Commons talk:Category scheme flora

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A good begin. Some basic questions, a bit late.

Native - introduced - cultivated[edit]

Are they existing together ?

All flora in Jamaica is at least introduced (= default), so = basic "flora in Jamaica" ?

The "specialist" native and cultivated could indeed coexist but make the general "flora in Jamaica" cat redundant

Type Annuals, Climbing plants, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees[edit]

In theory, types have nothing to do with the places where the flora occurs. In practise, there might be some correlation. No idea what is the most sensible, but separate/parallel categorisation of type and location avoids exponential growth of categories.

Just 2 cents of an amateur. --Foroa (talk) 15:32, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

That makes sense. Project page changed to reflect the suggestion. -Arb. (talk) 00:47, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Foroa, if you know how to advertise this category scheme proposal on the village pump would you please do so. I won't have the time to figure it out tonight. Thanks. -Arb. (talk) 00:51, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Job of the Commons[edit]

I have been thinking yesterday and I think that we first have to agree what categorisation is important (and probably why few people get involved in such a discussion). After all, Commons is a media repository and the absolute priority should go to a proper species categorisation.

One can invent millions of categories, such as good smell, flower or leave types, resistant to frost, flowering in the winter, attracting bees, ... but all this is not helping to find media, so is not relevant to commons; that is the job of the "real" encyclopedia. (which might crack overtime with the hundreds of possible categories)

What is maybe more important here is the categorisation of the visual aspects, as in Category:Flowers by color and probably other visual related categories, such as color, leaf forms, ... In that respect, it would be interesting to have on each flora picture an indication in what season it has been taken and whether it was taken in the nature, a garden or a more artificial environment.

Another aspect of commons is that it is interesting for collection of statistical data; where the pictures is taken (place and environment). I think that it is not the job of commons to make a classification whether the plant is local or imported. If we can classify the geographical areas in sufficiently fine chunks, then it is no longer important if there is on top of that a political geographical or a ecozone classification. --Foroa (talk) 07:02, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

First publication debate 9 sept 2008[edit]

The debate starts here. --Foroa (talk) 12:08, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Should individual images be categorized to a region as well[edit]

Besides associating this image to Category:Hippuris vulgaris, should it also be categorized to the region where it was observed, such as Category:Flora of Greenland or parhaps a dedicated subcategory Category:Flora observed in Greenland?
Same species (probably) from a much warmer ecozone. If only the species category is associated with Category:Flora of Greenland I can navigate to this image, although it has nothing to do with Greenland.

Besides categorizing images to the relevant species category, I always add another category relating to the region where the individual was observed. The reason I do that is because individuals of a species may manifest themselves quite differently depending on the region. Thus, I have in principle the possibility to later search for images of a given species located in a given region. So I think this adds value, but the regional categories also tend to get overloaded see Category:Flora of Greenland for example. Another confusing aspect of this approach is that the Flora of categories will be a mix of images and species categories. Could the solution to that be to reserve a dedicated subcategory for observations, like Category:Plants observed in Greenland as a leaf underneath Category:Flora of Greenland, or if we want to stick entirely to the Flora terminology, it could be called Category:Flora observed in Greenland (although that sounds weird in my Danish ears). -- Slaunger (talk) 12:37, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

On the granularity of the location[edit]

Concerning the question of how small political or ecological regions may get in the Flora of category structure, I propose that they should not be smaller than what gives meaning concerning the number of actual images in the category structure. It is annoying to browse through very deep category structures depleted from images, just as it is annoying to work with too flat hierarchies. Since this means some regions may be very large geographically, like e.g., Category:Flora of Greenland (where a subdivision in smaller regions does not give meaning yet as practically all images there are from a very small region in North-West Greenland), I would recommend a general guideline saying that every plant image should be geocoded. This gives some very cool future possibilities like auto-generating distribution maps of various taxa at, e.g., the species, genus or family levels. We do not have the tool for this yet, but when the data are there it is just a question of time before someone will implement such a tool. Some thought has to be put into distinguishing between naturally occurring, cultivated and introduced observations though. -- Slaunger (talk) 12:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi SLaunger, thanks for responding to my post on the village pump. I think your idea of a requirement that every plant image should be geocoded is exactly right. Currently, the apparent complete lack of standards dealing with the information provided for pictures of plants, animals and organisms in general substantially reduces the value of the wiki commons data base of images. I haven't geocoded an image yet, but after I go mow the lawn, I think I'll give it a shot. I think recommendations in general would be helpful about recording the time, location, size and species of the subject of a photo. Right now this seems to be done in an inconsistent way throughout the images that I have looked at. A little disclaimer here. I am new to this community and there very well may be standards about this stuff and I'm just not aware of them.

