Although the database is supplied with a numerous plant pictures, an important concept of Plant Base is that more images can easily be added by the end-user.
All image management is done using the Picture Maintenance tab. This is opened by clicking the "Add Pic" button on the Plant Master window or from the main menu or toolbar. The picture "Edit" function can also be accessed directly from the contect context menu of any picture or thumbnail.
Pictures may be added to any of the three picture libraries used by Plant Base, provided they reside on writable media, e.g. hard-disk. Source images in standard JPEG format (.jpg) are the most common and preferred type. Bitmap and GIF format (.bmp and .gif) are also supported.
There is no size restriction but in most cases it makes sense to use image dimensions that fit well on the screen and of the smallest file size that gives acceptable quality. As well as the disk space overhead, very large files may impact on performance of the program.
Alterations to picture files are usually best done using an appropriate external application before adding the image to Plant Base. However, re-sizing can be done by the Plant Base itself. Because mobile devices usally have a built-in camera, our Android mobile app also supports the cropping of images.
For Picture Libraries 1 and 2 the image is copied and stored within the database and the source file is then no longer required. For Library 3 the database entry is just a link to the original selected disk file, no copy is made (read more about picture libraries). If you wish to use very large picture files this makes Picture Library 3 the best option.
Picture records in Plant Base are associated with the main data records by their botanical name. The picture records have several optional text fields to note information about the image.
Images taken with your own digital cameras are ideal. In most cases the resulting images will be too large for direct full size viewing on-screen but a copy can be reduced or cropped as needed.
Pictures taken with film cameras can be scanned to create computer format files.
A vast number of good plant pictures are available on the Internet. These are perfect for use in Plant Base, but before doing so, you must check their copyright status. Some may require permission, but in many cases free personal use is allowed (as with our own pictures).
Pictures from magazines, books and catalogues could also be scanned, but again you should check on the copyright status before using them.