ActKey: a web-based interactive key program

Anthony Brach brach at OEB.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Jul 31 09:38:56 CDT 2003

Re. the topic of web-based interactive keys, announcing the availability of
the following:

A number of web-based interactive identification keys are now available for
the floras of China, North America, Madagascar, Borneo, and the world, in a
program called 'ActKey' at the Harvard University Herbaria Editorial
Center, Examples
include the genera of Brassicaceae of the world by Ihsan Al-Shehbaz; Salix
(Salicaceae) of North America by George W. Argus (also in Chinese); punched
cards for angiosperm families by B. Hansen and K. Rahn (also in Chinese and
Spanish); Trilliaceae (Trillium and Paris) of the world by Susan B. Farmer,
the generic tree flora of Madagascar by George Schatz, and the trees &
shrubs of Borneo by James K. Jarvie & Ermayanti, respectively, and several
keys to the largest genera of China including Pedicularis, Primula, Salix,
Gentiana, Saxifraga, Rubus, Aconitum, and others (also in Chinese).

The Internet Explorer 6.0 and Netscape 7.1 browsers may be used. Clicking
on a character in the left frame opens a new window with a list of
character states followed by the number of taxa having that particular
state, character statistics (min., max.) for counts and measurements, and
character notes. After entering one or more state(s) for any character(s)
in the left frame, clicking on resultant taxon names in the right frame
opens a new window with descriptions and links for dynamic lookups to
related data and images. Various character list displays (language
displays, best character sort) are further options. For example, in
addition to English, some of the keys are also available in other languages
in which the character list was translated, such as Chinese and Spanish.

Hong Song of the Missouri Botanical Garden, developed this Java-based
program using MySQL as the database server. Collaborators interested in
sharing their data sets (e.g., DELTA, MS Excel, MS Access, Lucid formats)
via this Web-based system, or interested in translating any of the
character sets into another language may contact Hong Song, song at,
or Anthony R. Brach, brach at

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D. / brach at
Flora of China /
Missouri Botanical Garden / Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-2094 USA

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