Taxonomic softwares

P Schalk pschalk at ETI.UVA.NL
Sat Sep 25 13:43:20 CDT 2004

                      Taxonomic softwares                          9/25/04
Dear All,

I am happy to learn that Delta is still supported with workshops. In reply to the messages of Rachael King and Chris Thomson, please be advised that in addition to Lucid and Delta there is another commonly used taxonomic software package available to the scientific community: Linnaeus II. This software is in use by both botanists and zoologists since 1991. It was recently updated to version 2.5 and can be downloaded free of charge after a simple registration: ( For details see press release below. The developer, ETI, also offers a fully subsidized electronic publishing programme for completed electronic monographs created with the Linnaeus II software. Over 80 cd-roms with taxonomic databases and identification systems have been published using this system. 
In addition to the three systems mentioned there are other, less spread, initiatives to digitize taxonomic information. Each of these taxonomic documentation systems have their own merrits. It is important to choose the tool according to your needs and goal. A good diversity of (well build and technically supported) ICT tools available to the taxonomic community will increase the options for digital output / exchange and strengthen the field. 
Electronic output of applicable nature is needed to keep taxonomy on the map in this digital era. This will become even more important when GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility: will start its SpeciesBank program. Delta, Lucid, Linnaeus II and others make it possible to contribute to it with self build taxonomic information systems.

Peter H. Schalk
Director ETI Applied Bio-Informatics
University of Amsterdam
Mauritskade 61
1092 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: 31.20.5257239
Fax: 31.20.5257238
e-mail: pschalk at

Press release

The ETI Bio-Informatics Center released a powerful update (version 2.5) of its Linnaeus II content management system for taxonomic and biodiversity information. It accommodates five years of valuable feedback from taxonomists worldwide and its development was sponsored by the Netherlands GBIF Node and several international R&D projects. Linnaeus II is in use by some 1,500 taxonomists and supports the creation of taxonomic databases, computer aided identification keys (digi/polytomous, image-based, matrix-based), interactive (searchable) geographic maps, and supporting literature and glossary databases in a single, hyperlinked environment. The new 2.5 version of the software runs under Windows XP (and 98, ME) and Macintosh OS X (and 8.6, 9.x) and is designed to support the creation of 'SpeciesBanks' in the sense defined by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (see 
The Linnaeus II software consists of three modules: - Linnaeus II 'builder' vs 2.5: to create taxonomic information/identification systems on your own computer,
- Linnaeus II 'runtime' vs 2.5: to publish completed Linnaeus II systems in the form of ‘e-monographs’ on mass produced CD-ROMs/DVD-ROMs. - Linnaeus II 'web publisher' vs 1.0: to publish and use Linnaeus II information systems on the Internet. 
Scientists at universities, research institutions and taxonomic institutions can download the Linnaeus II builder free of cost from our website:

The only requirement is to register as an ‘ETI Partner’, which entails that the licensee intends to contribute to creating digital taxonomic information systems. The user license allows the licensee to work with the Linnaeus II software for personal / institutional use. Those who are already partner are kindly asked to re-register. 
ETI offers its partners a (free) e-publication programme for completed electronic monographs built in Linnaeus II format. These are published as part of the World Biodiversity Database CD-ROM Series. More then 80 CD-ROM have been published. A list of published Linnaeus II e-monographs can be found on our website: ( and can be purchased at: ( Linnaeus II e-monographs are made available against the nominal costs of production; no profit margin is included. Authors receive royalties, retain full ownership of their data, and are entitled to (re)publish their data in any form at any time. The license to mass produce CD-ROMs using the Linnaeus II run-time version can also be available to third parties. Please contact ETI for details. 
Exciting is the new development of the Linnaeus II ‘Web Publisher’ tool, which supports the full functionality of the Linnaeus II runtime software in a web environment. Resulting websites can be customized with features such as knowledge tests (quizzes) and a thumbnail index. The 'biodiversity information system' on the website of the Netherlands’ GBIF Node:
was built using the beta version of the Linnaeus II WP tool. The web publisher tool was developed to meets the requirements of a growing number of taxonomists and assists the users to 'publish' their taxonomic information system directly on the Internet themselves. For user licenses to run the Linnaeus II Web Publishing software on local server(s) please contact ETI for details (info at

On 9/24/04, christian thompson wrote:
Delighted to see that DELTA seems to still be recognized by some as THE
outstanding tool to manage and deploy character data for Systematics.

Having just return from a NSF PEET conference one would think that
LucID is the only digital identification system today, especially for
Aussies and USDA APHIS PPQ!

Sorry we can make your workshop, but Mike Dallwitz is again pass thru
Washington next couple of weeks, so ...

F. Christian Thompson


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