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


Sabine Roscher*

The use of geographic information systems in a multi-database retrieval system for plant genetic resources

* IGR - Informationszentrum Genetische Ressourcen der ZADI - Zentralstelle für Agrardokumentation und -information, Villichgasse 17, 53177 Bonn, Germany

[Poster presentation]

Information systems on genetic resources have to cover a wide range of taxonomic, genetic, biological, ecological, economic and geographical data. Therefore technology is needed, that can support an open, multipurpose, multiparticipant system. This can be realised by database retrieval systems. They operate like a central view for accessing online information systems of various inter-linked, but independent databases. 

Technically this will be realized by a central view for accessing the online information system of various inter-linked, but independent databases. This user-friendly online interface allows to query these different databases among others by geographical references using a Geographical Information System (GIS). 
Interactive maps allow the user to define a particular area of interest. The GIS will transform the geometry of this area into geographic names or vice versa. This is needed, because the decentralized databases store different kinds of geo-objects. Therefore, the user interface has to compile different queries for each database. 
The GIS is also used for visualisation and exploration of spatial data included in the result set, e.g. the result set includes distribution maps of a taxon on a global scale as well as on a national scale. 

As GIS becomes part of the information infrastructure nowadays, access to distributed spatial data via internet (WebGIS) is within reach. It would be desirable to add other thematic layers (e.g. climate, soil, land use) to these maps by using appropriate online databases. In this context the need for standardisation and pushing forward the Open-GIS-process becomes obvious.

The examples presented will illustrate (i) the visualisation and exploration of collection sites, (ii) overlay with other thematic maps, (iii) comparison of collecting strategies, and (iv) in-situ conservation.


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.