Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Do you know any species distribution project?

I am trying to create a general view on how species distributions are handle in different projects world wide. I am specially interested in project where they have maps and are published on Internet. So I would like to ask you for links to projects related to Species Distributions.

I am also interested in different ways people handle occurrence status or absence. 

And finally I also would like links to any mapping application that you have seen related to Species distributions. And if possible comment what you liked.

Please post your links as comments to this post or send them to me ( I will post in the future the results from this little research.



Markus Döring said...

there are probably hundreds out there. I reckon most of them use different standards. Many use human language, which can be more accurate than fixed vocabularies, but surely harder to integrate. TDWG actually has a status standard. Well, the tdwg site seems to be down :( It should be here somewhere:

Some project links out of the top of my head, there are many, many more:

Florabase stores polygons in an oracle gis db:

for birds seasonal migration is important:

Go ahead and compile more sources. It should be an interesting exercise that will show quite some differences I suspect. Keep us up to date!

Piers Higgs said...

Some project examples for you guys; has some projects in there as well that could be useful for you in aiding your search (it's back up now). - an old site being scrapped by the WA Museum in Perth, uses points from a database in a custom front end, to be replaced by... - new interactive distributions, storing points - Bird data from Birds Australia - my own rather primitive PHP/Google Maps implementation with point records (stored in mySQL) (including modelling distributions)

Ajay can probably tell you more about those last two!

It would be good for the details of this sort of search and a listing of project to end up somehwere we can use - happy to parse the results and push it into the TDWG Biodiversity projects if you think that would be useful?

Let me know if you need any more information.


Javier de la Torre said...

Thanks Markus and Piers,

I am trying to keep track of places I find at:

this page

For the time being I mostly see these 4 ways of handling species distributions:

-Pure images with unknown source info.In thousands of different projections and different legends for presence status.
-Area codes and status codes. Euro plus med for example. TDWG also provides a set of abbreviations to describe distributions and status codes.
-Shapefiles with different schemas behind for status. There are also differences on how geometries are treated.
-Natural language. Very different ways.

Some of the sources you provided are primary data no distributions so I will not review them.

I dont have much time to work on this, but what would you consider interesting to know about each project:

1) Way they handle the data (from the 4 possibilities)
2) Is data accessible? Under which license?
3) Are they backend by primary data? Is this primary data available?
4) example of a species page if possible.

Thanks again for your comments!

Anonymous said...

World checklist of selected plant families (Kew) lists species distribution according to TDWG (Brummitt & Powell) area codes (
Not available through a web service but in a database. Best contact is probably Rafael Govaerts (r.govaerts_at_kew_dot_org)

Michael Giddens said...

My company SilverBiology has just finished developing a biodiversity mapping tool called SilverMapper

SilverMapper is a web application to visually interact with geospatial collection(s) or observation data from one or many different sources.

This is an open source project found at GoogleCode