? Type information

Doug Yanega dyanega at DENR1.IGIS.UIUC.EDU
Sat Mar 9 18:48:43 CST 1996

Peter Rauch <anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU> suggested:

>And, finally, as an aside --a good database design might allow
>for verbatim label locality data entry (maybe even label images),
>and will also provide "interpreted" locality fields. The issue goes
>beyond publication, beyond changing(!) the label (or adding a label?).

This is the context in which I first encountered this problem, and had the
first software I worked with allowed for formatted text fields (so I could
enter the label data verbatim, with carriage returns) I would have done so.
For a database of the INHS Plecoptera, which is in FileMaker, this *was* an
option, and we took it - there is a field with the verbatim label data, and
a whole set of fields that have the REAL data entered in them (i.e., if the
label said TN: Pidgeon Forge, SMP 7-13-40 THF, I'd enter everything spelled
out, in separate fields, even if the label was incomplete, so for the
preceding I'd add the county name, the river name, and spell out "Great
Smoky Mountains National Park" and "T.H. Frison" and correct the spelling
on "Pigeon Forge"). Anything not matching the lable was entered in
[brackets]. That way there is no problem telling what information was
corrected in the process of entering data.
        I'd go so far as to say this should be standard policy for specimen
inventories, but of course, we have no such standards that are universally
recognized, though some recommendations have been made (right now, we still
haven't gotten folks to adopt a universal software, though several viable
alternatives now exist, so I don't know how we are to ever have format
standards). But I digress...

Doug Yanega       Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA      phone (217) 244-6817, fax (217) 333-4949
 affiliate, Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of Entomology
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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