Nowadays anyone can join a
photo sharing website or have a website for free, and if you're interested in insects,
making an online insect collection for the whole world to see is something you can do!
And if you can post at least ten sharp, properly identified insect pictures on your site,
I'll put a link to it on this page.
Here are the steps for making an online insect collection:
- sign up for a free website or join a photo
- scan or photograph an insect (scanning is easiest
for small things)
- identify the insect at least to family, but
better to genus or even species
- post your images on your new website
OK, here's more info on the above steps:
SETTING UP YOUR OWN
ONLINE INSECT COLLECTION
A) JOIN 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.
B) GET YOUR OWN SITE
One way to find a free site is to use a search engine
such as Google and do a search on
"free websites". One place offering free websites is bravenet.com. This
company also offers sites with no ads, but can cost from $4.99/month, up. For-free sites
may require setup fees. Some other free sites are yola.com or webs.com
where your pages will bear their ads. Sites with fewer ads require membership fees. While
affordable web hosting services are easy to come by, costs and services can vary
considerably, so it's important to compare reliability, reputation and customer support
features, the amount of multimedia storage each provider offers and also find out what the
limitations are on file sharing, uploading and downloading.
STEP TWO: SCAN OR PHOTOGRAPH YOUR INSECTS
If you have a digital camera you may want to look over
our notes on how to use it here. For info on
scanning, visit our Scanning Page.
STEP THREE: IDENTIFY YOUR CRITTER
If you own a digital camera 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.
STEP FOUR: POST YOUR IMAGES
AT PHOTO-SHARING SITES: 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
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
from your computer into their computer, so they can put them onto the internet. When you
get your site, just follow your company's instructions. If your company requires you to
FTP your work, that's not a problem because you can download a free FTP program. Just use
a search engine and the keywords "WSFTP free download." WSFTP is
freeware and comes with instructions on how to FTP files from your computer to your