Through a study of field biology practices, we observed that biology fieldwork generates a wealth of qualitative and quantitative information requiring substantial labor to coor- dinate and distill. Biologists rely on their notebooks as the primary record of observations, plans, measurements, and results. These observations motivated ButterflyNet, a sys- tem that integrates paper notes with information explicitly captured and ambiently available in field sites: digital pho- tographs, sensor network data, and GPS. Through Butter- flyNet, the activity of leafing through a notebook expands to browsing all synchronously created media. Butter- flyNet’s integrated interactions facilitate the transfer of notebook content to spreadsheets and maintain data lineage. It also enables biologists to share their work with other members of their lab. A first-use study with 14 biologists found this system to offer richer capture with minimal overhead, in a manner felicitous with current practice.
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