interactive keys

Les at Les at
Tue Mar 14 11:42:41 CST 2006

Susan B. Farmer wrote:

> If you want to entice the public to the idea of using an interactive key
> rather than a "picture book," then you need to make the key to something
> that John Q. Public is interested in -- be it Leps, caterpillars,
> mushrooms, Spring Wildflowers or someother charasmatic organism.

Yes. I've wondered whether sales of interactive treatments on CD of
groups with numerous amateur devotees worldwide (birds, cacti and
succulents, orchids ...), might even generate surplus funds to help
support genuine taxonomic research. They would need to be nicely
illustrated (with sound effects where appropriate), and aimed and
advertized at the elementary student and semi-popular to popular level.

Professional taxonomists rightly prefer doing their own thing; but the
necessary hardware is widely available, and the methodology for
preparing the data is now sufficiently routine for the task to be
delegated to support staff, who might find it a pleasant diversion from
their other chores.


Dr. Les Watson
10, Maitland Avenue
Little Grove, Albany,         Email: leswatson at
WA 6330, Australia            Phone: +61 (8) 98 44 4398

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