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IBIS (Interactive Biodiversity Identification Software) is a software tool created to help the users in the process of identification of species or other taxa. Intended users range from school children or citizen scientists to ecologists or taxonomists. IBIS will run with any key developed using the SDD standard.

How to use IBIS

Example Usage

The IBIS interface right after loading a multi-access key
States Window presenting vertex coloration possibilities
Application after first identification step

For this example we will be using the "Interactive Key to Species of Erythroneura" located here. After unpacking the file and starting the application we can see four data grids: Available Features, States/Eliminated Taxa, Description and Remaining Taxa. The final result will be shown in the Remaining Taxa data grid.

In the Available Features panel you will see a list of features which comes from the parsing of the SDD file. In this particular case the found features for Erythroneura are grouped in the following categories: Body, Wings, Abdomen, etc. If a category is selected (e.g. Coloration), then a list of available features are displayed. You will select the feature that best corresponds to the organism that you identify. In the States panel you will see the state corresponding to the Feature you have currently selected. (e.g. If you select "Color Pattern" from "Coloration" group the you will see the following states: absent, red or orange, brown, etc.).If "brown" is selected then in the "Eliminated Taxa" panel you will see the eliminated specimens. Consequently in the description panel are presented the identification steps taken, which together they make up your "Description" of the specimen. The "Remaining Taxa" panel lists matching specimens with respect to your description.

Start identification by selecting features that describe the specimen. For our example: select from Available Features, in "Coloration" group, "Coloration of vertex" by clicking on the text. In this window we can see the "States" of possible vertex colorations. These are also depicted by pictures to make the identification easier. Check the box next to unicolorous.

We can see that we have eliminated quite a few specimens in only one step. Some available features appear grayed-out. This means that these features will not eliminate any of the remaining taxa and so are obsolete. The feature that we selected has been colored red. By clicking it we can modify our selection for the states. By un-checking all states, the feature will be removed entirely from the Description data grid.

To finish the example, click on "Ground color of dorsum" from "Coloration" group and then check the "Reddish or brown" box. We can see that we are left with only one specimen and that is "Erythroneura bistrata McAtee".

If the SDD file has multiple languages available, these will be listed in a combo box situated below the Available Features panel. After selecting one of the available languages, the SDD contained text will change regardless of the application state (before, during or after identification).

IBIS software

The source code is open source and maintained at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ibis-id/. The latest version of IBIS at the time of writing this documentation is: v1.0 beta.