On line specimen images

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Mon Nov 27 07:41:10 CST 2000


At 09:00 AM 11/22/00 -0600, you wrote:

>1.  Are there cases in which viewing an on line image would eliminate
>the need for borrowing the material?  Are the resolution and
>magnification of current images on line adequate?
>2.  How useful are images of types?  Is the resolution of the images
>provided by sites that currently offer photos of type specimens
>adequate?  Is the ability to zoom in on parts critical for
>identification (such as the floral parts in angiosperms) needed?

In botany, images *can* be very helpful.  The fact that IDC sold so many
sets of microfiche depicting historically important herbaria is evidence
enough of this.  That is not to say that every question will be answerable
from an image, but many routine ones definitely will.  Many times, it is
not even the plant that must be seen; it is often useful just to see the
original written label (vs. the databased transcription) to answer certain
questions.

As for close ups, the best are those of features emphasized in the original
description, e.g., if this species was distinguished from congeners by its
pubescence, a closeup of hairs would be logical.


Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-7085
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
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"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
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