Interactive Indigofera identification
A mobile application is being developed to identify species of Indigofera in the field in Southern Africa.
01 Nov 2012
Identifying species of Indigofera in the field can be difficult (Image: Geoff Nichols)
An interactive identification guide to the genus Indigofera in Southern Africa (about 320 species) is being developed that can be used directly in the field using a hand-held device.
A traditional revision of such a difficult group of species would be complex and largely inaccessible to those requiring species identifications in the field. The entry point of the mobile application will be a map of the region divided into quarter degree square (QDS) grids. The underlying data regarding species occurring in each QDS will be derived from a fully verified species database, with collection details, sourced from all the major relevant herbaria.
A second, predictive, layer comprises a QDS partitioned version of a vegetation map of the region, on the assumption that actual species occurrences within any two or more QDS grids of a vegetation type can be interpreted as that species being likely to be found across all the QDS grids covered by that vegetation type.
The engine to the application will be a LUCID interactive key, customised to include simple diagnostic characters, a nomenclator of names, synonymy and types, full taxon descriptions, an illustrated glossary of terms, and a gallery of plant images of all species. This will enable taxa to be keyed out easily.
Item from Dr Brian Schrire (Legume Researcher, RBG Kew)
Kew Scientist, issue 41
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