MICROBASE: An Integrated Paleontological Database and Image Cataloging System
BECKER, RICHARD C., Mobil E & P Services, Dallas, TX, DAVID K. GOODMAN, ARCO Oil and Gas Company, Plano, TX, JOHN VAN COUVERING, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, LEONARD N. FORD, JR., BioSpectrum Research, Glen Allen, VA, and NAIRN R. ALBERT, Paleoservices Ltd., Watford, United Kingdom
MICROBASE (MICROpaleontology dataBASE) is an integrated database and image retrieval system designed to increase the efficiency with which paleontologists access paleontological and biostratigraphic data. The project is funded by a consortium of oil companies and coordinated by the American Museum of Natural History, with assistance from the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists. MICROBASE is a PC-based MS DOS-compatible system operating under Microsoft Windows 3.0 that takes advantage of the latest developments in both analog (video) and digital technology.
Images are captured using a video camera mounted on a microscope, or with a high-resolution scanner for photographic source material. The image is saved either as digital file or as an analog "frame" on a Panasonic optical disk recorder (OMDR). The OMDR can store 108,000 images on one 12-in. disk with a retrieval and display time of less than 0.7 s. Microfossil data (nomenclature, synonymy, descriptions, stratigraphic distribution, etc.) are stored as relational tables in an ORACLE DBMS (PALeontological CATalog, or PALCAT). These textual data are linked to multiple images for each taxon.
MICROBASE is the first integrated and widely-supported system to electronically archive paleontological data, regardless of fossil group. It provides rapid, easy access to paleontological data, resulting in standardized taxonomy, more efficient identification procedures, substantially reduced learning curves for persons unfamiliar with particular groups, and more effective retention of the cumulative expertise of experienced paleontologists. The Ellis and Messina Catalog of Foraminifera is the first paleontological catalog available on the MICROBASE system.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)