Labeling a Living Collection: Leveraging IrisBG's Item Management
The December Coffee Chat was given by Jena Portanova, Plant Records Manager for the Houston Botanic Garden. The talk gave practical examples of how to manage the entire labeling process start to finish. Jena shared her workflows and tips. The Q and A afterwards identified plenty of challenges.
Thanks to all of you who joined us! The Coffee Chat attendees were a good mix of users with 47% intermediate users, 29% of users identifying as novice, 23% advanced users.
At the end of this article, we share a list of Q&A from the chat section of the Coffee Chat. Thank you for all the engagement!
The map below shows the gardens and arboreta represented by those who registered for the Coffee Chat - home offices not taken into consideration.
Jena has a complete workflow:
- Queuing and Preparing the Labels using exports in IrisBG,
- Running Labels,
- Placing the Labels in the garden, and
- Taking an inventory of the label status on a tablet using Field Maps.
Data Display and Display Product
Proofs of Display Labels
Jena Portanova's Equipment & Apps
- CIM Maxima 841 Embosser
- CR80 Aluminum Cards
- Display Labels
- Photo reactive Aluminum labels on steel brackets
- Steel Stakes in sizes 12", 24", 36"
- Geode GNS2 receiver (decimeter accuracy, durable, & weatherproof)
- At&t Netgear Hotspot
- Cedar CT8 Tablets (durable & weather proof)
- ESRI Field Maps App
Q: How do you track unplaced labels in storage?
A: Excel spreadsheets are where with those details are kept. I have volunteers sort through the labels once a year or every two years.
Q: How to recycle label materials?
A: Aluminum accession labels are recyclable.
Q: How many Taxa does the Houston Botanic Garden have in its Living Collection?
Q: How long does it take to make a plant profile at Houston Botanic Garden?
A: Five minutes to 30 minutes for each plant profile.
Q: How to you keep track of the label status on a tablet?
A: I use Field Maps and import the data. The IrisBG ArcGIS Template handles this and my custom codes from IrisBG.
Q: Does anyone have a solution to animals crewing on the plant labels? The squirrels in Southern California are big problem for us.
Q: How do you track non-plant related labels? "Please stay on the path" type labels.
A: I keep track of these in Excel.
Q: Where do you source 18" Pigtail stakes?
A: Two gardens mentioned that they use recycled electrical wire, irrigation wire, or industrial wire that is bent with a 'homemade' jig.
Q: Aquatic labels do not last long. Any suggestions?
A: Assume that it won't last for more than a season. Laminated paper printed every year and attached with electrical tape or just plant to replace the labels yearly.