Biodiversity Checklisting

Derek Gunn Gunn at
Fri Nov 10 17:08:02 EST 1995

Soon we'll be sending a notice this way about a new software system
that utilises biological classification.
Called the SKI-System, it creates taxonomic checklists as the basis for
Biodiversity recording.

SKIS consists of a free and fully functional checklisting program, 
on-line and printable documentation and 4 start-up input NAMes files 
(look-up files).  These cover all Families of Mammals and Plants and all 
species of Seabirds (chosen because most people know enough of them by 
name to test run a checklist). 
An additional, and also free, set of input data files contains a full 
range of Families for all six Kingdoms.  So all named species can be 
checklisted with menu support to Family level for the 4-tier 
classification.  Then comes the important bit - the unique information 
you add to each record - where, when, why, how, who...

What's not free is the high-level version suitable for project 
management.   This can import large foreign taxonomic files and update 
SKI-files, currently with Family level control of classification.

Botany differs from most other areas by its traditional emphasis on 
Families and limited use of ORDER level names.  SKIS copes equally well 
with all six Kingdoms because of its fundamental flexibility, matched 
by offering users easy options for defining their own taxonomic 
standards for any project.

SKIS aims to make taxonomic problems a thing of the past for anyone 
whose interest is just to 'use' taxonomy as a means to other ends - eg, 
people working in conservation and ecology.  We think that SKIS has 
some revolutionary new ways of making life easier for anyone using 
taxonomic names.  It also copes well enough with trinomials and very 
well with Common Names.

As for group specialists - we know you thrive on the problems. Not to 
worry, SKIS only bypasses problems for those whose interests lie 
elsewhere so as to let data recording and data management proceed 
unhindered.   When problems are solved and classifications are changed, 
SKIS can update its taxonomic files. 

So, SKIS is about efficient recording, data management and communicating 
information - an efficient means of making taxonomy accessible.

SKIS is simple to run, but beneath the simplicity is enough support 
and sophistication to help you record and manage thing your way
Watch this space.

Stan Woods, Derek Gunn

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