releasing rare sp. localities

Thu Dec 5 09:30:42 CST 1996

I would have to disagree.  At least in Texas, some counties are very
large: as large or larger than the smallest states.  Additionally, these
counties may cross several vegetational types, or other distinct surface
or soil features.  Including locality data only to the county may be
somewhat useful to SOME people, but its like having a computer and only
using it type letters.  Having discrete point data for each specimen
allows more advanced data manipulation and analysis such as Geographic
Information Systems (GIS).  Additionally, if the databases are readily
searchable by a number of criteria, the search can be made to return
either server generated maps or discrete 'points' that can be directly
entered into a GIS. Web based databases of natural history
collections SHOULD include data to the highest resolution provided by the
collector and noted on the herbarium label.

Again, the only exception here is endangered or desirable plants
-cannabis and orchids for example.  Then, it is a simple matter to either
manually, or automatically overwrite the field or prevent its being served.

David C. Taylor
Undergraduate, Department of Biological Sciences, Sam Houston State University
GIS Assistant, Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies
stddct at

On Wed, 4 Dec 1996, Dennis Paulson wrote:

> >When we get our catalogues on-line, we intend to include locality data only to
> >county.  This will give enough information to researchers for them to decide
> >whether they need to know more about a particular record.  They can then
> >contact us for specifics, as needed, which is still faster/easier for them than
> >having to "cold call" for large-scale data requests.
> >
> >Robin Panza                     panzar at
> >Section of Birds, Carnegie MNH
> This is exactly what we've done, assuming the records are entirely to
> indicate what is available in our collection, *not* a direct source for use
> in some way over which we have no control.  We also don't include
> collectors' names in our on-line database, for obvious reasons.  Oops, I
> should mention that what we have on line so far is only our bird
> collection.  You probably don't have to worry much about collectors' names
> in herbarium databases!
> Dennis Paulson, Director                           phone 206-756-3798
> Slater Museum of Natural History                 fax 206-756-3352
> University of Puget Sound                       e-mail dpaulson at
> Tacoma, WA 98416
> web site:

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