[Taxacom] Global biodiversity databases

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Tue Aug 7 11:57:33 CDT 2012

Hi Stephen,

> Question 1: Do you expect a comprehensive and reliable GBD to exist in the
> foreseeable future (or do you think that one or more already exist)?


> If so, do
> you think it is likely to come from an existing initiative, and if so,
> one(s)?

Too many to mention: GBIF, CoL/ITIS, EoL, WoRMS, ALA, GN*, numerous
nomenclators (IPNI, Index Fungorum, ZooBank, IRMNG, and many others),
Wikispecies/Wikipedia, etc., etc.  I don't think it's right to think in
terms of "a" database.  I think the key is building infrastructures that
allow existing databases to become more tightly integrated.

> Question 2: Which would you prefer, (A) data verified by "experts"; or (2)
> data verifiable by the user (via referencing)?

Is there a difference?  I would hope that users who contribute via
referencing have some level of expertise.  Perhaps you meant whether anyone
with time/interest/expertise can contribute content  (open model), vs. a
very small number of people having access to contribute content (closed
model).  I prefer the former.

> Question 3: What kinds of data do you want to be able to access from a

Code-relevant Nomenclature bits (original publication/authorship,
typification, homonymy, objective synonymy, etc.), index of "usages" of
names in literature and elsewhere (including historical and current
classifications, syonymies, etc.), cross linkage to museum specimens,
genetic data (GenBank, BOLD, etc.), non-vouchered observations and
images/video/audio recordings, dynamically generated distribution maps,
phylogenetic hypotheses, and a suite of tools and services to analyze and
visualize patterns, trends, etc.

> Question 4: Which existing initiative currently comes closest to what you
> would ideally like to see?

Almost all of them. What we need to do now is make them all work together


P.S. I just reat Tony Rees' post, and I agree with everything he wrote. Like
Tony, I'll cite an online presentation that encapsulates some of my thinking
on this:

This message is only intended for the addressee named above.  Its contents may be privileged or otherwise protected.  Any unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this message or its contents is prohibited.  If you have received this message by mistake, please notify us immediately by reply mail or by collect telephone call.  Any personal opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent the views of the Bishop Museum.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list