[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 22 01:15:00 CDT 2014


I have been following this an have found it an interesting discussion. What
Bob says I agree with you do get what you pay for. I think however the
dream of a good database at a mousclick (to use your phrasing) is possible.
However, the greatest difficulty is it would have to have paid researchers
assist in the set up, hence would be grantbased with the outcome a service.
The free competing databases at the same time need to go. This is another
inherant issue on the web. If you look hard enough you will find online the
information that supports your PoV from a taxonomic point. Relevenant to
other discussions too but staying on subject here.

While ever GBIF, EOL, etc all have their own versions of the current
nomenclature, with no checking in place to determine the right one whats
the use of them. Many are presenting opinions of single individuals with no
evidence they are not presenting a personal PoV rather than a nomenclature
derived from the literature.

The only nomenclature you can rely on are as Bob says the ones derived by
traditional examination of lit and discussions with relevant researchers.

Cheers, Scott


On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 11:12 PM, Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
wrote:

> "This Googling/email/phoning/bumping into people doesn't sound terribly
> scalable to me :("
>
> Then you missed my point, because you're continuing to think from the
> point of view of improving your Big Shiny Database.
>
> The point of view I was working from is that of the Skeptical User. The
> S.U. does not want and cannot use 508,157,131 occurrence records (GBIF this
> morning). The S.U. wants and needs the 10-1000 records relevant to a
> particular taxonomic or conservation project. For that use, Doug Yanega's
> taxonomist/georeferencer is indeed going to google, email, phone around and
> talk to people at conferences and other events. The result will be
> carefully vetted records, hopefully then published with open access.
>
> Now what? It sounds like you want to say 'Let's grab those published,
> vetted records and stick them in GBIF or link to them'. Where they'll
> conflict with dozens of existing GBIF records, so that you'll have to
> annotate the lot. And future GBIF users will compare, contrast, query and
> finally give up and say, 'Bugger this, I'll just stick with the vetted,
> published sources'.
>
> Doug and many others (me among them) keep saying that if you want more
> reliable data, you need to upgrade the data at source. This is rarely easy,
> often slow, cannot be done by code and typically involves
> "Googling/email/phoning/bumping into people". The dream of having access to
> all biodiversity data at the click of a mouse involves a massive trade-off.
> You get what you pay for, in effort. Lots of effort, great data. Minimal
> effort, lousy (or worse, doubtful) data.
> --
> Dr Robert Mesibov
> Honorary Research Associate
> Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
> School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania
> Home contact:
> PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
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>



-- 
Scott Thomson
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
Divisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
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