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403RE: [beemonitoring] Re: Standardized Sampling Methodologies and a Common Database

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  • Matthew Sarver
    Aug 15, 2008
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      Great!  I didn't know discoverlife was set up that way until Dan pointed it out.  A query interface for this database now seems like an obvious starting point.  As for PCDL - I thought they were only tackling literature, at least for now.  Do they have plans to incorporate specimen data as well?  I've certainly used it for plant/pollinator interactions a number of times already. 
      The "citizen science" thing for insects has great potential - as long as those who can ID the pics can keep up!  An integration of bugguide and discover life would be really cool!

      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John S. Ascher
      Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 1:16 AM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Standardized Sampling Methodologies and a Common Database

      Matt -

      Thanks for another thoughtful response.

      I did not mean to suggest

      > reinventing the wheel on this, but wasn't sure how many
      of these
      > databases are flexible enough in their data input
      to allow us to work
      > the specific fields that the bee community
      would find useful /

      As Dan already noted Discoverlife can accommodate virtually any field as
      long as data are linked directly to a species name. Only fields with data
      appear when you pull up specimen records; blank fields are not displayed.

      > Generating a map for a species is
      one thing, but a fully searchable
      > that allows one to find
      flower records, flight periods, etc for a
      > part of the world
      or a certain species is another.

      There are web portals being designed specifically to fulfill precisely
      these needs, e.g.:

      http://libraryporta ls.com/PCDL

      Stuart Roberts in the UK is developing an excellent database optimized to
      record these data.

      Right now, the
      > Discover
      > Life specimen view
      includes a number of very useful data fields, but
      > are certainly
      many more that might be of interest, particularly in terms of
      > habitat
      and floral associations.

      These can already be mapped. These and other fields you can dream up can
      certainly be displayed. Sam even has a field where he notes brand of

      As far as I know, there is no easy way
      > to
      > search the fields in that database, other than by viewing
      a specimen record
      > from the mapper.

      You are correct. The search function needs improvement.

      Likewise, GBIF is primarily biogeographical data. I was
      > thinking about the creation of a database web portal with a
      design and
      > end that would be specifically geared toward
      pollinator records, and the
      associated ecological data that might not fit the mold of available
      > repositories.

      As noted above this may already exist:

      http://libraryporta ls.com/PCDL

      Such a customized portal could also be expanded to include an EBird or
      Bugguide-like citizen science component, where photos could be posted by
      amateurs. I agree that bugguide already serves that purpose admirably,
      > its structure does not encourage the entry of
      scientifically useful data
      along with submitted records in the way that a custom-tailored user
      interface like Ebird does. The already useful information generated by
      bugguide could be made even more useful by asking users for more
      > about their sighting.

      I would advocate an all of the above solution, i.e. improving Bugguide
      itself, improving relevant tools at other sites such as Discoverlife, and
      establishing useful links between sites with complementary emphases.

      > "Local repositories can enhance centralized (global) data
      by providing
      additional more particular services (e.g., customizable dynamic local
      > and potentially analyses based on these) "
      I guess this is more along the lines of what I am thinking. But "local" in
      > the sense of specificty of purpose or usage, rather than

      I meant both.

      In terms of geography, one example of a local site would be a global or
      regional ID guide customized for a specific site by filtering out
      extralimital taxa.

      For example, here is the eastern Bee Genera guide customized for the
      Fingerlakes region of NY:

      http://www.discover life.org/ mp/20q?guide= Bee_genera& cl=US/NY/ Fingerlakes

      In terms of specificity of purpose, a local site could highlight and
      extend a subset of data, e.g., pollinator-plant interactions, derived by
      querying one or more central repositories.



      John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
      Bee Database Project Manager
      Division of Invertebrate Zoology
      American Museum of Natural History
      Central Park West @ 79th St.
      New York, NY 10024-5192
      work phone: 212-496-3447
      mobile phone: 917-407-0378

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