SKIS v5.6 Biodiversity Data Capture and Communications
Gunn at Otago.ac.NZ
Sun Nov 5 18:58:58 EST 1995
| SKIS v 5.6 | the Six Kingdom Inventory System | Oct. 1995 |
| Available now: SKIS_56.ZIP |
| This file contains the fully functional program SKI_IN.EXE |
| for data capture to create and manage taxonomic checklists. |
| Included are four NAMes-files with classification lists of |
| all Mammal and Plant families as well as all Seabird species. |
| For those of you new to the SKI-System we include detailed |
| on-line and printable documentation with examples. |
| Available free via anonymous FTP from various sites, eg: |
| Asian users, nctuccca.edu.tw:/garbo/pc/science |
| American users, ftp.coast.net:/pub/systems/pc/garbo/science |
| European users, garbo.uwasa.fi:/pc/science |
| Oceanian users, archie.au:/micros/pc/garbo/pc/science |
| Users can accept the Classification provided or define their |
| own Taxonomic Standards for projects large and small. |
| In building & organising annotated taxonomic checklists, SKI_IN |
| uses Biological Classification as an hierarchical Index; this is |
| represented by a short and meaningful code. SKI_INput has many |
| data management facilities and provides a variety of formats for |
| the output SKI-files for printing, for use in spreadsheets, |
| database programs and E-mail. |
| Uniquely, SKI-System files are updatable as the Biological |
| Classification evolves. The available SKI_PLUS program and |
| current series of INDEX files achieve this at Family level. |
| The file: SKIS_56.ZIP, requires PKZIP v 2.04G to decompress the |
| files it contains (via garbo.uwasa.fi:/pc/arcers pkz204g.exe). |
| Freeware to private individuals. |
| Shareware to Businesses. |
| Concessionware for Conservation and Education projects. |
| Dr Stan Woods, Derek Gunn |
| Internet: Gunn at otago.ac.nz |
| Address : P.O.Box 6269, Dunedin, New Zealand. |
For those new to FTP, below is an example of
a typical FTP session:
ftp garbo.uwasa.fi #FTP connect to Garbo
anonymous #Use this name to get temporary privileges
[Type the first part of] your email address as your password
cd /pc/science #Go to the relevant directory
bin #Use the binary mode in program transfers
dir #Get a look at the directory's contents
get skis_56.zip #Get the 290K file into your directory
close #Close the connection to Garbo
quit #Quit the FTP program
Who would find SKI_IN useful?
- Anyone wanting to quickly find the Latin names and see the
relationships of organisms, to organise existing records or to
make classified taxonomic indexes, eg, for text books or study
- Anyone interested in their local environment and in listing
records of species for monitoring or managing almost any aspect
- Anyone who wants to make before-and-after or comparative data
sets. Series of species checklists are an ideal format to record
biodiversity responses to local 'stresses', from new management
plans to climate change.
- Researchers making initial records and analysis of biota;
integrating data from diverse sources (eg, merging checklists;
importing foreign taxonomic files; updating classifications),
preparing basic classified species lists for publication.
SKIS is designed to assist a wide variety of people to handle
biological data. The SKI_IN program provides and manipulates the
scientific names in predictable ways leaving the user free to record
and manage species related information. So, users are painlessly
taking advantage of the huge fund of knowledge that is coded into the
Biological Classification, and are adding unique, up-to-date and
often local information of immediate interest.
What the SKI_INput Program is:
- A DOS-based program that allows you to quickly and easily put
together checklists of taxonomic names and add your information.
Each record consists of Latin names selected painlessly from
menus (or keyed in) and up to 4 lines of 'Other Info' - your
unique input. For each record the program automatically provides
the appropriate SKI-number for data management:
SKI-# ORDER Family Genus Species Other Info
----- ----- ------ ----- ------- ----------
7188.8.131.52 CARNIVORA Felidae Felis sylvestris Domestic Cat
7184.108.40.206 CARNIVORA Felidae Felis concolor Cougar ...
9220.127.116.11 FAGALES Fagaceae *** *** Oak Trees ...
- SKI_IN is a tool for recording base-line biodiversity information
and communicating it. Files can be of any size, and all are made
compatible independent of input sequence.
- Interrogating SKIS' input files makes it easy to find the ORDER,
Family, Genus & species names (Common or Latin) for a species
from initially knowing just one name for it. Some NAMes-files
provide species related information such as geographic ranges,
conservation status or biodata.
- With SKI_IN you can checklist any (or every!) named species; each
species record receives a unique SKI-number which defines its
predictable position within any SKI-file. All SKI-files are
broadly compatible - and users/project managers can easily apply
means to make sets of files totally compatible.
How the SKI_INput Program works:
Eg, use the NAMes-file of all Seabirds (NAM-28) to call up species
from menus into your checklist - but feel free to key in
alternative names at any stage. You can view the complete list in
several different formats, edit any record, add new species, etc.
NAM-28 also allows you to select any other Bird ORDER and key in
any Bird species. Then you could change to another of the start-up
NAMes-files and add any species of Mammal or Plant, this time with
Family-level menu support.
