Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) successfully developed, tested, and disseminated a modern data collection system to help manage living collections. Utilizing mobile tablet computers, individuals can use the system while in the garden or greenhouse to accurately and efficiently map new plants, inventory plant collections, and prepare tree assessment surveys. The mobile tools interfaces directly with a new web-based Living Collections Management System (LCMS).
Added functionality funded through the grant includes the ability to link photographs taken with the mobile devices to corresponding records in the LCMS and also the integration of quick response (QR) codes into the database. These codes can then be incorporated into accession tags and plant labels for inventory management and outreach purposes.
The real-time data entry system helps preserve the Missouri Botanical Garden’s historic living collections and will help other gardens nationwide and around the world manage their living collections. MBG presented and demonstrated the mobile tools at the 2012 American Association of Public Gardens (APGA) conference and at the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden in 2013 to botanical garden representatives from eight countries.