State of WWBKB project

J.M. Vanel - 2003-03-05 (

The application , a Flora of China search engine , runs on my personal machine (only 500MHz :-( ) . The server is up most of the time, but it's my development machine ...

The initial vision (1999) of the project is here :

On the site you will find complete informations on the project.

The search engine allows queries à La Google on the species description , and more generally on large XML databases. It allows to search character strings in specific organs or rubric (e.g. "flower:red leaf:large"). These simple  queries are then translated into XPath queries, then processed by the eXist XML database, and finally formatted through  Cocoon, an XML publication framework from . It is 100% open source. It is managed by a community of developers on .
Upstream from that there is a syntaxic parser, FloraParse, writen in C++ with Lex &Yacc, which uses the WordNet semantic dictionary from Princeton University. FloraParse transforms Natural Language descriptions into an XML format where informations are marked as organs, sub-organ,  geography, etc.

All this is completely operational.
WWBKB is on some points ahead compared to the efforts of academical taxonomists. Collaborations include :
Jean-Marc Vanel

Worldwide Botanical Knowledge Base