An Interactive Key to the Genus Galanthus

December 7, 2006 at 10:33 am | Posted in Agenda | Leave a comment

Author: Ewan Gage

The genus Galanthus represents 19 species that have attracted the attention of gardeners for over 400 years and remain attractive ornamentals to this day. Propagation is mainly carried out by bulbs collected from the wild and this has lead to recent concerns regarding their conservation status and as such, the genus is now listed under CITES. This has lead to a demand for tools to aid in the identification of the members of this genus and so an attempt was made to develop an interactive key to the genus. A demonstration is given, alongside an outline of the problems associated with the identification of bulbous monocots and their potential solutions.
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Sharing Information Between Projects

December 5, 2006 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Agenda | Leave a comment

Author: Don Kirkup

A brief overview of Kew’s key projects and potential areas of overlap, available data standards, possible mechanisms and pitfalls.
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The CATE Project

December 5, 2006 at 10:30 am | Posted in Agenda | Leave a comment

Authors: Anna Haigh & Simon Mayo

As part of the CATE project we are developing keys in Lucid 3 to the genera of Araceae, and to the genus Anthurium (ca. 800spp.), Arum and Philodendron. The key to Arum is already online. These keys will be incorporated into a web-based taxonomic revision of the Araceae family as the plant model group for the project. Anthurium presents a particular challenge as it is a very large and difficult genus, within which it is currently nearly impossible for non-specialists to determine plants to species. We hope the key will go some way to solving this problem.
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A Comparison of Interactive Key Software

December 5, 2006 at 10:00 am | Posted in Agenda | 2 Comments

Author: Kehan Harman

While there are two key players in the current interactive key playing field, namely Delta/Intkey and Lucid, there are a myriad of other tools available for users to choose from depending on their needs. While Lucid and Intkey will cover most peoples needs there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account when choosing the right tool for the job.

In this talk I will try to introduce the principals behind interactive keys and the different methods that are available. I will cover Lucid and Delta/Intkey in some depth. I will then cover a number of the other interactive key tools available out there and will finish off with some recent developments and promising tools that are coming available including the IdentifyLife project.

For some additional reading see Mike Dallwitz’s Comparison.

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Mini Symposium on Interactive Keys

September 28, 2006 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Mini Symposium | Leave a comment

Date: Monday 11th December 2006

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Venue: Pat Brenan Suite, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Interactive keys can loosely be described as software which makes identification of organisms easier by taking advantage of the data querying and multimedia capabilities of modern computers. There are a number of tools available for both building and running these keys with the main current players being Lucid and DELTA/Intkey.

There are a growing number of interactive identification tools being built at Kew and other institutes around London. There is also growing interest in the broader taxonomic community including global initiatives such as the IdentifyLife project and a number of on-line electronic floras. These keys are currently being built on an ad-hoc basis, with people having to learn the quirks of their chosen software and having some difficulty in sharing data between datasets. Staff within the Herbarium feel there is a need to share experiences and have a forum where ideas can be exchanged and problems (hopefully) solved. We envisage that this forum will meet every two months but this will be reviewed depending on popularity, need and people’s availability. The remit of the forum may well change over time to include broader issues with e-Taxonomy and web-based initiatives.

As a kick-off meeting we are holding a Mini Symposium on interactive keys, available software, their benefits and shortcomings and current projects at Kew that are developing/using interactive keys. All interested staff and associates are encouraged to attend, especially those members of staff who are currently developing keys or are thinking of using them in their projects.

The symposium will include talks and/or demonstrations on the following topics:

The Forum also has a mailing list which you might like to subscribe to.

If you have a key or project that you would like to present or demonstrate please contact Kehan Harman in the Herbarium on +44 (0)20 8332 5272 (x5272) or

kikForum Mailing List

September 15, 2006 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Forum, Mailing List | 3 Comments

The Kew Interactive Key Forum now has a mailing list. If you would like to be on the mailing list then please follow these instructions:

  • You can either sign up online.
  • or alternatively send an email to In the subject enter the word ‘subscribe’
    • You can optionally follow this with a custom password that you would like to use, otherwise the mailing list will issue you a random password.

Once you have joined the list you will be able to send emails to

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