Senckenberg Research Institute and Museum, Frankfurt

Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem


TDWG 2000: Digitising Biological Collections
Taxonomic Databases Working Group, 16th Annual Meeting
Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt, Germany, November 10-12, 2000


Oleksiy V. Knyazhnitskiy,* R. Richard Monk,* Nick C. Parker** and Robert J. Baker*

Assignment of global information system coordinates to classical museum localities for relational database analyses

* Museum of Texas Tech University, Box 43191, Lubbock, TX 79409-3191 
** Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2120

[Poster presentation]

Many decisions are made based on information concerning the flora and fauna of the world. Biological Informatics is a field that allows scientists and decision makers to combine a wide array of data sets to make meaningful analyses and sound decisions. One method of analysis utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to combine and visualize data in a geographic context. GIS software requires that locality data be available in either latitude and longitude or UTM coordinates. In order to make Texas Tech University's collection of recent mammals accessible to GIS, UTM coordinates needed to be assigned to the collection's electronic database. UTM Converter was written for this purpose. It is capable of processing classical museum locations (reference point and modifiers) and calculating UTM coordinates. In a trial project consisting of 15,220 locality records for mammals collected in the state of Texas, 86% of the records were assigned without modification, 10.2% were assigned manually, and 3.8% could not be assigned. In addition, data dictionaries for each of the fifty United States were developed. UTM Converter and the data dictionaries are available at

TDWG | Participants | Presentations | Senckenberg Museum | BGBM Biodiversity Informatics

This meeting was co-sponsored by the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) 

Page editor: W. Berendsohn, BGBM 2000.

This page last edited: 31.08.04