georeferencing localities

WCS Gallon Jug galljug at BTL.NET
Fri Dec 6 14:19:20 CST 1996

>departments) already in our posession.  If one restricts one's mapping,
etc. >to georeferenced data, one is wasting an awful lot of available
information, >some of which is of great historical importance.

Agree very much with Robin. This is why at least in Belize all collecting
locations have been built into a hitorical gazetter of sites as close as
possible and at least approximate coordinates can be created using the GIS.
It is the historical records which may be very important in conservation
planning as they may show historical distributions rather than current ones.

As part of the data sharing agreement with the museums repatraiting data we
send back a file of locations with corrections for trans-literations,
erroneous spellings of locations etc. which may have been recorded by the
collectors.  This never is to replace the tag data of course but simply
enhances the data.  In Belize working with the ROM, FMNH and USNM data we
have been able to piece together erroneous locations, or at least suggest
corrections for some speicimen rrecords.  Eg. a record from Blue Creek with
only a date.  There are several Blue Creeks in Belize and if one has
collections over several days in one part of the country it suggests which
Blue Creek was meant.  Makes a huge difference in ecological life zone etc.
when looking at distributions as the 2 main Blue Creeks are at opposite ends
of the country.

We would like to stangle a few collectors who use "3.2 miles south of Jaun's
farm" as a loctation.  Like asking someone to meet you at Joe's Bar.  Which one?

Bruce W. Miller
Associate Conservation Zoologist

Tropical Forest and Reserve Planning Project
   Belize Biodiversity Information System
      Assessing Biodiversity Through Science
          Wildlife Conservation Society
              Gallon Jug, Belize
galljug at

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