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Tech Tools

Technological advances are making it easier than ever to communicate and find information.

We have some tools and tips you might find useful in your quest to reach out to colleagues and find the information you want.

We endeavour to make our site accessible to all. To this end you can find tools here to translate content into different languages or text-only pages.

Use the feedback form to tell us about any great tech tools you have discovered.

View in Loband

Loband allows you to view our site even if you have very slow and/or intermittent internet access. It strips out all the graphics and unnecessary information to give you the smallest possible version of the site without losing any real content.


Translate This Page

If you find a page on our site in a language you don't recognise, you can use Google Translate to help you out.


Botanic Garden News on Your Desktop

BGCI news for botanic gardens can now be delivered to your RSS reader on your desktop.


Botanic Gardens Community Toolbar

BGCI has created a free community toolbar for people in botanic gardens around the world. You can add it easily to your internet browser. The toolbar gives you instant access to all our searches, gives the latest news on botanic gardens and there's even a chat facility for contacting colleagues.



Find Out More

PocketMod Organiser
A printable Personal organiser with eight pocket-size pages that you makeyourself using the templates and print off. Incredibly easy to use and handy for anyone who likes using bits of paper to plan their day.

Google Website Translator
Google has a free online website translator that can give you an idea of what the page you are looking at is about. It covers languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Russian and Arabic. It translates to and from all the languages on the list.

Podcasting How-To
This page tells you what a podcast is, where to listen to them, and how to make one of your own and broadcast it. Includes the links to useful free software that will help you receive or create podcasts.

Growing Plants - Interactive Encyclopaedia Software
This is a fully interactive and easy-to-use plant database software with information on growing over 20,000 plants plus 15,000 stunning plant pictures. A great resource for gardeners, professionals & students, you can manage your own plant list and keep records on your methods and success.

ThinkFree Online Office Software
ThinkFree is a free alternative to using Microsoft Office. You can create, edit, share and access files from anywhere over the Web. It's all Microsoft Office compatible and has an easy, intuitive interface. You get 1GB free storage too, so its in effect a virtual office.

Ethical Internet - Websites for Small Green Organisations
We provide affordable, effective, easy to use web sites for businesses and self employed people with a green or ethical slant, charities, campaign groups, and not for profit organisations. That way, any small ethical organisation can run an up-to-date, inclusive and professional website.

Bauble Botanical Collection Management
Bauble is a software application to help you (yes you) manage a collection of botanical specimens. It is intended to be used by botanic gardens, herbaria, arboreta, etc. to manage their collection information. It is a open, free, cross-platform alternative to BG-Base and similiar software.

Best Free Software
This is a cherry-picked collection of the best free software substitutes for all the usual suspects, such as MS Office programs, media players, graphics programs and so on. It really is worth using these - it saves you money and its all of very high quality and reliability.

BG-BASE is a powerful, well proven database application for managing records of collections of biological material. In wide use by botanic gardens, arboreta, and herbaria, BG-BASE facilitates basic inventory control, and enables users to fully document, label and curate their collections.

Skype is a small piece of software that, used in conjunction with a telephone headset or mike and earphones, enables you to make free phone calls over the net to anyone esle who also has it installed. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world.

Google Earth
Want to know more about a specific location, anywhere on earth? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips. This is one the most amazing things you can do on the internet so far...

Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Biodiversity and biodiversity information are essential to a sustainable future for society. GBIF is making recorded knowledge about biodiversity available to everyone using the Internet. Anyone with records of biodiversity can send data into GBIF to help build an online image of life on earth.

Contribute to the World's Biggest Climate Change Experiment
We need the computer power you're not using. Join in the largest climate prediction experiment ever, developed by climate scientists for the BBC using the Met Office climate model. (A PC-only project)

BGCI in Loband
Loband allows you to view our site even if you have very slow and/or intermittent internet access. It strips out all the graphics and unnecessary information to give you the smallest possible version of the site without losing any real content.

The Open CD
A collection of free, high-quality software, largely compatible with MS Office and other standard software but completely free. Excellent for anyone wanting alternatives to Microsoft either due to limited budgets or on principle. Designed to appeal to computer users in developing countries.

Journal Articles

February 2006
June 2003

Cultivate E-Bulletin
Cultivate, BGCI's regular e-bulletin brings you opinion, comment, case studies and surveys for and about the world's botanic gardens. Sign up today - click the link.
Global Cool
Global Cool is a website bringing together scientists and celebrities to find solutions to cool the planet down. For the next 10 years Global Cool will be running a series of entertaining programmes aimed at empowering individuals to make a difference. This website is easy to read and full of fun.
Google Scholar
This extraordinary search allows you to hunt for literature in both book and journal form as it gets published on the net. Many complete books are available for viewing and printing online.
Skype - The Whole World Can Talk for Free
Skype is a software to download, that makes communicating with people around the world easy and fun. And if both of you are on Skype, it’s free. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. BGCI uses Skype - you can call us for free if you sign up too.