[Taxacom] Fwd: What can Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) do for you?
stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Oct 17 18:12:37 CDT 2013
>If the data points in GBIF show a strong bias taxonomically or geographically, I don't think you could claim that's GBIF's fault<
They could perhaps be faulted for wasting everybody's time on all those stub pages for 99% of all taxa that they don't have data about, or gathering low grade data on these in the absence of anything better.
From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Friday, 18 October 2013 11:53 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Fwd: What can Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) do for you?
On 10/17/13 3:30 PM, Rafaël Govaerts wrote:
> Dear Rod, What is a recurring issue is that no distinction is made in GBIF between native, introduced and cultivated specimens. See e.g. Magnolia grandiflora
> This means that I need to check carefully each record, which takes a lot of time. It also means I get regular emails saying GBIF says this species is also in Jawa and when checking it, turns out to be from Bogor botanic garden. So displaying those in a different way would make my work easier and users less confused.
I strongly suspect this is not so much GBIF's responsibility as that of
the institutions supplying the data. I'm fairly certain that Darwin Core
standards include provisions for discriminating "alien" distribution
data, but not everyone is likely to apply such standards, or they use a
different data entry protocol, such as recording the locality of
origination rather than the locality of collection (as we do for all our
insect specimens reared in our quarantine facility - it would be absurd
if all these exotic species were georeferenced to southern California!).
Also, Chuck Miller wrote:
> So Steve, is your answer to Rod's question "GBIF can do more to get more data for me from outside North America, Europe and Australia"? Or a different answer?
Even if there was a miscommunication here, it does highlight another
side of preceding issue: namely, GBIF cannot make data available that no
one has gathered and passed along. Unless GBIF is willing to fund data
gathering efforts (and target those efforts so as to "fill gaps"), then
the role of clearing house means they take what they are given and
display it, which are (mostly) the results of people's externally-funded
research grants. If the data points in GBIF show a strong bias
taxonomically or geographically, I don't think you could claim that's
Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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