Announcing Lifemapper Release for Taxacom Subscribers

Beach, James H beach at KU.EDU
Sat Aug 31 12:22:07 CDT 2002

Announcing Lifemapper Release for Taxacom Subscribers

Lifemapper is a web-accessible map library of species distributions and
predictive models of species occurrence. The Lifemapper digital library
utilizes biological specimen information retrieved from museums and herbaria
through the Species Analyst Network.

Lifemapper caches distribution information from specimen databases, maps
them, and then using Windows PC screen savers, takes the known collection
localities of a species and correlates them with global environmental data
layers (e.g. climate, terrain, and land cover data) to create a predictive
niche model of where a species should occur based on its historical
collection points.

Lifemapper screen savers use the GARP algorithm, originally created by David
Stockwell at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, to calculate species
distribution models. We have also made GARP available as a stand-alone PC
application for researchers. Desktop GARP is downloadable from the
Lifemapper web site.

We invite you to review Lifemapper at its web site and to participate in its
distributed community computing architecture by trying out the Lifemapper
screensaver for MS Windows. We look forward to your suggestions and feedback
during this test period. Lifemapper will be announced publicly within a few

We currently have 90+ participating collections databases--a small fraction
of the collection data available on and off the Internet. North American
fishes and birds are relatively well-represented; data from herbaria are
scarcely available. The quality of GARP's predictive models is determined by
the availability of georeferenced data. With new data anticipated from
pending community collections data computerization projects, we expect
Lifemapper's GARP models to improve over the next few years. Lifemapper's
distribution models are continuously recomputed as new data become available
from museum databases. Lifemapper does not currently model oceanic species,
but we plan to do so in the coming months as we obtain global oceanic data

The Lifemapper web site is located at Our e-mail address
for comments is Lifemapper at

Many thanks in advance for taking a look!

Lifemapper Development Team

Biodiversity Research Center
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA

Centro de Referencia em Informacao Ambiental (CRIA)
Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lifemapper is supported by US NSF Grant BIO/DBI 9873021.

James H. Beach
Biodiversity Research Center
University of Kansas
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Tel: 785 864-4645, Fax: 785 864-5335

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