Interactive keys

Mike Dallwitz md at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Tue Jun 6 15:27:00 CDT 2000

Now available on the Web:

    This document discusses the principles of constructing and using
interactive keys.

    This document compares seven interactive-key programs. The comparisons
are presented as two tables, plus extensive notes.

    The first table shows the scores of the programs against 71 features
desirable for effective identification. A weighted total score is also

    Intkey   IdentifyIt   LucID   MEKA   NaviKey   PollyClave   XID
    _ 219   __   54   __   134 ___ 60 _____ 73  _____  96   __   75

    The second table shows the number of operations (mainly mouse clicks or
double clicks) required for various components of an identification.
Separate figures are given for using text only and using character
illustrations (particularly important for inexperienced users). The averages
for six of these components, when using illustrations, are:

    Intkey   IdentifyIt   LucID   PollyClave   XID
    _ 2.3   __   7.2  ___  5.9  ____  6.5 ____ 7.8

(MEKA and NaviKey do not have provision for character illustrations.)


Mike Dallwitz

CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Phone: +61 2 6246 4075   Fax: +61 2 6246 4000
Email: md at  Internet:

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