Wednesday, December 26, 2007

BIOTIK : Software to identify tree species

Last week I got an opportunity to attend the release function of BIOTIK in Bangalore. BIOTIK stands for Biodiversity Informatics and co Operation in Taxonomy for Interactive shared Knowledge base.

A.K. Verma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka state was the chief guest.

The software demo was given by Dr, B R Ramesh and team. The characters are entered interactively and without any taxonomically jargon. Everything has a simple and elegant user interface. I found the interface intuitive too. Narrowing down of 100% matching species gives a clear picture of how near are we in the search. The software works on PC and PDA for the tie being, but soon will be available on internet too. They have also promised to make it open source.

Users got opportunity to try the software on PDA and PC during the break. So far about 300 species data is available and ultimately by March 2008 full version with 600 species will be available for Western Ghats. Similar project is done in Lao.

Another highlight for me was meeting Dr. Pascal personally. Dr, Ramesh and Dr. Pascal are well known for the forest maps French Institute of Pondicherry (, which are used by most of the people working on Western Ghats data.

More info on BIOTIK here

and news in Hindu here

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