[Taxacom] Global biodiversity databases

Robert Guralnick Robert.Guralnick at colorado.edu
Tue Aug 7 12:17:26 CDT 2012

  Rich et al. --- I am just not comfortable with the question: "Do you
expect a comprehensive and reliable GBD to exist in the foreseeable
future (or do you think that one or more already exist)?"  We've been
working on a project called Map of Life (http://mappinglife.org), that
is meant to aggregate not just point occurrence records but also range
maps, area inventories, ecoregion checklists, etc. globally and for
all taxa.
    Is Map of Life going to be THE comprehensive and reliable GBD?  Is
EOL?  All these different projects serve different purposes, some
geared towards collating names, some geared towards vetting and
modeling species distributions.  Other will be developed for traits,
othes for phenologies, and yet others for interactions.  In the best
of all worlds, the whole concept of unitary databases will dissolve
and we'll be talking more about linked projects and linked open data.
 There is no GBD.  There won't be.  Thank goodness.

Best, Rob

On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 10:57 AM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
> 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)?
> Yes.
>> If so, do
>> you think it is likely to come from an existing initiative, and if so,
> which
>> 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
> GBD?
> 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
> seamlessly.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> 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:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSzL2NwRemU
> 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.
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

More information about the Taxacom mailing list