Navigation, Research, and Computer Platform



Chimborazo Online Presentation
Printed versions of Humboldt's graphics present information in an extremely reduced form. The present project aims to make Humboldt's vision of plant geography accessible in a way that the technology of his time could not do. In contrast to the printed mode or even compared with a traditional digital library, a dynamic system can take full advantage of the innovative features of Humboldt's graphics. This prototype is based on the 700 plants of the Nova Genera et Species Plantarum, but the expanded system will eventually include all plants that Humboldt and Bonpland described.

Information Mining
A click anywhere on the famous Chimborazo image opens a clearly legible Latin plant family name. The user may access four regions, which Humboldt divided according to the altitude in which the plants were found. Within each altitude segment, the names of the plant families are color coded (blue for Humboldt's observations on specific plants; green for color plates of plants, together with their descriptions; and black for further information in the digital library). A click on the names opens windows to Humboldt's succinct information about specific plants (the location at which Humboldt and Bonpland observed the plants, the altitude, and the time of blooming).



To access to the interactive map just click on the image

Interactive maps allow the user to zoom in and zoom out, get details by mouse- clicking on the map and activate hyperlinks to other online data bases, providing text or images.



Data Tables
In several columns to the left and right of his famous image, Humboldt provides many detailed measurements and observations. This additional information relates to specific regions and altitudes. A click on the narrow left and right borders opens columns with specific categories (such as temperature, barometric pressure, boiling point of water, zoological information, geological data, etc.) Navigation within the columns leads to Humboldt's texts on specific issues and can open further links within the digital library.


Additional Features 
A separate search function allows users to search for the names of a particular plant anywhere in Humboldt's writings. Users may also choose to search the columns in the languages of their choice. A click on a flag above the graphic display will change the text to German, English, or Spanish (French will be added in the near future). In addition, the system has a network of links to the complete collection of scanned texts and images in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (site name: Gallica).