An agroforestry database to rule them all

During my recent visit to Nairobi, the reason for my lack of blogging during the past couple of weeks, I briefly ran into Dr Roeland Kindt, one of the people behind the various ICRAF databases I have occasionally written about here. And guess what? He warned me there’d be another ICRAF database coming out imminently. Of course, by now the Agroforestry Species Switchboard 1.0 has been announced all over the place and my scoop has evaporated. Anyway, no matter, better late than never. I haven’t had a chance to go into the Switchboard in detail, but hope to very soon, and will blog about it when I do. It certainly sounds useful. Here’s what Roeland had to say about it in the ICRAF press release:

Before the Switchboard, you had to search for a particular species one database at a time. But now, multiple databases that list information on a particular species can be accessed in one go. Because listings of species in databases only partially overlap, it is common to find little or no information on a particular species in one database, but plenty of it in a second or third database. So it makes sense to query multiple trusted sources of data on one web interface.

It sure does. Maybe this will spell the end of factsheets?

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Oh, and that’s a totally gratuitous panorama shot of ICRAF’s Warburgia field genebank at Muguga, Kenya. Well, not so gratuitous maybe. Because it allows me to say that if the Switchboard had permalinks to search results, such as for things like Warburgia, I would have been able to link to them, which would have been cool(er).

One Reply to “An agroforestry database to rule them all”

  1. Responsive as ever, Roeland informs me that you can manufacture a hyperlink from his aggregator to a genus or species simply by appending the relevant scientific name to this URL:

    Like so, for Warburgia ugandensis, which started the whole thing. But they’re working on making this simpler.

    While I’m at it, I might as well add that I think a useful next step would be to allow users to comment, annotate and add information, a la wiki.

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