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


Guillaume Rousse*,** and Régine Vignes**

Hypertext exploration of systematic collections databases - from DB2Web to OSIS browser

* Institut de REcherche en Mathématiques et Informatique Appliquées, Université de La Réunion, 15 avenue René Cassin, 97715 Saint-Denis
** Laboratoire Informatique et Systématique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 12 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris

[Computer demonstration]

Some common problems are found in most database user interfaces:
- input rely on textual typing from user, which is error-prone
- output is monolithic synthetic result, with few subsequent exploitation possibilities
- output format mimics unstructured written media presentation, comprehensive only for trained human experts.

Limits of this solution, especially in a systematics context, are briefly exposed. Another solution is proposed. 
A descriptive model, above conceptual model, explicitly defines associations existing between modelled entities.
A visualisation model, above descriptive model, filters relevant associations and orders them.
Database exploration is then turned into browsing an object graph, whose nodes are data and edges are their relationships.

Practical use can rely on graphical user interface common features to materialize this process in a user-friendly way, such as web pages and hypertext links. Data access is made easier and more efficient.

Two practical examples applied to systematic collections databases are presented: the palaeobotanical collection of the Pierre et Marie Curie university, available online using the application DB2Web, and the corals collection of La Reunion university, currently developed using the application OSIS browser.


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.