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The Dipterocarpaceae Data Base was begun in 1993 by ABW Associates Ltd., based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and has had several other contributors since then. Originally used as a taxonomic tool in the production of the Manuals of Dipterocarps for Foresters, it has grown to include much more information, including records of all the specimens in the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and all specimens of Thai Dipterocarpaceae.
On completion of the Manuals of Dipterocarps for Foresters, the database was taken on by Dr. Rachun Pooma (BKF). Between 1999 and 2003, he made records of all specimens of Dipterocarpaceae collected in Thailand, more than doubling the size of the specimen records file. He then attached latitude and longitude coordinates to as many of them as he could and downloaded these records into ARC/INFO in order to carry out an area cladistic analysis. His work was funded by the Danish Environmental Research Programme’s project entitled, “Forests and People in Thailand” and led to his Ph.D. of Kasetsart University. Full details of his work can be seen at the Bangkok Forest Herbarium website .
In 2002, Professor Peter Ashton donated his collection of record cards to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Each of the 20,000 or so cards represents a specimen of a dipterocarp seen by Professor Ashton. His intention was that the cards should be added to the database in Edinburgh. As a first step towards this goal, two students of Aberdeen University digitised all the cards relating to Philippines species between May and August 2003. Mr. Zisis Gagkas and Mr. Erling John Karlberg, studied distributions of Philippines species and reassessed the IUCN categories of threat for each species, based on distributions of collecting localities plotted on maps of the extent of forests in the Philippines in 1900 and 1990.
All data have been entered by hand following data standards adopted by the Taxonomic Databases Working Group.

The main standards used are
  • Brummitt & Powell Authors of Plant Names, RBG Kew for authorities of plant names
  • Stafleu & Cowan Taxonomic Literature, ed.2, Regnum Vegetabile, Utrecht  for abbreviated names of books.
  • Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum B-P-H, Pittsburgh for abbreviated names of periodicals.