Linnaeus NG is a web-based management system for species information. Using Linnaeus NG, biologists can collect a wide variety of information about taxa, organize this and publish it in various ways.
A Linnaeus NG project is built up from different modules according to the needs of the project. The core module manages the taxonomy and species information. It is linked to a taxonomically structured list of species and higher taxa. In this module data such as the naming, synonyms, detailed species descriptions and distribution can be entered. Images and other media files can also be added with links to the relevant species.
Other modules make use of these centrally managed species data. The two most important modules enable identification key to be compiled. In one module, dichotomous keys can be compiled that can be used to identify the species recorded by the end user. In addition there is a module with which keys of the multi-entry type can be put together that enable the end user to specifically identify species using the characteristics he finds easiest to distinguish. This module has been used in the interactive keys that Naturalis has developed in collaboration with EIS, the knowledge center for insects and other invertebrates, such as the Longhorn beetle key. Also the Lithocolletinae key published in ZooKeys and the Dierenzoeker (Animal Tracker) produced in collaboration with Dutch children’s TV program Het Klokhuis, were produced and published in this manner.
Besides keys, Linnaeus NG also contains several other modules such as a literature module, a glossary and a module that can be used to link traits to species. Due to the open modular design, Linnaeus NG projects can also be expanded with external content linked via webservices. For example, for the Dutch Species Register (Nederlands Soortenregister) webservices for collection specimen data from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and bird sounds from Xeno-canto have been connected. The appearance on the published websites can also be modified.
Linnaeus was originally developed by ETI BioInformatics and published on CD-ROM. The current version is under the management of the Software Development Department of Naturalis, where the software is still being developed further. Linnaeus NG is entirely web-based with the possibility of publishing projects for off-line use on DVD, for example for field use.
Want to know more? Visit http://linnaeus.naturalis.nl for more information, plus an overview of current Linnaeus NG projects, a sandbox environment and an application form.