When ready to view, print or export your checklist (on a floppy or
via E-mail), restructure it first to SKI-sequence; this is a
generally accepted 'evolutionary' sequence with alphabetic sub-
SKI_IN is suited to a wide spectrum of users and uses. Depending on
what is wanted for any task, SKIS can be simple and informative for
non-biologists who maybe just want to record local biodiversity
information, or it can display sophisticated classifications with
sub-groups and perform major tasks with taxonomic files to satisfy
What the SKI-System is not:
- SKIS is NOT primarily a dispenser of taxonomy or Classifications;
it just happens to be very good at doing so - as a necessary way
of helping people to execute projects involving biodiversity.
- SKIS does NOT identify plants and animals. NAMe-files can include
identification pointers, but, as yet, keys and graphics are not
- SKIS is NOT a database in the sense of a dedicated unit that
amasses ever more information and can be interrogated in set
ways. But SKIS is a unique database System; all users are
functional parts of it; with your input its distributed contents
are designed to evolve (existing files can be up-dated as
Classifications evolve). It's Biological!
New features of SKI_IN v 5.6 (cf 5.3):
- several new print options
- better directory/file handling
- beginners prompts (can be switched off).
- supported by the high-level program SKI_PLUS
SKI_IN v 5.3 was a stand-alone program and was dependent on central
development and distribution of NAMes-files. This was not always
seen as a viable option. So now, SKI_PLUS creates NAMes-files from
users' SKI-files. (And it imports non-SKI-files to create SKI-files
from them - powerful!) So users with SKI_PLUS can be totally
independent, especially in developing taxonomic standards for
projects large and small. Viable? It's Biological!
How the SKI-System works:
A start-up library of NAMe-files covers _every_ Order and Family -
enough to checklist _every_ named species. Genus-level NAMes-files
will be available next. Their use is to create species-level
NAMes-files, each with hundreds of species with some common bond.
Some of these will be World-wide lists, such as NAM-28 with all
Seabirds, or regional lists, eg NAM-63 Birds of Mexico, but most
will be users' local biodiversity NAMes-files.
As Biological Classifications change, SKIS can update existing
SKI-files. SKI_PLUS can achieve this now at Family-level to attain
compatibility with INDEX Series 04. Taxonomic elements of major
databases will be similarly updatable - automatically. Users' help
will be sought to develop a policy or consensus for producing
We at SKS-Information will keep producing new NAMes-files, but the
majority will be created by users (with SKI_PLUS, typically from
files created in SKI_IN). We look forward to these NAMes-files
being freely distributed between users, with any of general
interest being added to our free FTP list.
See the "Order Form" file via the HELP directory in SKI_IN for a
list of NAMes-files, etc. Updates will be sent to bulletin boards,
with all orders, or can be got direct from us via GUNN at OTAGO.AC.NZ
The prime aim of SKS-Information is to develop and promote the
widespread use of SKIS to assist users in the collection and
communication of basic and detailed information for biological
conservation and education.
SKS-Information POLICY for NAMes-files:
NAMes-files, like the names they contain, are treated as common
information (unless privately commissioned from SKS-Information).
They are offered free via FTP, or on disk for a small handling fee,
for personal and private use. We claim copyright and reserve all
rights for some aspects of NAMes-files and so are able to share such
rights with our 'personal and private' users, to receive income from
corporates and to be in a position to prevent such rights being
claimed by others. Essentially, SKIS is for SKI-users in the
interests of conservation and education.
The following NAMes-files and others will be posted on FTP in the
next several weeks; many others will follow. Or use the printable
'Order Form' in SKI_IN via HELP.
Family-level Compatible with INDEX Series 04.
NAM-86 Vira and Monera (*) 010-060
NAM-69 Protoctista: Alga and Protozoa 060-200
NAM-71 Animals: Sponges and lower animals 200-300
NAM-73 Animals: Molluscs and Annelids 300-400
NAM-75 Animals: Arthropods 400-525
NAM-76 Animals: Echinoderms (*) 526-600
NAM-23 Animals: Lower chordates and Fishes 600-700
NAM-49 Animals: Higher vertebrates 700-800
NAM-15 Fungi and lower plants (*) 800-900
NAM-37 Plants (already in 17-file SKI_IN pack) 860-999
(*)Files with relatively few Families may have Genus names added.
- Free on FTP, or handling charge $US9 each, or any 6 or more $US50
- With this selection of NAMes-files, SKI_IN gives menus assistance
to Family level to record any, or all, named living species!
Standard (to genus or species level)
NAM-18 UK Butterflies and Day-flying Moths 521-523
NAM-19 Freshwater Tropical Aquarium Fishes 634-690
NAM-21 Marine Aquarium Fishes 630-690
NAM-62 Dinosaur Genera 718-719
NAM-24 Bird Genera - Non-Passerines 720-748
NAM-51 ABA Birds of North America (>850 species) 727-750
NAM-63 Mexican Birds 727-750
NAM-55 Mammal Families including Fossils etc 750-800
NAM-32 Freshwater Animal Genera 200-800
NAM-33 Irish Freshwater Animal species 200-800
NAM-60 Fern Genera 875-890
NAM-56 Plant Families (with cross-referencing) 860-999
NAM-39 Aquarium and Watergarden Plants 860-999
NAM-44 All SKI-ORDERS (from INDEX Series 04) 010-999
Standard NAMes-files: free via FTP, or handling charge $US9 each.
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