What does submitting images to the Bugwood Image Database mean and how does it affect the copyright on the images?
The Bugwood Image Database was created to provide a central location that people can go to for high-resolution, accurately identified images of plants, insects, fungi, and other subjects. The photographer or their organization retain all rights to the images, however by submitting images to this system they agree to let the images be used freely by groups creating educational materials that are freely available (e.g. non-commercial publications) as long as the image is properly cited to give credit to the photographer, their organization and the system serving the images.
There are occasions where individuals, journals or organizations will request commercial use of an image. Any such commercial requests are processed as indicated by the photographer. The current options for this are:
- I would like to receive and answer all commercial requests for my images (and I may choose to charge for commercial use)
- I authorize the Bugwood Network to allow use of my images for all commercial requests at no cost but notify me of any requests
- I authorize the Bugwood Network to allow use of my images for all commercial requests at no cost and I do not want to be notified of each request
- I permit the Bugwood Network to refuse any commercial requests of my images and I do not want to be notified of each request
We also track the number of times each image is viewed and the number of requests. This information may be valuable for annual reports. Right now, the usage information is for total uses over all years. Soon it will divide the information by year, commercial vs. educational, and list the project it was used in.
What images would be useful to Bugwood and the people who use it?
Our major focus is on species of economic concern (i.e. pests and invasive species), but we also wish to have a wide selection of images about many aspects of forested, natural, agricultural, and urban systems. This includes images of plants, insects, wildlife, and plant diseases/fungi as well as management and cultural practices. Since we have a wide audience (including growers, managers, researchers, diagnosticians, consultants, regulatory officials, the general public, etc) we also are looking for images in a variety of settings; ideally we would like to include everything from the field to laboratory procedures and diagnostic images to museum quality images of cultures as well as preserved specimens. If you think the image shows a particular aspect of a insect, disease, disorder or crop that has some merit or real world implications, there is a good chance other people will find the image useful.
What standards do you have for the image quality, resolution, etc.
We ask our contributors to sort through their pictures and only send those that are in-focus and of good quality (i.e. not over-exposed, of good composition, etc.). We also ask them to try to pick their “best shot” rather than sending half-a-dozen images of essentially the same feature from the same angle with the same picture qualities.
We generally prefer to receive 6 megapixel or greater images (about 3000x2000 pixels) since this will allow us to offer the images at all 5 possible resolutions available on our site. If an image does not have a side with at least 700 pixels (i.e. 512x768) we generally consider the image too small for our system. Any resizing of these smaller images will often end with distortion and a really bad looking end product. This does mean that images that are 640x480 are considered too small.
Since we try to avoid sending these images over e-mail, the actual size of the file is not an issue for us. This allows for the sending of uncompressed JPGs and TIFFs.
What information should I send?
The amount of information that could be useful is a very long list of items. Let me break down the list into some convenient groups.
The bare minimum that we NEED is
- subject name/scientific name
- photographer name
- contact name
If available or applicable, we would LIKE:
- Location where the image was taken
If we are given other information, we will make sure that it is stored somewhere in the database. We do not like to see data discarded! It may provide a good foundation of information if the database expands to contain other data. Example includes:
- Media the culture is grown on with temperature, light/dark, time, etc.
- Collection information for the original sample or Unique record ID for this information in another system (Very important if photograph was taken in a location other than the collection location)
- Date of collection/photography/rearing and isolation procedure
What format should it be in?
There are several options for sending information for images.
- We have a Bugwood Data sheet. This is a pretty straight forward form that we can easily manipulate, compare to our system, and insert proper "codes" used in our fully-relational database. This form does require the filename to be entered so that we can keep the data with the proper image. Entering filenames can be done by hand or we have instructions on how to import these names into Excel using DOS commands.
- If the file name is sufficiently descriptive, we can use that to classify the image, although this is likely to not be as complete as the spreadsheet method. The information can be supplemented with additional data entered during the image review phase of our system.
- We can access the EXIF information associated with images and use those comments to enter the information to our system. This process is not yet automated and has not been widely used by our contributors.
- We can upload the images into our system and let the photographer enter all of the information through our image review system. If your images involve repetitive entries, it is not as efficient as using the excel spreadsheet. If you are only working with a few images at a time and they are cover different subjects, this is often a better option.
How do I send images and information to Bugwood so that they can be entered?
We have an online image upload form that should work to send the images to us. You must have a Bugwood Account (freely available at Forestry Images, IPM Images, Insect Images or Invasive.org) and use Internet Explorer for this form to work.
You can find a link to the form at http://images.bugwood.org.
The first time you use this, the page will take longer than usual to load. It will want to install an ActiveX control called "Aurigma Image Uploader". Once this is installed, you can send images over the internet rather than through e-mail. This means there is no limit on the file size, number of files, or the resolution that you can send. The images will be uploaded into a folder with the batch name you provide. We'll add the images to our system and make sure that you, the agency owning the image or whoever you list as a photographer will get credit.
If for some reason you cannot install an ActiveX control on your computer, as is the case with many USDA employees, sending a DVD/CD by mail works well or we can arrange to ship a portable USB hard drive to you to pick up the images. Finding another computer to send the images from is also an option.
What happens next?
The Bugwood Network Staff will enter the information for the images and send you a link to review the pictures with the information. This will help to make sure the information is as you had intended it.