[Taxacom] GBIF data evaluation (was: iSpecies with Wikipedia)

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Mar 26 08:44:32 CDT 2008

I think there are two ways to help this happen. The first is to make  
the process "fun." There is enormous scope for using "human  
computation" and games to help this process.  There's a talk on this by  
Luis von Ahn   
-8246463980976635143&q=luis+von+ahn&pr=goog-sl), the guy behind  
recaptcha (http://recaptcha.net/).

The second is to make the process open. Any data point that has been  
questioned must be visibly flagged, and the commentary available.  
Feedback mechanisms such as sending emails to data providers won't work  
-- there's no guarantee that anybody will fix the problem, and no  
credit trail.

For example, the GBIF map for Rana pipiens has some records in  
obviously wrong places (e.g.,  
http://data.gbif.org/occurrences/33701044/ , which is in Argentina due  
to a mistake in the latitude. I'm invited to send feedback, but I want  
this to be immediate, such that the next time the map is displayed that  
record is flagged. Without something like this I suspect feedback from  
users will be very limited.



On 26 Mar 2008, at 08:35, Paul Kirk wrote:

> The 'becomes part of daily routines on the workdesks of experts' is a
> crucial part of this 'revolution' - the few experts left need an
> incentive to abandon their word processors/spreadsheets/databases and
> the incentive would be a workdesk with all the comfort factors that
> these software applications give them and a whole heap of bonus
> attributes which make it a no-brainer to adopt ... If (big if) the
> majority of experts used this workdesk the
> adSense-like/referral/ebay-feedback stuff going on in the background
> would automatically improve the GBIF (and others - EoL??) content. The
> good stuff rises the bad stuff falls - its always been this way, based
> on a traditionally  published monograph/fauna/flora/mycota/biota
> typically on a 10-25 year cycle; in the 21st century digital age it
> should be a tad quicker.
> Paul
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of
> faunaplan at aol.com
> Sent: 26 March 2008 08:07
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] GBIF data evaluation (was: iSpecies with Wikipedia)
> Dear All,
> my comment on the following piece of conversation from the previous
> thread:
> Andy Mabbett wrote:
>>> The GBIF map for "pica pica" shows all but one example as being in
>>> South America (the other in Africa - possibly a wrongly-signed
>>> longitude?).<<
> Roderic Page answered:
>> No idea, iSpecies simply displays what GBIF has. Some locality records
>> are clearly false (marine organisms on land, and visa versa) and at
>> some point somebody will hopefully do something about these (see
>> http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2007/11/gbif-data-evaluation.html ).<
> As I'm just trying to spot GBIF occurrence data errors in Insecta
> Coleoptera Carabidae (>250.000 records already accessible!), I can say
> yes there are those errors and a lot more when you look into the  
> details
> (names incorrectly listed under suprageneric taxa, erroneous
> interpretation of names, unresolved synonyms, incorrect interpretation
> of localities, etc.).
> While lat/lon errors can be cleaned by the machine at least to some
> extent, the majority of errors will only become visible and can be
> cleaned when/ if more taxon experts are getting involved. In my  
> opinion,
> we will see a major breakthrough of the great GBIF idea only when/ if  
> it
> becomes part of daily routines on the workdesks of experts, and I
> imagine that projects like iSpecies could become a very helpful forum
> for both experts and the wider audience. The challenge is, in my
> (IT-non-expert) opinion, how to make projects like iSpecies more
> interactive for those you could provide expert input?
> Just an idea: even as an IT-dummy I can download a GBIF overviewMap,  
> get
> the data details from GBIF and send back an evaluated/? corrected
> version, or even add my own data to it. So, maybe, an? evaluated map
> could be displayed somehow along with the original GBIF map. Things  
> like
> this could serve not only as an invitation to discuss content among
> taxon experts, but at the same time alert non-experts about the quality
> of the displayed content.
> Or, another idea: what if we had a versionized (e.g. annual) static
> "GBIF atlas" for taxa groups that are regularly evaluated by experts.  
> In
> this way, it would be easier to see 'what's-in-it', - what happens on
> GBIF, which data are evaluated and which are not, etc...
> Right now there are many pitfall traps esp. for non-experts as you can
> simply display what GBIF, uBio, etc. have...
> But anyway, thanks to Roderic Page for doing iSpecies! Seems to be an
> important step.
> Best wishes,
> Wolfgang
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wolfgang Lorenz
> Faunistics & Environmental Planning
> Hoermannstr. 4
> D-82327 Tutzing, Germany
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Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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