From: Ron Kaufmann kaufmann at sandiego.edu> on 2006.09.26 at 15:42:49(14653)|
Hi Brian et al.,
Is geocaching the game you're talking about? There's been a lot of
discussion in the plant community about the use and abuse of GPS
coordinates that are collected in the vicinity of plants, especially
rare and desirable ones. The main benefit seems to be that a botanist
can know exactly where a plant or plant population is located, which can
be invaluable for determining species identity, relationships among
closely related species, community characteristics, etc. Basically,
good geographical information can be very important in doing good science.
The concern comes from the publishing of those coordinates, which
(theoretically) allows anyone with a decent GPS unit to find the
location of a particular plant or plant population and collect what they
find. I'm sure we've all heard stories about collectors stripping
desirable plants from their native habitat, and GPS technology
facilitates this kind of behavior to an unprecedented degree. This
problem may not be as relevant to aroids as to other groups that have
the potential for greater economic return (cacti, orchids, etc.), but
it's still an important consideration.
Brian Williams wrote:
I thought many of the botanist and others might be interested in this.
I am not sure if this is something already in use? I have not seen
anything on it personally being used in plant research. A few friends
of mine play a game over the internet. It is basically a scavenger
hunt using global positioning systems. This handheld device can get a
person with in feet to were the treasure is hidden. I was fairly
amazed by this and was wondering if anyone was recording plant
positioning when collecting? The devices usually run from 150.00
dollars and up. My friends use fairly cheep ones and they tend to work
well. Another thing they use is a very interesting map called google
Earth. This is a map made up of satellite photos of the earth you can
put in your Global positioning systems cordenance and it will show you
a picture of the area with in a few feet in some cases you can see the
cars and people in the photos. I would think both of these could be
extremely useful to someone collecting plants and it would be
interesting to add in the cordenance of a plant and get a image of
exactly were it grows. So is anyone using this in the field?
Here are some links to google earth and GPS devices.
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