Two new Internet resources for Latin American plants
Kew launches plant image website and vegetation website for Latin America.
26 Aug 2011
Neotropical Plants image database.
Neotropical Plants image database
In the course of many decades of research in Latin America, Kew’s botanists have accumulated a vast collection of photographs of living plants.
Whilst until recently these were mainly taken on slide film, the development of digital photography has stimulated a massive increase in image capture. Linked with accurately named botanical specimens, these represent an increasingly important resource for plant identification and the development of field guides.
Kew’s new Neotropical Plants image database currently holds over 4,500 images and is growing rapidly. Easily searchable by plant family and genus, the images are accompanied by location data and, where appropriate, details of accompanying herbarium collections (vouchers).
Neotropical Vegetation data website
The Neotropical Vegetation data website is designed to make published and unpublished inventory and vegetation survey data for Latin America readily accessible on a geographical basis. It aims to help researchers, conservation planners, developers and governmental organisations to gain access to location-specific information rapidly, informing decision-making and maximising the use of a vast body of data that until now has been largely inaccessible and whose existence is often little-known.
Survey sites are displayed with markers on a map, with summary information and links to the publication or database where they are held. The data are maintained on a Google Fusion database that can be developed by multiple contributors. This is a developing resource, and it is hoped that its content will grow rapidly as external contributors become involved.
Item from William Milliken (Head of Tropical America Team, RBG Kew)
Background and related articles
- Kew in-depth - Tropical America
- Kew news - Neotropikey launches online key to Malvoideae
- Kew news - Kew contributes to the Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi
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