Progress in biodiversity informatics

We celebrate recent achievements in biodiversity informatics.

 Enjoy exploring the new GBIF interface for the global mapping of occurrence records. Try zooming and using the time slider: .   Congratulations to Donald Hobern and company.

The “TraitBank” of the Encyclopedia of Life now operates, developed with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  For example, insert “sharks” in the taxon box and click on “total life span” in the menu of traits, and you will receive a list of the life spans of 100+ sharks.

 Tony Rees, one of the builders of the Ocean Biographical Information System, has created the wonderful Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera, especially notable for information on phyla, classes, orders, families, and genera:

 OBIS itself continues to grow and now has more than 37 million records on more than 120,000 species from more than 1300 data sets to Ward Appeltans and company.

 PHE researchers Mark Stoeckle and Cameron Coffran developed software, TreeParser, that helps generate Klee diagram “heat maps” of genetic biodiversity (freely available on the PHE website ).  TreeParser uses data from GenBank and from the Barcode of Life public data portal (, , which now has over 1.7 m public records. Congratulations to Sujeevan Ratnasingam and Company.

 The progress in biodiversity informatics during the past decade is wonderful.  None of these things existed a decade ago.