the Ghini family

Let’s start by recalling the composition of the Ghini family, as shown in the diagram:


You have learned how to use ghini.desktop, here we introduce the other members of the family, and their interaction.



ghini.pocket is an Android app which you can install from the play store. ghini.pocket is definitely the tool you will use most, next to ghini.desktop.

With ghini.pocket you always have the latest snapshot of your database with you.

Type an accession number, or scan its barcode or QR label, and you know:

  • the identification of the plant,
  • whether it already has pictures,
  • when it entered the garden and
  • from which source.

Apart as a quick data viewer, you can use ghini.pocket for…

data correction

If by your judgement, some of the information is incorrect, or if the plant is flowering and you want to immediately take a picture and store it in the database, you do not need take notes on paper, nor follow convolute procedures: ghini.pocket lets you write your corrections in a log file, take pictures associated to the plant, and you will import this information straight into the database, with further minimal user intervention.

inventory review

The initial idea on which we based ghini.pocket is still one of its functionalities: inventory review.

Using ghini.pocket, reviewing the inventory of a greenhouse, in particular if you have QR codes on plant labels, goes as fast as you can walk: simply enter the location code of your greenhouse, reset the log, then one by one scan the plant codes of the plants in the greenhouse. No further data collection action is required.

When you’re done, import the log in ghini.desktop. The procedure available in ghini.desktop includes adding unknown but labelled plants in the database, marking as lost/dead all plants that the database reports as alive and present in the inventoried location, but were not found during the inventory.

taxonomic support

As a bonus, ghini.pocket contains a phonetic genus search, and a quite complete database of botanic taxa with rank between order and genus, including tribes, and synonymies.

check further data streams between software components.



ghini.web is a web server, written in nodejs.

Its most visible part runs at and shows as a map of the world, where you browse gardens and search their published collection.

It also serves configuration data to ghini.tour instances.

check further data streams between software components.



ghini.tour is an Android app which you can install from the play store.

People visiting your garden will install ghini.tour on their phone or tablet, enjoy having a map of the garden, knowing where they are, and will be able to listen to audio files that you have placed as virtual information panels in strategic spots in your garden.

world view

at startup, you see the world and gardens. select a garden, and enter.

garden view

when viewing at garden level, you see panels. select a panel, and listen.

check further data streams between software components.

data streams between software components


This section contains technical information for database managers and software developers.


In the diagram showing the composition of the Ghini family, the alert reader noticed how different arrows representing different data flows, had different colours: some are deep green, some have a lighter tint.

Deeper green streams are constant flows of data, representing the core activity of a component, eg: the interaction between ghini.desktop and its database server, or your internet browser and ghini.web.

Lighter green streams are import/export actions, initiated by the user at the command panel of ghini.desktop, or in the ghini.tour settings page.

This is the same graph, in which all import data streams have been given an identifier.


d2p: copy a snapshot of the desktop database to ghini.pocket

  • export the desktop database to a pocket snapshot
  • copy the snapshot to the handheld device

ghini.pocket integrates closely with ghini.desktop, and it’s not a tool for the casual nor the external user. One task of your garden database manager is to regularly copy an updated database snapshot to your Android device.

We advise enabling USB debugging on the device. In perspective, this will allow ghini.desktop writing directily into the ghini.pocket device.

Export the file from ghini.desktop, call the file pocket.db, copy it to the phone:

adb -d push /tmp/pocket.db /sdcard/Android/data/me.ghini.pocket/files/

The above location is valid even if your phone does not have a memory card.

Other options include bluetooth, or whatever other way you normally use to copy regular files into your Android device.

p2d: import from the ghini.pocket log file and pictures into the central database

even if we’re still calling it “inventory log”, ghini.pocket’s log contains more than just inventory corrections.

  • produce a log on the handheld device
  • import the log in the desktop database

first of all, copy the collected information from ghini.pocket into your computer:

export DIR=/some/directory/on/your/computer
adb -d pull /sdcard/Android/data/me.ghini.pocket/files/searches.txt $DIR
adb -d pull -a /sdcard/Android/data/me.ghini.pocket/files/Pictures $DIR

then use ghini.desktop to import this information into your database.

d2w: send a selection of your garden data to ghini.web

Offer a selection of your garden data to a central ghini.web site, so online virtual visitors can browse it. This includes plant identification and their geographic location.

content of this flow:

  • garden: coords, name, zoom level (for initial view)
  • plants: coords, identification, zoom level (for visibility)
  • species: binomial, phonetic approximation

g2w: add geographic non-botanic data to ghini.web

  • Write geographic information about non-botanic data (ie: point of interest within the garden, required by ghini.tour) in the central ghini.web site.

    content of this flow:

    • virtual panels: coords, title, audio file
    • photos: coords, title, picture

    virtual panels don’t necessarily have an associated photo, photos don’t necessarily have an associated audio file.

w2t: importing locations and POIs from ghini.web to tour

content of this flow:

  • Garden (coords, name, zoom level)
  • Points of Interest (coords, title, audio file, photo)