[Taxacom] Chameleons, GBIF, and the Red List

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Sun Aug 24 23:31:28 CDT 2014

Rich Pyle wrote:

"I have a snapshot download from GBIF right now that I'm working on for our
Checklist of fishes of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Over the next few
weeks, we'll be completing the requisite "cleanup", and I'd be DELIGHTED to use
this as an example dataset that might (eventually) round-trip back to GBIF and
(ultimately) the original data sources."

sources > GBIF > expert > GBIF (eventually) > sources (ultimately)

What's wrong with
sources > GBIF > expert > 'Checklist of fishes of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands'
(freely available online, readily update-able, compilers easily contacted)?

sources > GBIF > expert > sources (straightaway) *and* 'Checklist' > GBIF (eventually)

Please think first of users, not GBIF.

"Yeah, well. I don't see links on the GBIF website to alternative data sources, which would be a lot easier to add than data caches.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean alternative sources for a
particular occurrence record? I suspect most occurrence records in GBIF have
only one source, and the problem with discovering occurrence records with
multiple sources comes back to the globally unique identifier problem I've
touched on already. Or, do you mean a more generic "other places where
Occurrence records can be found"? I don't need GBIF to tell me that....
although I sincerely wish that such that sources would provide those occurrence
records to GBIF."

You admitted that you hadn't been following this thread closely, so:
(1) from a single source, like a museum, GBIF may have *less information* than the source database. That might be because the source didn't use the GBIF IPT, or because a Procrustean truncator like OZCAM/ALA sat in-between, or because it's too hard for staff to finagle their database fields into Darwin Core format. If the source database is or could be online, it's an alternative and superior data source *for the same record*, and GBIF should link to it.
(2) the single-source record included in GBIF may be wrong. It's been corrected (for taxonomy, or geography, or whatever) and is now available in upgraded form at another location on the Web. Until your 'sources > GBIF > expert > GBIF (eventually) > sources (ultimately)' pipeline completes, GBIF should link to the other location.
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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