Contents of drawers in museums that have been lying untouched for innumerable years can be accessed online by scientists globally, once this project takes off. This will help them to understand the evolution of life on Earth in a better manner. Though the project involves a mammoth task, the benefits conferred through digitization of the data far outweigh the trouble of collecting and building it.
High resolution images along with text giving detailed information about the specimen can be easily accessed online. This data will be more effective for testing and arriving at conclusions on the movement, eating habits and the overall functioning of the life of animals existing thousands of years ago. Handling real, fossilized specimens would have been a fragile task but not so with the digitized ones. In fact, digitized data was a better option for undertaking detailed studies in the relevant fields.
The digital images of dinosaur skulls and bones enabled Prof. Emily Rayfield at the Bristol University to get answers to questions relating to the sustenance of the multi-tonne, herbivorous Sauropods who lived on the planet long ago. The Sauropods belonged to the same group as the better known Diplodocus. Another of her colleague, Prof Philip Donoghue used digitized images of fossilized microorganisms belonging to several thousands of years ago to develop enlarged ones for better analysis.
He however, emphasized that the images had to be of the highest quality and for that the digital museum had to be maintained by excellent hands.
Jonathan Amos and Victoria Gill of the BBC are at the moment in Washington DC to cover the yearly meet of American Geophysical Union, a biggest congregation of Space and Earth scientists from all around the world.