GBIF is a distributed and digital infrastructure which builds upon the collective efforts of and contributions of thousands of scientists in hundreds of institutions across the world. It is also serves many different communities. The richness and importance of this data is recognised widely by different organisations in science and society. The Convention on Biological Diversity and other international conventions, land-use planners and the agricultural sector, are all asking for new services which GBIF can help to deliver. The Catalogue of Life feeds into the GBIF infrastructure.
The taxon portal in GBIF. GBIF’s mission is to make the world’s biodiversity data freely and universally available via the Internet. As a megascience initiative, GBIF aims to provide an essential global informatics infrastructure for biodiversity research and applications worldwide.
The 2011 CoL is now integrated with the portal. A process was established by which the Catalogue of Life synonymic checklist was made available to GBIF via an internationally established, standards-based process. This provided a generalised solution for access to CoL to all i4Life partners. GBIF played a significant role in the development, promotion, and uptake of this data format and process within both the international standards community and within i4Life.
Integration within the GBIF data portal was the most significant aspect of this task. This is because the CoL forms the primary organisation backbone to the GBIF primary biodiversity data store – an index of over 300 million data records from over 10,000 different databases. The wide scope and heterogenous nature of these data form a major challenge in linking these data to the CoL backbone. Entire new integrative methods were developed and implemented as part of this project using new indexing technologies, such as Hadoop, over previous, database-driven methodologies.