[Taxacom] A nice acronym

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Tue Jun 4 03:12:04 CDT 2013

The 'alphabet soup' of biodiversity databases and data-fiddling projects is enormous, but there are some acronym gems. This one is pretty clever: FORMIDABEL, the Belgian ants database, just described in ZooKeys:


FORMIDABEL is a joint project from two working groups of specialists and was built bottom-up, with specialists doing the data checking and cleaning. The entire database is freely accessible through its own dedicated website and is offered up under a Creative Commons BY-NC licence. You can also get the data through GBIF after accepting GBIF's painful data-use agreement. I don't know if the datasets are synchronised.

A fascinating peculiarity of FORMIDABEL is that its ca 27000 occurrence records (1866-2012) are located as 5x5 km UTM grid squares. The uncertainty associated with each record is (explicitly) the radius of a circle centered in that square, or approximately 3.5 km.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Agricultural Science, University of Tasmania
Home contact:
PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195

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