[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Sun Aug 24 16:27:55 CDT 2014

Donat Agosti wrote:

"I feel, the discussion is too much centered on data that has not the information content needed, like studying a Landsat image at 30 meter resolution and discussing what tree species is shown"

Excellent metaphor! For most scientific uses, you need much more data than is provided by any available database. Can you get everything you need online? No. Do existing aggregators like GBIF offer a helpful starting point? For some people and some uses, yes.

But now the important question: when you have all the information you need, and clean it and enrich it, do you publish it online in a usable form? I don't know what Quentin Groom's project was about, nor do I know if he published his final data.

In my own case, every one of my 12123 locality records for Australian Millipedes is freely available in CSV format (and in abbreviated form in KML) from the 'Millipedes of Australia' website. This store is larger and more up to date and contains fewer errors than any aggregator store, or even, the combined data providers' stores (because certain providers have been slow to add my edits to particular records, or to upload them to their own or aggregator stores).

But if people like me and Quentin publish data freely to the Web and aggregators don't use this improved/extended data, aggregation looks less and less useful.
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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