[Taxacom] favourite online key?

Chapman, Alex Alex.Chapman at dec.wa.gov.au
Thu Sep 18 20:11:17 CDT 2008


In our web portal 'FloraBase - the Western Australian flora' we recently embedded a large number of interactive keys to the families and genera of Western Australian vascular plants (for a summary of the project see http://florabase.dec.wa.gov.au/keys/).

Generated from the same primary data source, the Generic Key includes 1060 generic descriptions, and allows users to identify to this rank without reference or a priori knowledge of family.  The Family Key includes only the 188 family descriptions, for those users needing to access data at that rank only, and there are also 48 individual Family Keys.  Further families (and their genera) are to be added shortly.

The keys were made available at two points, from the above page for those users wanting to browse many interactive keys specifically, or within the database records returned, when a query matched taxa for which a key was available.  After a successful identification the user is led back into further FloraBase content for the target taxon.

The data for these keys had been scored in the old TDWG DELTA standard and currently requires the prior installation of INTKEY (http://delta-intkey.com/www/install.htm) although we are actively exploring the use of Navikey to provide cross-platform access for users.  Newer keys to be added will also be in LUCID, using their new java embedded player which will also provide corss-platform performance for those keys.

For a state encompassing 1/3 of the Australian continent and which has never had a standard state-wide flora treatment, these keys are proving an invaluable addition to the other resources already published in FloraBase.

Alex R. Chapman                           alexc at dec.wa.gov.au
Research Scientist                    florabase.dec.wa.gov.au
Bioinformatics & Publications   p. +61 8 9334 0513 f....0 515
Western Australian Herbarium  Dept Environment & Conservation
Locked Bag 104 Bentley Delivery Centre Western Australia 6983 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]On Behalf Of Julia Sigwart
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 1:14 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] favourite online key?

Dear all
I am looking for suggestions for favourite online or other computer-based identification keys. 
This is for a new project with the Royal BC Museum (Canada) to create online keys which are primarily aimed at the general public (or that part of the general public which is interested in species-level identification of their local fauna). The first two projects are grasses and chitons (polyplacophoran molluscs) -- the idea is to use a platform which can accommodate both of these and others in future.
Just to be clear, I am *not* interested in being pointed to software (Lucid, Xper2, etc etc etc) but instead to specific, working and available examples that you have used and would recommend as a model for presentation and interactivity.
If you have used a key -- for any group of fauna or flora -- that you would recommend as a model for this project, can you please let me know?
Thanks to all in advance!
Julia Sigwart, PhD
Collections-based Biology in Dublin
University College Dublin &
National Museum of Ireland

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