GBIF.org adds ‘data trends’ charts and richer national information

Users of GBIF.org can now visualize global and national trends in data mobilization and learn more about GBIF’s national Participants.

Users of GBIF.org can now visualize global and national trends in data mobilization and learn more about GBIF’s national Participants. These enhancements provide insights into the volume and content of GBIF-mediated data, and offer rich information on how national partners organize their biodiversity information networks.

The ‘data trends’ charts analyse the content of the species occurrence information shared through the GBIF network. These visualizations show how the community has mobilized data over time, displaying both global and national data through various lenses—by kingdom, by types of record, by completeness and precision of the data, and many other parameters.

GBIF.org’s country pages provide a snapshot of national activities, including overviews of both the data available about biodiversity in individual countries, and the data mobilized by GBIF Participants. New national-level data trend visualizations (such as this example from Japan) can serve many purposes.

For example, each national ‘node’— the team responsible for coordinating in-country activity—can track data published from its country’s institutions more closely, noting whether they are representative of taxonomic kingdoms; whether they are dominated either by observations or by specimens; and even whether there are biases in the time of the year that records are collected. The charts can also help the nodes and their partners to spot gaps in the data they are mobilizing, to guide future mobilization priorities, and to focus attention on issues that need to be addressed to improve overall data quality.

Users can also learn more about the national nodes themselves, thanks to information added to the Participation section of each country page (see for example this contribution from Andorra). This enhanced section, based on information provided by the nodes, explains the history and structure of the national networks involved in GBIF activity, describes their respective missions and funding sources, and shares web and social media links that enable GBIF.org users to connect directly with these building blocks of the GBIF community.

The data trend visualizations initially emerged from a gap analysis for EU BON seeking to measure progress on data mobilization, and GBIF’s global partners are already putting them to use. The fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook, published this month by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), cited the number of records available through GBIF over time as a key indicator of progress toward Aichi Target 19, which focuses on improving access to, sharing, and applying scientific knowledge on biodiversity. The Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, of which GBIF is a member, has published a detailed description of how GBIF records serve as an indicator of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed by more than 190 governments in 2010…

GBIF plans regular updates to the trend indicators to ensure that they reflect the community’s continuing efforts to increase the volume and completeness of GBIF-mediated data. Information about network members will be expanded to accommodate similar background on GBIF’s non-national Participants including organizations and economies.

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