Data acquisition

These programs are used to digitized landmark locations, capture outlines, or to interface with devices such as digital calipers. See the utility webpage for programs to manipulate data files and transform file formats.

Note: all of the software in the tps---- series listed below are freely available for use in research and teaching.


Collect geometric morphometric landmarks in your browser. PhyloNimbus is a web app for collecting 2D and 3D landmarks, linear measurements, and curves/semilandmarks. Coordinates can be downloaded in different file formats. It runs in all major browsers and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. By Dominic.


Morphometrics in Medical Entomology – Collection of Landmark for Identification and Characterization. Versions for Linux (midnight- or gnome-commander), Windows (32 and 64 bits), and Apple (Yosemite). By J-P. Dujardin.


StereoMorph is an R package with tools for the collection of 2D and 3D landmark and curve data. StereoMorph includes a browser-based digitizing application, functions for automatically calibrating a set of two or more standard digital cameras using a simple checkerboard, and functions for reconstructing, aligning, and unifying 3D landmark and curve sets. Complete tutorial and example projects (2D and 3D) can be found at the current URL listed on the CRAN page. MAC/Windows/Linux. Compatible with most web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. By Aaron Olsen and Annat Haber.


Digitize landmarks & outlines from image files, scanner, or video. Windows. TpsDig is a Windows (95 through XP) program for digitizing landmarks and outlines for geometric morphometric analyses. Includes simple image enhancement operations, scale factors, image brightness profile, and support for AVI and MOV files. Output is in the TPS file format used by the "tps series" of programs. The TPS file includes the name of the image file for each specimen so that landmarks can always be visualized on the image. Because output files are plain ASCII they can be edited to convertd to formats for other software. Users should note that the tpsUtil program is useful for both the preparation of the input files to tpsDig as well as for some useful conversions afterwards. The program also computes areas of enclosed regions, perimeters, and linear distances. The tpsDig2 link at the left is for the 2.30 version.

The 32 bit program is compatible with recent versions of Windows (including Win10).

A helpful tutorial is available here.

The tpsDig1 link is for the previous version (1.40 dated 1/17/04). Execute the downloaded file to install the program. By F. James Rohlf.

The old Win 3.1 version is also still available (Version 1.07 dated 4/4/97).


A utility to downsample curves stored in TPS files to sets of equal numbers of points (or will-be semilandmarks). For Windows. Link. Developed by Eladio Marquez. Version 1.0.

Landmark editor & Checkpoint

Landmark was developed by the scientists at the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization (IDAV) and the University of California, Davis. Working together with collaborators at the American Museum of Natural History, the team was able to build an easy to use tool for 3D landmark editing and placement on geometric surfaces typically obtained via laser range scans.). Version 3.6. Documentation, and software as well as an example of its application to "evolutionary morphing.". Version 3.6.

The developer now has a commercial version (Checkpoint) that has additional features. See


COO 2D images manual digitization of landmarks I, II or III (+ semilandmarks). readme, from JP. Dujardin,




Designed for recording coordinates of points on bee wings but useful for other kinds of images also . Windows. A commerical program but a trial version is also available. Link to the home page. 4/19/05
CalExcel Digital caliper software. Windows. This www site provides interfacing software for digital calipers and Microsoft Excel. This program is designed to open a serial port, open a Microsoft Excel workbook, and act as an interface for importing digital caliper values into a worksheet. It is written in Visual Basic. By Timothy H. Heaton. 4/19/98
DSDIGIT Digitizer program. DOS. A program to collect 2 and 3-dimensional coordinates of points using a digitizer. By Dennis Slice. 11/5/94
Digical Digital Caliper and Digital Scale Software. MAC. A program designed to take serial input from a digital caliper or digital scale and send that data to the currently opened application. It makes that data look as if it were being typed from the keyboard, so any application that takes keyboard input should be able to receive DigiCal data. A full description is given in digical.txt with instructions for setting parameters, sending contribution etc. A BINHEX self-extracting archive containing software and notes is also available. Leslie F. Marcus. Written by Gary Rensberger (, 7/29/98
WINDIG Digitize from scanned files. Windows. Digitizes coordinates from BMP, TIFF, or other graphic file formats. By Dominique LOVY, Dept. of Physical Chemistry, University of GENEVA E-Mail: See the readme file for more information. Version 2.5. 11/15/96
EXCALIPER Capture data from digital calipers. MAC. Use your Macintosh to capture data from almost any device that can be connected to your serial port including digital calipers and balances. By A. Richard Palmer. 4/24/96
trace5 Outline detection. Mac. Performs a semi-automatic detection of outlines. The calibration file is also needed. A documentation file in txt format and the FORTRAN source files are available. By M. Knappertsbusch 10/1/97

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