GPS for old specimens
Jorge Soberon Mainero
jsoberon at MIRANDA.ECOLOGIA.UNAM.MX
Mon Dec 9 08:50:01 CST 1996
On Fri, 6 Dec 1996, Julian Humphries wrote:
> At 10:15 AM 12/6/96 -0500, Robin Panza wrote:
> >That's all very well and good for future collecting, but some of us
> >100-year-old collections. There is no way to produce GPS reference
> >the 200,000 bird specimens (and probably ca. 1,000,000 specimens in the
> >departments) already in our posession.
To the above by Robin P. Julian H. answered the following:
> Well, thats not quite accurate. For many, perhaps most of your specimens
> it is possible to produce very good georeferenced specimen data. It takes
> work and cooperation, but it is doable. In most collections there are far
> few "localities" than specimens and many are easy to quickly georeference.
> Online gazetteers and atlas' can make the process go pretty quickly.
Sure you can't do it all this year, but as a decade long project (or faster
> with grant support), I imagine you could georeference much of your
> collection (and heh, I bet Conabio has already done all of your Mexican
I quite agree with Julian. Obviously you cannot put coordinates to some
XVII century specimen that states "Nova Hispania", but between that
extreme and and the other, wgich is using two or thre GPS to
georeferrence to one meter of precision, there is a lot of room to
assign coordinates with quite useful resolutions.
Finally, yes indeed, there are 8192 bird registers from the Carnegie Museum
georeferrenced to degrees and minutes. This means about 1.5 km of
precision. The custodians of that database are Adolfo Navarro and
Hesiquio Benitez, to whom further queries should be addressed, in total
agreement with Robin s philosophy of maintaining some degree of control
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