403RE: [beemonitoring] Re: Standardized Sampling Methodologies and a Common Database
- Aug 15, 2008Great! 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!Matt
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of John S. Ascher
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 1:16 AM
Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: Standardized Sampling Methodologies and a Common Database
Thanks for another thoughtful response.
I did not mean to suggest
> reinventing the wheel on this, but wasn't sure how manyof these
> databases are flexible enough in their data inputto allow us to work
> the specific fields that the bee communitywould 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 isone thing, but a fully searchable
> that allows one to findflower records, flight periods, etc for a
> part of the worldor a certain species is another.
There are web portals being designed specifically to fulfill precisely
these needs, e.g.:
Stuart Roberts in the UK is developing an excellent database optimized to
record these data.
Right now, the
> Discoverincludes a number of very useful data fields, but
> Life specimen view
> are certainlymany more that might be of interest, particularly in terms of
> habitatand 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
> toa specimen record
> search the fields in that database, other than by viewing
> 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 adesign and
> end that would be specifically geared towardpollinator records, and the
associated ecological data that might not fit the mold of available
> repositories.As noted above this may already exist:
>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 ofscientifically 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) databy 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 thangeography.
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
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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