DendroElevator constitutes a cyberinfrastructure model for online archive curation, visualization, and analysis with images of tree-rings and related environmental proxy datatypes. To our knowledge, this is the only system capable of fluid file handling with gigabyte-scale images and unlimited pixel dimensions that have historically challenged desktop workstations and image software packages. It also takes advantage of the rich feature set baked into Elevator, including flexibility with metadata schemas, permissions hierarchies, and file size and type handling and visualization.

Elevator is an open-source, cloud-hosted digital asset management platform developed by Colin McFadden, a technology architect in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. More information is available through the elevatorapp.net page and the related repository on GitHub.

DendroElevator (DE) is the product of a collaborative initiative that links the Griffin LabAISOS, and LATIS, with emphasis on student-centered imaging technology and software development for research, education, and outreach. Our efforts are motivated by the longstanding lack of a community-driven, open-source freeware approach to image archiving and analysis in dendrochronology.

The current generation of DE relies heavily on leaflet, an open-source javascript display plugin. Leaflet-treering is our open-source, browser-based toolkit for the idiosyncrasies of tree-ring measurement, dating, and annotation. Our image display plugin now leverages WebGL for advanced image visualization. Basic end user access to public collections on DE requires only a modern web browser and moderately reliable internet connection. 

The DE initiative constitutes an initial realization of our vision high quality image archives to complement entire collections of physical specimens, and to make open source, community-driven software tools for online image analyses and curation. DE has been developed with partial funding support from the UMN Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the UMN Office of Undergraduate Research, the UMN College of Liberal Arts, the UMN Liberal Arts Technologies & Innovation Services, and the United States National Science Foundation, DEB Award #1655144, and AGS Awards #1602633 and #1903504.

In the Griffin Lab, we have migrated the majority of our data development workflow to gigapixel imaging and DE, and found it to facilitate transparency and efficiency in high throughput, low cost time series data development with tree rings and other paleoenvironmental proxies. Our online archive now includes thousands of individual specimens from dozens of site-level collections. Specific access requests are welcome.

We are also facilitating software access to students and researchers at small and large institutions. To become involved or learn about curation of private collections, please contact Daniel Griffin.