[Taxacom] GBIF & BHL

Wolfgang Lorenz faunaplan at googlemail.com
Mon Oct 13 04:05:34 CDT 2014

Dear All,
a few weeks ago, BHL has joined GBIF as an associate. Good news!
And doesn't it underline, again, the urgency for more control by users?
BHL's automatic name recognition is a fantastic tool when used with
caution, but in combination with GBIF's "fuzzy taxon matches" it might
produce so many more errors...

GBIF does have excellent data! Sadly, many users will not see it because it
takes an awful lot of time.
'Manual work doesn't scale' is an often used argument for automatic data
Okay, but when it's available, why not use it?

GBIF's official portal launch was in July 2007. Since then, I was trying to
follow GBIF's progress on the megadiverse family of ground beetles. That is:
1) by the end of each year, download a complete dataset on Carabidae
(almost 1 million last december);
2) compare original verbatim names provided by the data providers with my
own names database in order to spot & correct errors in GBIF's name
3) group all georeferenced records into squares (grid cells) on the WGS-84
grid which I can display on a simple map for comparison with overview maps
provided by GBIF.
It takes time but it's not too difficult to do all that with my simple
tools and limited programming skills. My latest results can be seen here:
http://carabidfauna.com/CarabMap.php (download of Dec 2013).

Putting all data into easy-to-use geospatial "boxes" has several
advantages. E.g., I can get a checklist for each gridcell. And it might
help in organizing a sort of data stewardship by users who know a region
well and can spot errors earlier than others.

Finally, taxon specialists might want to set up species-pages by putting
together what they have: nomenclature, literature citations with BHL-links
and an overview map
(e.g.: http://carabidfauna.net/Orthotrichus_gilvipes.pdf ).
Such species pages with authorship and time-stamp could then serve other
users as a background for vetting data that are accessible through GBIF.
Why not set up a persistent archive for such species PDFs?

Best regards,


Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

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