Tools for managing and sharing Biodiversity Information

I attended from Oct. 1st to Oct. 3rd to a workshop called “Tools for managing and sharing Biodiversity Information” organized by CRBioin collaboration with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Atlas of Living Australia, during these 3 days a group of 40 people learned about different global and local initiatives and tools (standards and available software) to share biodiversity data and information.

One of the most relevants topics was to learn about about the Darwin Core standard, which is used to homologate museums collections, investigators or other data bases and share this data with some tools like GIBIF and CRBio. Depending on the size of the data base it could be relatively easy to generate a Darwin Core archive of our data base using an excel template, once you have mapped your data base against Darwin Core this excel file can be processed with an online tool that generates the Darwin Core xml files so you can register and share them on GBIF. For bigger (100,000+ records) and complex data bases there is automated tool to generate the Darwin Core files called IPT, although this could be more complex to set up.

After that we learned a bit about Geographical Information Systems using Quatum SIG, an open source SIG, to use it later to generate species distribution models, which we made using data downloaded from GBIF and weather data from Worldclim  and a tool called Maxent  which allowed us to generate ecological nitch models. To understand a bit more the use of these models there were some talks, one that I found particularly interesting was “Ecological Nitch Models: The importance of scientific collections for Biopersity Conservation” by Adrian García of the Zoology Museum of UCR, where using these models they were able to find a frog that was declared extinct.

It’s important to point out that these tools are freely available and open source, which not only allows to use them with out licensing costs, but also some of these tools such as the one used for the GBIF and CRBio portals are available so we could think in the future to have a data base of this kind within the ACG using this same technology.

If you are interested in learning more of these topics you can find the links to slides of the workshop at http://informatics.inbio.ac.cr or contact me and I will gladly share more details.

Federico Matarrita

federico@usematics.com

Tools for managing and sharing Biopersity Information

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