--Davefoc (talk) 23:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

@Slaunger, your geocoding proposal sounds good. Beyond that, there seem to be two different requirements for location:

  • The first is by ecozones, which probably fits in with your "they should not be smaller than what gives meaning concerning the number of actual images in the category structure".
    Nah, actually not. The ecozones are relatively large in physical areas. It was not those I had in mind
  • The second is by country to fit in with Commons:Category_scheme_countries_and_subdivisions#Nature

-Arb. (talk) 00:44, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

  • What I had in mind were cases where the political regions becomes overpopulated with images (if the individual image should be categorized to a region and not only the species, see my other thread), in those cases a breakdown in smaller political regions of the country is probably warranted. Large political regions (countries) typically extend over several ecozones, and since plants only care about ecozones and humans categorizing images (and the rest of Commons) mostly think in terms of political regions, I believe there is a point in making a breakdown of large political regions into smaller ones, which extends over fewer ecozones. Having said that, even the smallest political region can still have several ecozones, for instance, due to the presence of mountains. -- Slaunger (talk) 06:04, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
If you really want to go the route of "making a breakdown of large political regions into smaller ones" you should start Commons:Category scheme political regions (do we really want to go there?) unless what you have in mind is sticking to existing conventions of eg States of the USA. Otherwise, it will cause much work (and confusion no doubt - countries are the way it's done everywhere else on commons) for what seems to be very little benefit. Your other idea of images categorised to species and species categorised to political region is surely the better way to go. -Arb. (talk) 10:07, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
There seems to be some misunderstanding here. I call political zones the scheme which is naturally used here: countries potentially subdivided into states/provinces/autonomous regions --> Counties/districts --> Cities/towns ... From here on, one should check how we can compose ecozones (or the other way round). --Foroa (talk) 10:19, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
    • For ecozones, this is one of the rare cases where I would favor the use of a template to define the underlaying flora of xxx categories. --Foroa (talk) 06:26, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
      Sorry, I must be a little tired this morning. my neurons did not quite understand what you mean. Could you elaborate a little bit? -- Slaunger (talk) 06:33, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Ecozone approach[edit]

I think that for Ecozones, there are two approaches using Ecozone-templates. In all cases, one could include an Ecozo template that belongs as high as possible in the Ecozone hierarchy. The template can display the political zones that belong to the ecozone.

The template might generate automatically the included political zone categories.

All this is a matter of convention and documentation. By convention, we could as well agree that categorisation in Ecozones is only for native categorisation, making further Flora in xxx (type) partly unnecessary. --Foroa (talk) 08:48, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


As far as I can see this discussion never really got going, can we try again. We need category schemes defined for areas like this, also one for fauna. There have been various discussions in other places, maybe we could start by summarising where things have got too? --Tony Wills (talk) 23:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Artistic reproductions[edit]

Blind monks examining an elephant.jpg

May I congratulate the participants of this discussion for their reproduction of this work.

May I also present this caution: blindness is rarely a choice and when artists do their little performances or whatever, they should clean up the stage once the little performance has been completed.

Do let me know when the clean up of this choice of blindness has been cleaned up. -- carol (talk) 02:33, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Clean-up what stage? I can't see it! I'm blind, you see? --Slaunger (talk) 23:30, 14 March 2009 (UTC)