to find more pictures of Adromischus, or other plants? Try the "Images
Tab" provided by the excellent Google Internet search site. It claims to be the most
comprehensive with "billions of images" indexed. More...
This POSA Flora web site contains
6,600 images of 2,500 SA plants from SANBI's slide and art collections
(mainly from the Pretoria herbarium in the summer rainfall area - only
libraries are sharing rare books via the Internet, but there is no
single index or catalogue. The Digital
Book Index provides
the most useful list that I could find for botanical subjects, but
excludes "foreign language" Latin books! D.F. Sutton provides a list of
13,000+ Latin-titled ebooks, including interesting early botanical sources
e.g. Linneus's writings.
Here is an
example, from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. This picture is the only Adromischus in A.P. de Candolle
first major publication, Plantarum historia succulentarum, (1799 -1802), vol. II plate 74, beautifully
illustrated by P.J. Redouté.
||Geonames - The Geographic Names Database from the US
National Geographic Intelligence Agency, is good for looking up
co-ordinates for obscure places in South Africa, if you have good maps.
program is easy to install on your local PC, but for best results,
needs a fast Internet connection to download Google's vast map data.
One joy is that images can be rotated in 3D to give an excellent feel
for the landscape below.
Africa, GE is becoming increasingly useful with detailed aerial
photographs for coastal areas . These are much better than the older,
fuzzy, Zulu satellite photos still provided for inland regions. Select
the "roads" layer to see minor dirt roads and street names in towns.
||DIVA-GIS is free Geographic Information System (GIS)
software to plot distribution maps of species from spreadsheet data
e.g. GPS readings. It can then analyse them against downloaded datasets
(biomes, climate, geology, topography, etc.), e.g. from Atlas of Namibia, or from the SA BGIS Conservation
Planning Unit, National
Spatial Information Framework or Dept. Environmental Affairs & Tourism. It is time-consuming to learn, but I use this
to plot Adromischus localities e.g.: Section 3.
digitised maps of South Africa are distributed by MadMappers, thanks to the South African government's
generous policy of easy access to spatial data. Visit "Raster Maps" in
the top left and drill down to find free downloads, but you need
special software on your PC to view the MrSid format files. ExpressView (a free Internet browser plug-in from
LizardTech) lets you easily explore one map at a time, or DIVA-GIS (above) can tile many maps seamlessly together.
1:250,000 digital maps need 590Mb of free hard disk space and probably
give enough detail for most people. However, enthusiasts will be
pleased to access the very detailed 1:50,000 maps that need about 2.5Gb
for half of the maps - this takes a lot of downloading!
trips, a colour mapping, hand-held GPS
unit is well
worthwhile to record your route and ensure you can find your way back.
The most detailed GPS contour maps of South Africa (1:50,000 scale) are
available on a $50 CD from MadMappers. A vehicle
cigarette-lighter power-cable is advisable, since GPS units drain
batteries quickly. I find paper maps are still needed for wide-area
available to upload waypoints and routes from hand-held GPS
units, so long
as you have a connecting cable. These can convert the data into
compatible formats for overlaying onto digital maps or Google Earth. I
use this free program DNR-Garmin (that only works with a Garmin GPS unit).
|The Tracks4Africa community are responsible African travellers
using GPS receivers to track 4x4 routes and off-road trails throughout
Africa. Members send track data to a central repository, where it is
validated and then redistributed back into the community. Accurate GPS
maps (for map-capable Garmin GPS receivers, PDA's or Pocket PC's) are
also available to the public for a nominal fee.
addition, the T4A data is freely distributed as a "Featured Layer"
overlay in Google Earth's Gallery.
||Lucid is a knowledge management tool sold to help
build interactive identification keys with supporting digital images.
software, I know, but keeping in voice contact on field-trips is a
problem. These days, one can hire pay-as-you-go mobile cell phones at
airports with vehicles, but these don't work in mountainous areas of
southern Africa. I recommend small Personal Mobile Radios (Wikipedia: PMR 446). These walkie-talkies are cheap, but powerful
with a 3 km range and no licence is required. Useful for two or more
people to share discoveries in the veld (and not get separated!).