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Digital Library of Flora of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh

Digital Library of Flora of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh



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Published by emminentscholar
An attempt was made to digitize the flora of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region of India. The attempt was successful and the result was in the form of a website as www.jkflora.org.in. The site contain essential features of web2.0
An attempt was made to digitize the flora of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region of India. The attempt was successful and the result was in the form of a website as www.jkflora.org.in. The site contain essential features of web2.0

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Published by: emminentscholar on May 14, 2009
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Designing an Information System for J&K Flora
Peerzada Mohammad Iqbal
M. Phil Scholar in Department of Library & Information Science, Msc – IT StudentThe University of Kashmir, Srinagar, J&K 
This paper discusses Floral Potential of Jammu & Kashmir (FPOK), a project todigitize the indigenous knowledge of flora of J&K, developed at DLISc in collaborationwith DSIR, which provide detailed information about herbs and shrubs. The project  portrays botanical, chemical information and indigenous knowledge about the flora of  J&K while as each record provides links and active buttons for retrieving images, searching scholarly publications. This paper discusses the whole project, its technical and Plant database.
Key Words:
Flora, Digital Herbarium, Digital Library of Plants.
Man’s dependence on plants is inevitable. More than 50 million species of plantsand animals including invertebrates and micro-organisms occur on earth and hardly 2million have been described so far 
(Kant & Sharma, 2000).
India happens to be a megadiversity nation harboring a rich repository of floral wealth. About 167 economic plantshave centre of origin / diversity located in India along with 320 species of wild relativeand races our state is one of India’s biodiversity hot-spots nurturing a huge floral treasuremajority of which has high economic potential.However during the recent decade there has been immense loss of biodiversity.About 70% of identified medicinal plants of India Himalayas are expired to destructiveharvesting
(Dhar et.al 2000).
In Kashmir Himalaya too about 10% of higher flora isunder threat
(Dar & Naqshi 2001).
The need of the hour is to ensure that the existing plants (germplasm) for which their knowledge is essential is to be preserved and welldisseminated.The existing bookish knowledge about plants, though highly valuable is highlyscattered and not easily accessible to the students, General public, entrepreneurs etc. On
the other hand, the Information Technology has emerged out with a promise to developdigital initiative for flora so as to bridge the gap between knowledge of plants and their conservation. It is an exciting period of transition for the botanical community as theymove from the use of mainly print-based research tools to the creation and application of digital solutions for archiving, management and sharing of information. Throughouthistory, botanists have created and summarized the information derived from collected plants and observations of plant communities to produce an account of the plants growingin a specific geographic area. These accounts, known as 'Floras' are supported bycatalogued collections of dried plant specimens held in herbaria. Researchers have usedthese Floras, including printed taxonomic keys to identify plants included in their  botanical research. In more recent times, these tools have increasingly been digitized,firstly for local use then moved onto distributed networks and the Internet. Dataassociated with herbaria are currently being digitized and uploaded into web-enableddatabanks. The benefits of digitizing floral collection and making it available via theinternet are many; most obviously, it provides worldwide access to plant images andconcomitant data.
Floral databases remain essential, fundamental research tools for conservation planners and other users of botanical information. Indeed, access to basic floralinformation is critical for managing the biological resources of any region only if thedatabase is digitized first. In J&K massive strides are made to develop databases of J&K flora, still a digital database remains elusive. The collected data previously was accessibleonly via specimen labels and a local paper catalogue called “herbarium” which isrestricted to its parent institute, organizations etc. Digitizing the data and make accessibleit via internet with rich searching capabilities will greatly facilitate and enhance studies of floristic data on grant. Filtering name searches via the library system, will assure retrievalof desired results, even if an investigator searches with antiquated nomenclature, or obscure to vernacular names. Another anticipated benefit is that electronic access willreduce unnecessary handling, thus contributing to long term preservation as a virtualherbarium.
The primary purpose of this project is to provide an easily accessible, web-basedelectronic facility on the plant diversity of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, through survey.The main objectives of the project are to:I)Create a digital database of plants with images that are of high enoughquality to serve for scientific study and identification where possible.II)Create a digital Library of Plants with enough searching capabilities.
One of the goals of the project is to “Create a digital database of plants withimages ……”. The digital imaging was possible with Sony 6.0 mega pixel camera withlarge storage capacity able to capture 10,000 high quality images. Microsoft PhotoDrawis used for image manipulation. The photo was captured at close setups. This allows for the creation of high resolution images, showing fine details. For the description of each plant, we present images of the whole plant and its flowering body. The original photographs results in the creation of 10,000 X 10,000 dpi, JPEJ high quality image,which when resized resulted into 3.5’ X 4.5’. the detailed JPEG image are archived alongwith description of plant, indigenous knowledge and other related external hyper links of online journal, with certain more advanced features added viz., six powerful searchengines in a well formatted application i.e., Word/ HTML/ PDF giving a good overallimpression of the entire document.Completed documents are filed on a computer for web preservation.Simultaneously Open source Digital library software’s were tested viz. Greenstone digitallibrary software. The software is used to associate the images with their concomitant datafrom the documents. The custom made metadata schema used includes fewer tags likescientific name, common name, vernacular name, family and full text search.
Work flow
Digitization of the data is a team effort, the main goal of the team was to “Bringtogether the indigenous knowledge of flora and capture live images”. To facilitate this,the team visited various place according to season, in early spring, visited various placesof Kashmir and Jammu, and in summers visited Ladakh and other adjoining areas. The

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