The Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook
The recently released Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook (GBIO) proposes a framework for work to be done in the next five to ten years by projects such as EOL. It is the main product produced from the 2012 Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference held in Copenhagen.
Some will argue that we don’t need another acronym — certainly we already have plenty! The important thing is for future investments in biodiversity informatics to have the most impact. A visionary document like the GBIO helps funders, tool builders and data providers most efficiently provide the data and knowledge that consumers need.
Encyclopedia of Life aims to play an essential role in several of GBIO’s interconnected components. Like many projects, we provide comprehensive knowledge access and promote a culture of open access and reuse. We are serious about increasing data accuracy via a biodiversity knowledge network; most EOL curation actions and community-generated annotations are already routed to providers of source data. With the upcoming release of Traitbank(TM) we aim to be a premier provider of aggregated species trait data.
EOL also serves secondary roles in the rapid capture and dissemination of collections and specimen data (e.g. the National Museum of Natural history specimen images). We are exploring how best to mine published materials (see Rubenstein projects and the upcoming Research Sprint). Finally, EOL can contribute to an overall taxonomic framework.
There is still much work to be done. Watch for future blog posts on these topics, and visit http://biodiversityinformatics.org for more information on how you can get involved.