing prevents me to spend 3 months on Cape in summer if I move. On Monady I am going to talk about my trip at my work at MBL.