Brian Brown bbrown at NHM.ORG
Thu Jul 25 07:48:21 CDT 2002

At 10:40 AM 7/25/02 -0400, Panza, Robin wrote:
>>>>>You wouldn't believe how quickly and efficiently I can now get a bunch
>of data into the computer. Reading codes off labels and typing them by hand
>is horribly inefficient (and error prone), <<<<
>I don't understand.  Doesn't somebody have to read data and type it into
>whatever machine creates the barcode label?

Yes, the barcode only codes the specimen number (like LACM ENT 005055). If
you are retroactively capturing data from specimens, including locality
data, it is a long and painful process. If you barcode as new material
comes in, you can save tremendous amounts of time by using default values
for fields that repeat (i.e. locality data from many specimens from the
same trap sample). As we all know, databasing things like long series of
insects from a single Malaise trap sample is the most efficient;
retroactive data capture is the least efficient.


Brian V. Brown
Associate Curator of Entomology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles CA USA 90007
telephone (213) 763-3363
fax (213) 746-2999
email bbrown at

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