PlantCollections Portal (Off topic)

Boyce Tankersley
Sun, 20 Jul 2008 14:13:07 PDT
Dear PBS members:
Approximately 2.5 years ago I contacted many of you to determine what information you would like to have access to from botanic gardens and arboreta.  The application is now in the testing phase and I would like to encourage you all to assist in refining it so that it meets your needs (before the funding runs out).
Chicago Botanic Garden, working with 15 American botanic gardens and arboreta and 14 other organizations has created a Portal on the Internet to access the data stored in plant record databases of botanic gardens and arboreta.
It is a 'formative' stage and I (the computer programmers) would greatly appreciate your trying it out and then using the feedback box (bottom of form) to send your comments and suggestions to the programmers refining the search and results.
The finished product will provide access to primary source data (records from all of the participants can be collated into a single report (on screen or downloaded as a spreadsheet), images (stored in Morphbank) and create maps (Google Maps). 161 data fields provide contact information for botanic garden subject matter experts, describe the climate at each botanic garden, present scientific names, common names and synonyms;
collection dates, places and descriptions (only if the taxon is not listed as being rare or endangered); latitude and longitude of wild collected and plants in cultivation (centroid for the botanic garden only); images verified by a taxonomist; ornamental characteristics (flower, foliage, fruit color, height and width in cultivation, propagation protocols; reasons for death in cultivation (as far as can be discerned); conservation status in CITES, IUCN, USFWS, CPC, Red Books, State Lists.
Many thanks,
Boyce Tankersley
Director of Living Plant Documetation
Chicago Botanic Garden
Project Director
PlantCollections - A Community Solution
Institute of Museum and Library Service National Leadership Grant in the Building Digital Resources category

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