Just beautiful photographs

Ideas behind the logical design of Dutch treeguide at bomengids.nl

This site is the Dutch treeguide for the whole of the Netherlands and beyond, but its base of photo shoots is in the Weezenhof in Nijmegen. Its aim is to let non-biologists find out what species a specific tree they find belongs to.
The goal is to cover 95% of all tree-species you find in the woods in the Netherlands. In any case until the genus-level. I do not aim for cultivar trees, but do not avoid describing them either.

Internet: Many big photographs.

Internet as medium has no problem with many many photo's. Where books and the like can only print this much graphics and photo's and have to consider cost, a website can have as many photo's as you like. The limit is more how much you need and how much time there is to publish them.
In conclusion I can show much more details than any book does, and can make the business of finding a species by looking at pictures much more succesful than books can. There fore I try to use sight as the primary source for determination.

Variation inside species can be shown better on the internet.

Because there is more room to describe trees with photo's there is more room to show variation between individuals trees within a species. This gives more room to describe what is essential for an evolution view: variation. Species are not made up of "typical" trees: how we often see a species. "This is a typical oak", is what we are often thinking. But species generally are not like that at all. Books about trees have promoted this line of thought, because they can only show one tree per species.
But if you walk somewhere you can see that most of not all trees of the species are very different form the "typical" one. Determination is often not easy, therefore. 
Essential to evolutionary theory is variation. And there is lots of variation in most tree-species.. The books are wrong, not what you see outside. There are many cross-fertilizations between species and individual variation based on genetic difference or the characteristics of the soil, the place where a tree stands and so on. Therefore I try to show many individual trees per species and try to sort photo's per individual tree. 

Make difficulties explicit

Not everyone will like this but some trees remain mysteries. When one book says it is species A and another species B, what to belief?
I have tried many books and they all differ. Some are obviously wrong, but sometimes it is less obvious. Also websites make some mistakes. When searching for a species you might find leafs that look very different from what other sites or books show. Books also frequently do not describe what species they leave out and why.
If I do not know what species a tree belongs to I mention that. I also mention the certainty of the determination with species. I do not leave "mystery trees" out, but publish their photo's and my doubts with them.

Bigger photo's.

The internet means that there is room for bigger pictures. I try to give them as big as necessary and consider the adsl user as the target audience.

What is not here?


I am planning for extensions to the site :