Drawer digitisation using DScan and Diversity Workbench

DScan is an innovative, high-performance digital scanning system for entomological (and other) collections. The device was developed by the Zoologische Staatssammlung (S. Schmidt & M. Balke) in cooperation with engineers of the Technisches Büro München.

The development of DScan is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the Invertebrates II node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility – Germany (GBIF-D).

Since 2016, development started to combine drawer digitisation with data management using Diversity Workbench. The aim is to create sustainable data pipelines with archiving steps and data publication in GBIF and GFBio using the services of the SNSB IT Center.

DScan: technical specifications

  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 1080 x 1080 x 1500 mm
  • Weight: c. 200 kg
  • Travel range: 600 x 600 mm, z-axix: 200 mm
  • Travel speed: 100 mm/s
  • Minimal step distance: 0,01 mm
  • Software control: PAL PC (DIN66025)

DScan in action


Schmidt, S., Balke, M., & Lafogler, S. (2012). DScan – a high-performance digital scanning system for entomological collections. ZooKeys 209: 183–191. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.209.3115