Archive for the ‘Taxonomy’ Category

Taxonomic Categories in Posts & Insect Record Keeping

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I recently came across Beetles in the Bush, an excellent entomology blog written by Ted MacRae. I particularly liked the use of taxonomic post categories to organise families into their respective orders and will start using it in my blog because it’s such a good idea.

Earlier this week I finished organising my insect records from last year in Excel. I was thinking about putting them into Access because it’s much better suited for such data and I may start building an Access database over the weekend. Another thought occurred to me, which was that there must be some freely available programs, perhaps some which can make use of Google Maps/Earth and Flickr. Do you know of any?

Finally, a little bit of eye candy:

Red and Black Shield Bug - This pentatomid caught my eye amongst material collected in Ecuador.

Red and Black Shield Bug - This pentatomid caught my eye amongst unidentified material collected in Ecuador. © The Natural History Museum

Blog Roundup: Scanning Moths & A Cybertaxonomy Discussion

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I’ve been reading some blogs and came across two interesting posts and two new blogs:

A Cybertaxonomy Discussion: Vince Smith has posted a blog response to concerns a fellow taxonomy blogger (Roderic Page) has with Scratchpads, the online taxonomy database used by Vince & the NHM, and the potential for redundant data and time wasting when trying to gather information from multiple Scrathpads. Instead, Page sugguests using Semantic MediaWikis which would be able to deal with human-language queries on bulk taxonomic/entomological information, such as “Which Hemiptera might I find in Essex during July?” or “How many beetles are there excluding weevils?”.

Whilst I don’t want to reiterate the posts, I am inclined to agree with Vince’s view from my experience with taxonomists/entomologists at museums and people who are happier working with paper rather than computers. With so much taxonomic information not readily accessible in any form I think Scratchpads & similar more traditionally organised databases will become more commonly used before the more (conceptually) advanced Semantic MediaWikis.

Scanning Moths: There are some excellent scanned images of moths over at cicindela,  which have even managed to capture individual scales at a reasonable resolution!

I’d recommend visiting cicindela as the author as plenty of other good photographs.

Cincindela and iPhylo have been added to the blogroll.

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