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Outputs

BG-BASE produces a wide range of outputs including:

Data can also be output for use by GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and other mapping systems, such as BG-Map.

Reports
Many reports in BG-BASE (generated by the S/LIST Report Builder) are columnar reports, in which each column represents one field. Each database table has a default report that combines many of the most important fields in that table; you can over-ride these default reports by specifying one or more fields in the order in which you wish to see them displayed. Thus

LIST ACCESSIONS

will display the default report for the ACCESSIONS table, but

LIST ACCESSIONS ACC_DT NAME

will display three columns: accession number (the record key for a table is always displayed unless specifically suppressed), accession date, and the name of the accession.

Display widths can be altered on the fly, and text longer than the chosen width can word-wrap to the next line; thus, no data need be truncated on a report. All reports can be sorted by as many fields as necessary (using a combination of ascending and descending sorts), and records to be displayed can be selected by combining as many selection criteria as necessary; these selection criteria can be joined with either a logical AND or a logical OR; for example:

SELECT CONTACTS WITH W_CITY = "SAN FRANCISCO" AND WITH FAMILY_EXPERT = "ORCHIDACEAE"

SELECT CONTACTS WITH W_CITY = "SAN FRANCISCO" OR WITH FAMILY_EXPERT = "ORCHIDACEAE"

SELECT ACCESSIONS WITH GENUS = "IRIS" AND WITH ACC_DT > "1 JAN 1994"

Herbaruim labels
Herbarium (or other preserved specimen) labels can be complex, with many parameters. Each herbarium label format definition is stored as a record in the BG-BASE LABEL_FORMATS table. These records have fields for the paper size, margin, typeface, headers, footers, and so on. For each field chosen to show on the label, the following characteristics can be controlled:

  • format
  • justification
  • maximum length
  • bold
  • italics
  • underlined
  • first letter capitalized
  • suppress field (if null)
  • relative position
  • relative point size
  • brackets to surround the field (parentheses, square brackets, angle brackets, etc.)
  • multivalue separator (comma, period, slash, etc.)
  • terminator
  • gap (between adjacent fields, and
  • continuation flag to join adjacent fields

Once the label format has been set up, all herbarium labels attached to a particular format have the identical structure.

Herbarium labels can be sent to the screen, to a printer or to a text file, and they can be generated for a single record or in batch mode for many records. Using the appropriate selection criteria, you can output either some or all records from the SPECIMENS table.

Herbarium labels may also be created externally by exporting the data as text files and then using the merge capabilities found in other software such as Word, WordPerfect, Excel, etc.

Engraved Labels
BG-BASE can be used to export text files that can then be used by various engravers; the majority of BG-BASE sites use New Hermes machines, but other engraving devices can be used as well, as long as those engravers can import text files into their own software programs. These engraved labels are relatively long-lasting and can be formatted in a variety of ways.

Embossed Labels
BG-BASE has output routines written for Datacard and Norcom embossing machines; other embossing devices can also be supported if required. These embossed labels are very long-lasting and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them ideal for permanent curatorial labels. Embossed labels are usually produced from the ACCESSIONS or PLANTS tables. .

    Barcode labels

BG-BASE can produce barcodes directly from several tables (ACCESSIONS, PLANTS, PROPAGATIONS, GERMPLASM, DATA SOURCES, IMAGES, SPECIMENS), or pre-printed barcodes can be applied (as is often done in herbaria). Hand-held devices can be used to read these barcodes into the system. To date, BG-BASE sites producing their own barcode labels are doing so using Zebra 105S printers using ZPL II (Zebra Programming Language II). Contact BG-BASE, Inc. for further information.

Camera-ready PCL output
Output routines for PCL (Printer Control Language), version 3 or above, the native language of all Hewlett Packard LaserJets, have been written for several special reports in BG-BASE. Publications such as the Arnold Arboretum's Inventory of Living Collections, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Catalogue of Plants 1995 and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre's 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants have been generated directly from BG-BASE in this manner. These output routines take total control of the font, the font size, and the placement of text on the page and can also generate indexes as the main body is exported. The advantage of this over RTF output (see below) is that only one step is involved - BG-BASE produces camera-ready copy directly. The disadvantage is that each new report needs a new program to be written (thus, this is less efficient for one-off outputs or for outputs whose formats need to change regularly).

RTF Output
Output routines for producing RTF (Rich Text Format) have been written for several special reports in BG-BASE. Publications such as the New England Wildflower Society's Flora Conservanda, the Royal Botanic Garden's The genus Rhododendron. Its classification and synonymy, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Catalogue of Plants 2001 and the Royal Horticultural Society's The RHS Plant Finder have been produced using RTF output generated by BG-BASE. The advantage of RTF output over PCL output (see above) is that RTF allows you to fine-tune the placement of the text on a page, using any modern word processor or a desk top publishing application. The disadvantage is that there is an extra step compared to PCL output - the output file must be run through another application.

HTML output for the Worldwide Web (WWW)
Martin Pullan of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has produced a general-purpose program that will allow any Advanced Revelation or OpenInsight application, such as BG-BASE, to output data from the database directly as fully indexed, searchable HTML documents. You can control which fields are exported, what indexes are linked to each field, and how the fields appear on the Web page; in addition, you can select all or only some of the records in a particular database table to export. These parameters are stored as export templates. Records from several different tables can be exported as part of an export session (whose parameters are also controlled by this program). The HTML output files contain all selected records and fields as well as file offsets to each indexed word, so that the output files can be queried directly and immediately by a CGI script. The living collections information on the home pages of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Royal Horticultural Society was exported in this fashion.

Visit the multisite search page to search in collections around the world. The data available from this page are extracted from the on-line Living Collections and conservation databases at BG-BASE sites.

ITF output

BG-BASE was the first database designed specifically to follow the ITF (International Transfer Format for Botanic Garden Records) and remains compatible with the ITF, although it vastly expands upon the 33 fields that comprise ITF version 1. Records can be exported from BG-BASE in ITF (version 1) format using the ITF program.
Examples of outputs from BG-BASE

Simple output (standard reports)   
Inventory report from one bed code at the Holden Arboretum procuded by the INVENTORY tool in BG-BASE (click image to see enlargement)    
PCL output (direct-to-page)
Arnold Inventory Arnold Arboretum's Inventory of Living Collections; produced as camera-ready copy using PCL (click image to see enlargement) RBGE Catalogue Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's 1995 Catalogue of Plants; produced as camera-ready copy using PCL (click image to see enlargement)
Small Red List 97 World Conservation Monitoring Centre's 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants; produced as camera-ready copy using PCL (click image to see enlargement)  
herbarium labels example of 6 herbarium specimen labels per A4 page, showing variable-size labels and crop marks; produced as camera-ready copy using PCL (click image to see enlargement) example of herbarium label on a sheet; produced as camera-ready copy using PCL (click image to see enlargement)
RTF output
Small Plant Finder 97 Royal Horticultural Society's RHS Plant Finder 1997-98; produced as RTF output (click image to see enlargement) genus Rhododendron Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's The genus Rhododendron; produced via RTF output (click image to see enlargement)
HTML output
searchable database of all CITES-listed plants released by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (click image to go to the live dataset) searchable database of the living collections in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (click image to go to the live dataset)
searchable database of the living collections of the Arnold Arboretum (click image to go to the live dataset) searchable database of the preserved collections at the University of Connecticut (click image to go to the live dataset)

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