Online Insect Collection
produced by Bea Laporte

EXAMPLES OF ONLINE INSECT COLLECTIONS:

Nowadays most casual collectors wanting to share pictures of their goodies just upload their pictures to FaceBook or a similar service. However, if you want to be more serious you can find yourself a free webpage, or even set up your own for-fee website.

Here are some general thoughts about making online insect collections:

JOINING A PHOTO SHARING WEBSITE

Photo sharing websites offer online software tools that allow you to upload, store, organize and share your digital photos and some sites even allow you to edit your pictures. Some limit storage and photo size so check the site's terms and conditions. To find a free photo sharing website use a search engine such as Google and do a search on "free photo sharing websites". Some of the most popular are Webshots, Yahoo's Flickr, or Google's Picasa Web Albums. Once you've found one you like, it's easy to join.

GETTING YOUR OWN WEBSITE

One way to find a free site is to use a search engine such as Google and do a search on "free websites". For example, one place offering free websites is bravenet.com. They're free, but they put ads on your pages. For a small price they'll provide pages without ads. Some other free sites are yola.com and webs.com.

Once you have someone to host your pages or websites, check out WordPress.Org. There, people all over the world have uploaded free aps to serve as small programs or plug-ins. You just download what you want, and configure them for your own use. But, you have to be sharp enough to know what "configure them" means...

PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR INSECTS

This is such an important possibility that we have a whole page on using a digital camera..

IDENTIFYING YOUR CRITTERS

USING BUGGUIDE.NET
FOR IDENTIFICATIONS

You can have your digital pictures of insects identified online at BugGuide.Net.

At the above page register for free, then  log in and click on  "ID Request." On the resulting page click on "add image," and fill in the information boxes. When you come to the box called "Image" you need to tell BugGuide.Net where your picture is found in your own computer. Click on "Choose" at the right of that box, then navigate the subdirectories or folders of your  computer until you find file holding your file. When you finish all the boxes and click on  "Submit,"  in a few seconds your photo will appear at the head of the line of photos needing to be identified, and probably someone, someplace in the world, will let you know your bug's name.

Our Backyard Insects Section introduces the world of backyard insects and shows how to get started identifying them. There we explain how to use a field guide and how to do a search using the internet. If you are still having trouble IDing your critter you can always post your image on What's That Bug or on Bugguide.net.

POSTING YOUR IMAGES:

AT A PHOTO-SHARING SITE: If you're using a photo sharing website, simply follow their instructions to upload your pictures.

AT YOUR FREE WEBSITE: Some free websites enable you to post your text and images without having to know anything about HTML code and without having to use a special FTP program. Other free websites may require you to learn some very simple HTML code, which is no big deal. A good place to learn the basics is Mike Smith's Basic HTML formatting tags page. Notice the "Insertion of in-line images" link, which you'll use for placing your insect image on a web page.

Once you have your page made with your pictures on it, send it to your new website. Each site provider has its own way of uploading your pages, so just follow their instructions.