Requirements/UseCases

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  • Browsing
  • Searching
  • Querying
  • "What is this plant?"


All users will expect to be able to browse, search, and query the data via intuitive interfaces, and many will want to use the portal to aid in identification. In addition, user-specific requirements have been identified. These functional requirements are phrased below as competency questions, with query terms (variables) in bold.


  • Plant taxonomists
 Retrieve annotations of treatment [optionally constrained on any property of the annotation].
 Retrieve all previous treatments of taxon.
 Retrieve specimen records and annotations of those records where either the record or either the record 
 or the annotation includes a determination to taxon. 
 (Generalizing the above) Retrieve all resources and annotations of those resources where the annotation
 includes a determination to taxon.  


  • Molecular biologists
 What traits are associated with sequence?
 What species have trait?


  • Ecologists
 What species have trait?
 What habitats is taxon found in?
 Where is taxon found?
 What is found at location?


  • Tree people (phylogeneticists)
 Why does tree look like this?
 Build me the character matrix for all the species in tree.
 Species distributions.


  • Searchers for authoritative names
 What is the current accepted name for name?
 What are synonyms, vernacular names, etc., for name?


  • Other biologists
 ?


  • Citizen scientists
 What plants will I find in location at time of year. (check list production)


  • Border agents
 What is this plant I see here before me?
 Should plant be allowed into Canada?


  • Policy makers
 What legislation (or other regulations) pertain to taxon?
 Does legislation cover any species that I care about?  


  • General public
 Can I eat this?