Distributed public domain databases (DPDD) of biological information on Internet:
An Introduction of a Color Image Database for Japanese Ants

6. Database contents

The Japanese ants color images database, we created, has two versions (one for WWW and the other for FileMaker Pro). Only the details of the WWW version will be presented here. Since FileMaker Pro for servers is planned to be marketed (its English version is already on the market), we will distribute the FileMaker Pro version of the Japanese ants color image database on the Internet in the future.

1) Database architecture
The WWW version of the ant image database now contains 3809 files (total file size: 201 Mbytes) and 2284 image files (total image file size: 196.4 Mbytes). It also contains comments and hyper-text links to other fields (1522 comments or hyper-text, with a total size of 4.6 Mbytes), as shown in Fig.3.
Most hyper-text is provided in both Japanese and English. Therefore, the actual number of non-redundant hyper-text files is half the number mentioned above (much of the text in English has not yet been completed). Small images have been compressed into the GIF format, while larger images are compressed into a JPEG format. The number of comments about the pictures and various species will be increased in the future.

2) Use of database
If the users access the WWW version of the color image database for Japanese ants (i.e., if they double-clicks the icon of the ant picture book on the CD-ROM), the first menu will appear (Fig.4).
The first item (identification of and comments regarding Japanese ants on WWW) is the entry point to the main body of the database. The second item (Smith collection and collected specimens) was prepared for the comparison of type specimens with the photo data base, at the time when we made a presentation of this database to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture). The third (a proposal for taxonomy in the 21st century) and the fourth (creation of the photo database and its dissemination on WWW) are hyper-text versions of the manuals that were prepared for the CD-ROM. If the user clicks on the word "English" in the lowest column of the display, the menu for the English version will appear (although the English version has not been completed).
If the user click on item 1 (Fig. 4), the main body of the database can be accessed (Fig. 5). Here, the design used for "identification and comments" is used as a foundation. The fourth item (image searching) is an original one, which was added to this database, on the grounds that the identification of ant species using only the two-branch method will not be easy for beginners. A list of the pictures of representative species of each genus are presented (Fig. 6). The user then selects a species which resembles the ant they want to identify, which is followed by the actual identification process. vIn item 3 (terminology) and item 5 (two-branch method for identification, Fig. 7), clicking on a term results in a presentation of related illustrations (GIF files). Item 6 (lists for identification) is used to confirm the candidate species for a given ant sample.
Fig. 8 is an example of the scenes, which are reached at the end of a search. For each ant, three pictures are available (a lateral view, an upper view and a frontal view of the head). To date, a complete set of three pictures is available for about 110 of the 250 species contained in the database. If an individual picture is clicked on, its resolution will increase, first to 768 x 512 and then to 1536 x 1024. Data concerning the distribution of each species of ant in the prefectures of Japan is also available [15]. These data are presented graphically. If any reference cited in the comments about a particular species is clicked on, the author's name, the title of the article and the name of the journal are presented [14].
In addition to the comments about species, comments are also provided concerning genera, subfamilies, etc., although they are not presented in this paper. Readers who are interested in these comments are advised to access the mirror site at the Institute of Agricultural and Biological Resources (http://www.dna.affrc.go.jp/htdocs/Ant.WWW/htmls/ index.htm). In 1995, we will produce and deliver a formal CD-ROM version of this database. Those who want a copy are advised to contact the author. The CD-ROM version will not only contain the WWW picture database but it will have the FileMaker Pro database and video clips. The price and the time of its release have not yet been determined. We are continuing to revise and expand the database. When you access this database, it may appear somewhat different from the description in this paper due to our effort to improve it.

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Japanese Journal of Computer Science Vol.2, No.1: pp.5-13
Copyright 1995 by The Myrmecological Society of Japan (for English version) and The Japanese Association of Computer Science (for Japanese version),