[Taxacom] Data quality of aggregated datasets

Donald Hobern [GBIF] dhobern at gbif.org
Mon May 6 14:32:05 CDT 2013

You're right, Stephen.  We are dealing with raw data.  The work of the
"aggregators" should first be to organise all of these raw data as an
evidence-base for understanding the recorded distribution of any species in
time and space, and secondly to provide the tools to support
automated/expert/community evaluation and where appropriate correction of
this evidence.  The result of this work should be an assessed and filtered
version of all available evidence that can then serve as the foundation for
understanding and modelling our best estimate of the actual distribution and
abundance of each species through time and space.


Donald Hobern - GBIF Director - dhobern at gbif.org 
Global Biodiversity Information Facility http://www.gbif.org/ 
GBIF Secretariat, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tel: +45 3532 1471  Mob: +45 2875 1471  Fax: +45 2875 1480

-----Original Message-----
Date: Mon, 6 May 2013 00:54:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Data quality of aggregated datasets

Perhaps there ought to be a paradigm shift here? Georeferenced specimen
records are raw data, that's all, and should not be offered as anything
other than raw data. A map of plotted georeferenced specimen records is
pretty useless, and often misleading or just plain wrong. What we (usually)
actually want to know is the postulated present distribution of the species.
This is an area, not a set of points. It also has fuzzy boundaries, and is
sometimes better expressed in words rather than visually, e.g. the species
is widespread in the South Island, east of the Southern Alps.

Cheers, Stephen

More information about the Taxacom mailing list